I love to write. I never have to force myself. There is enough drama blowing around outside my study window to capture in a few sentences. And there’s always enough drama in my past to refashion into the present.
My day usually begins with a one-hour power talk. I call this writer’s cardio ― a composition of words, scenes, characters and dialogue. I have been known to walk around my garden talking to myself, or a short canter up the street where I’m probably marked as a lunatic as I compose on the fly. But most creative thought happens during these times or, dare I say, when I’m staring into the distance doing nothing at all.
I don’t believe in writer’s block. Chapters can be fashioned in complete silence or to music, depending on the mood of events and characters. If I’m restless, I cook a meal or take a pad and pencil to a favorite coffee shop. I love libraries, the smell of ink on paper and the binding of rare books. People-watching goes without saying and listening to conversation gives a great insight into dialogue the natural way. After all, we rarely hear the stilted, antiquated sentences of the past. So why would we write them?
There must be a room set apart from all others in your house. A room, a whole room and nothing but a room. You might need this for tax purposes or if an auditor comes knocking. There is a section for this in your business license contract. And you’ll need a business license to sell books in your state.
Join all kinds of local writing groups, especially critique groups. Writing groups help with marketing, promotion and book fairs to sell your books. Networking is fun! After thrashing out a chapter, a small critique group is a great way to help identify the weaker points. This is also my accountability group since I must have written at least one chapter a week to get feedback. On average, if I don’t watch TV in the evenings, I can write a chapter every two days.
My most productive hours are between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., a regular work schedule and the only predictable part of my day. (Unless a family member has a crisis then all bets are off). I rarely go out to lunch because it interrupts my rhythm and when I have an appointment/class/date I plan for it. This means marketing in the morning and writing in the afternoon and well into the evening. There are only so many words in the human mind. A year ago, these appointments used to make me feel cheated in some way, like I hadn’t been allotted the full quota of hours in my writing day. Now I don’t think about it. I just get on with it.
Here’s a good tip. How you start each day depends on how you finished the day before. When you finish a sentence or a paragraph, finish it with a hook. Then the following day you’ll be rearing to get started on the next few words.