I’d describe my current state of work on my novel as ‘committed but easily distracted’.
I’m still working towards completion of the first draft of City of Djinn but progress has certainly not been as fast as I’d like. The key really seems to be maintaining regular writing. Stephen King is said to write 2,000 words every single day without fail. Mary Carroll Moore advocates not going longer than three days without writing.
Over the last few months, I’ve tried various strategies for producing more words. First I tried aiming for 1,000 words a day. This worked great. For about 2 days. The levels of effort you can sustain for a month during Nanowrimo are difficult in a regular life with a day job and other commitments.
Next I tried getting up early to write before work. I’m not a morning person, I might have mentioned that. Again this is something I’ve had some success with during Nanowrimo and I really like beginning the day this way. It makes you more focussed on writing for the rest of the day. But again life got in the way and it didn’t last.
Which brings me onto strategy number three and so far this has been working well. I’ve set myself the challenge of writing at least one sentence every day for twelve months. Of course one sentence isn’t going to get me very far but if you write one, you invariably write more.
I’ve been following this approach successfully for nine days now and my daily totals have ranged from 30 words to 1,000 words. Some days will be more challenging that others – next weekend I’m going to Prague for four days to play in a football tournament – but surely even then I can manage to bash out one measly sentence on a scrap of paper.