The Importance of Routine and Making Your Own Creativity

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As I make steady progress through my second draft, it is interesting to look back at how I’ve managed to increase my daily word count goals and the reasons I have achieved that.

To start with we must go back to early last year. I’d been ‘attempting’ to write for years, but never made it far thanks to procrastination. I’d decided that it was time to get serious with it, and part of that was deciding I needed to do a little bit of work on the book every single day without fail. This was for a previous book project that was dropped as I felt the current series is a much better story overall.

So I started doing a little bit every day, first on the outline and then when it came to the actual writing I set myself the goal of 250 words a day. I did this at the same time each day, an hour set aside just to write. This was tough at first; plenty of days I would only manage around 100 words. I found it took me a while to concentrate, my attention flicking to anything else apart from my writing. I didn’t feel the creativity I thought I needed to get the words done.

But I kept going, little by little raising my word count until I hit the 250 word count goal each day. Then I raised it to 350 and then 500 once I was reaching the goal each day. What I found was that as I was doing this each day, I was getting into my stride quicker and quicker each day. The creativity was coming as well, more ideas flowing as I just did the process of writing.

That project ended after I’d done the first draft, dropped for my current series as mentioned earlier. I went straight into writing the new one with a goal of 500. Now more than halfway through the second draft my daily goal is 1400 and I’ve learnt a lot.

Having a set period of time each day to write in has helped me get in the habit, because I do it every day I’m mentally ready for it. My brain is ready to write before I’ve even put fingers to keyboard. The quality of the words I’m writing has gone up alongside the quality, and will go up further once I get an editor involved and can analyse my own flaws better.

And the creativity? That came because I gave myself the time and space to write. I tend to have ideas about the books at all times of the day and makes notes about them or email myself so I don’t forget. But the hard graft, the words and ideas that make up most of the writing, they come as I do it.

Give yourself the time and space to write and the ideas will come, the words will flow onto the page if you make it the habit it should be.