I finally did it. I finished writing a book. And I’m the kind of guy who puts off procrastination until tomorrow.
I had notebooks filled with plot ideas for dozens of novels. I had folders on at least three laptops with first chapters, outlines, prologues, epilogues, scripts…
So what changed? November 2015, I was trawling around some indy writer websites (instead of writing, spotted my obvious mistake?) when I came across a site that charged a small monthly amount to wannabe writers. In return for your few dollars, you would be encouraged, cajoled and nagged to write AT LEAST 750 words every day. Even if those words were little better than drivel. The idea was, you’d be establishing a habit.
I liked the idea. It made sense. But I didn’t want to pay. I just decided I would write at least 750 words a day. A deceptively easy decision. Easy to go back on, too. So I started immediately. I kept at it. I took Christmas Day off.
I had a plan for the first few chapters. I knew roughly how the book would end. That was it. At the end of each session, I’d quickly review it. At the start of the next session, I’d review/edit again, then get started. Some days I barely hit the 750. I think I averaged around 1200. My most productive session was 3500 words.
As I wrote, I started to get more ideas about the plot, the characters became more real to me and the whole process gradually became a little easier. I was thinking about the book when I wasn’t actually writing, so the physical act usually took 60-90 minutes.
The best bit? Ever go to bed thinking you wasted the day, you accomplished nothing? I do. Rightly or wrongly, I often feel that way. But when I stuck to my writing plan, I knew I’d accomplished something. And that was a great feeling.
Another bonus: you write every day, you’re going to improve. Reading helps you become a better writer. Writing courses might help. But I could see my writing improving day by day, week by week, month by month.
I finished The World Walker February 5th, 2016. It’s 124,000 words long. I’m going to publish it on Amazon for the kindle. Soon I’ll find out who, if anyone, wants to read my sci-fi/fantasy debut. Whatever happens, I’m going to keep on writing.
Here’s the blurb for the World Walker. I’m hoping to have it on the kindle by the end of this month…
Just outside Los Angeles, a prisoner hidden away for 70 years sits up, gets off the bed and disappears through a solid wall.
In Australia, a magician impresses audiences by producing real elephants. Nobody realizes it’s not an illusion.
Across the world, individuals and ancient organizations with supernatural power suddenly detect the presence of something even they can’t understand.
At the center of it all, Seb Varden, a 32-year old musician with a secret in his past, slits his wrists, is shot dead and run over on the freeway. He’s had better days.
Seb is about to discover the universe is a far more complicated place than he’d ever imagined.