1. SLR436
    Offline

    SLR436 New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2014
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0

    How do you write every day?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by SLR436, Jul 30, 2014.

    I'm curious if you used any tricks to hack motivation before you managed to 'just sit down and write', it's for my post on how to write an ebook.

    So far I've heard modifications of Seinfeld's productivity trick he used for writing jokes, where every day that you complete your writing task, you get to put a big red X over that day on your calendar. The red X is sometimes replaced with golden star or even word count for that day. The problem with that is continuing to add to the chain once a new month starts, as it feels as you're starting all over every month.

    Little hacks like "stop writing mid-sentence", set a specific time to write and turn off Internet (some went as specific as "make sure you can't get access to porn").

    I'm asking this as an advice to someone who is not a writer and is likely not looking to become a writer in the long-term, but is interested in producing a single piece nonetheless.

    Finally, is writing every day a goal for you or not?
     
  2. Berber
    Offline

    Berber Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2011
    Messages:
    146
    Likes Received:
    28
    Location:
    United States
    You've already hit on a lot of good methods.

    I've noticed that also having someone with a vested interest to keep me accountable is a huge motivating factor. I made my husband that person when I first started writing seriously. He gets home. I ask him about work. He asks me about my writing. The fact that I have someone who's sincerely interested in my progress makes me want to have progress to show. I've since branched out from just my husband and keep track of my progress via blogs and social media. Even though I don't have a very big following, it still creates that sense of pressure to produce.

    I do set daily writing goals for myself, usually around 2000 words. But then again, I have the (mis) fortune of being unemployed and therefore have the ability to invest a significant amount of time everyday in my writing.
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
  3. Vandor76
    Offline

    Vandor76 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 5, 2014
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    189
    Location:
    Hungary
    Having my monitor placed so that my wife can look over my shoulder and see the screen anytime she wants does count as a solution to this problem? :)

    You can create and print out a calendar that shows the whole year on one page and mark each day when you completed the goal with a red X. Next year the new page can be placed next to the previous one so you don't feel that you start from null.
    There is a bigger motivation if you get something you really like only if you complete a week without "uncompleted" days.
     
  4. Rusti
    Offline

    Rusti New Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    When I decided to write every day, I didn't try to use any tricks, just that I have a very strong will, and if I forgot all day to write, because of my job etc' and even if it is 2in the morning, and I was going to sleep, I open my laptop and write for an hour. Then the next day I will be very tired, I will remember next time to write when it's more convenient.
     
  5. JetBlackGT
    Offline

    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
    I actively schedule time to do my writing and set rigid goals that push me to do more. If my goal is a measly 1000 words and I write 2000? I do NOT take the next day off.

    If you are a morning person and do your best writing then? Set your alarm early and do it then. Lose sleep. You may well lose a lot of sleep to get your goals met and your books published. Just like a parent. You *can* get by on six hours. :)
     
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014
    jannert and ToDandy like this.
  6. Link the Writer
    Offline

    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2009
    Messages:
    11,197
    Likes Received:
    4,209
    Location:
    Alabama, USA
    ^ Apparently I can sleep for just one hour, and somehow am still able to function like normal for the rest of the day. Hmm...maybe I could put this to good use? ;)
     
  7. Adenosine Triphosphate
    Offline

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    I envy you.
     
    Link the Writer likes this.
  8. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    I can't think straight if I get less than six hours of sleep, multiple nights in a row. For me, it's better to get some sleep and be able to write.
     
  9. Adenosine Triphosphate
    Offline

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

    Joined:
    May 24, 2014
    Messages:
    943
    Likes Received:
    424
    Location:
    USA
    Same here.
     
  10. JetBlackGT
    Offline

    JetBlackGT Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    465
    Likes Received:
    158
    Location:
    Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, United States
    So if you can get by okay on six....

    How much sleep would you deny yourself to make your dreams come true? :)
    -Every crazy writer
     
  11. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    @KaTrian and I don't really have any tricks unless you count a compelling need to write. If a day comes by when we're away from home or can't write for whatever reason, we end up discussing the story, planning the upcoming parts, evaluating what we've written so far etc, but even then we're just itching to get back to the keyboards and pick up where we left off.
     
    Catrin Lewis likes this.
  12. criticalsexualmass
    Offline

    criticalsexualmass Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2013
    Messages:
    131
    Likes Received:
    60
    Location:
    Kentucky
    I just remind myself that I won't be getting a day closer if I don't write. and I have this painting as my wallpaper on the computer...

    3204-934x.jpg
     
    xtron, BookLover and JetBlackGT like this.
  13. Bryan Romer
    Offline

    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Messages:
    891
    Likes Received:
    381
    I do write every day if possible. I treat it like any other necessary task, like brushing my teeth.
     
  14. Nilfiry
    Offline

    Nilfiry Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2008
    Messages:
    670
    Likes Received:
    81
    Location:
    Eternal Stream
    Nope. I only write when I feel in the mood to write. I prefer not to be caught up in feeling like I have to write for whatever reason.
     
  15. ToDandy
    Offline

    ToDandy Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2013
    Messages:
    333
    Likes Received:
    205
    Location:
    Bozeman Montana
    I don't write everyday- at least not on my main project- instead I usually write 2,000 words every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and sometimes on Sunday.

    So I still write about 6,500-9,000 words a week when I'm in writing mode, which lasts about 3 months because that's how long it takes me to finish a novel.

    Basically I build a schedule for myself and try to stick to it as best as I can.
     
    123456789 likes this.
  16. Inkwell1
    Offline

    Inkwell1 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2014
    Messages:
    144
    Likes Received:
    10
    Oh, no. No, I write when I have inspiration or an idea in my head.
     
  17. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,330
    Likes Received:
    3,083
    Yes. I think there are two prime driving forces to write consistently.

    1. Inspiration.
    2. Discipline.

    On discipline: I've been told that discipline is a finite trait- that is, you only have so much will power at any given time. Therefore, you need to use your discipline when you have it to setup a regimented routine/mindset/lifestyle that can facilitate consistence writing, even when you aren't feeling very disciplined. Tricks.

    1.Routine. Try to write the same time every day. Your mind will be come accustomed to it.
    2. Make writing the least, or near the least, difficult activity you do all day. That means no television, no video games, read novels that require mental focus. If you do watch television, do it sparingly and always stay engaged. Remember, the more activities you do per day that require focus, the more your mind will be conditioned (I'm assuming. I have no hard research to back this up) to perform difficult tasks. On the other hand, the more mindless activities you do per day, the more activities that aren't mindless, like writing, will feel like climbing a mountain. I've heard that occupations which require mental focus can actually drain your writing initiative (see On Writing by Steven King). While I do think this can be overcome (from personal experience), you can avoid mental drain by writing first thing in the morning, before such occupation.
    3. Coffee. Especially if your actual occupation requires mental focus.

    On inspiration: This is definitely finite, which is why I argue, once the concept for a story has been fully formed in your mind, try to finish the first draft as soon as possible. Once its finished, subsequent drafts will have their own ways of inspiring you, such as the desire to flesh out and beautify your work. Tricks.

    1. Music. Car rides. Walking. Running. Anything to get the juices going.
    2. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.
    3. Just let it flow when you're inspired, and if you start feeling stuck, JUST GO PAST IT.
    4. Do not linger. If something bothers you, the longer you remain fixated on it, the deeper the rut you're driving yourself into it. This can kill inspiration and cause writer's block. Resist the urge for perfection until post draft 1.
    5. Naps.


    I personally believe inspiration and discipline are intertwined with one another. You need inspiration to work, but you need discipline to use it properly and maintain it. Good luck!
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2014
    Okon and jannert like this.
  18. Darkkin
    Offline

    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2012
    Messages:
    1,758
    Likes Received:
    515
    Location:
    Following the footprints in the sand...
    Now that I've got my head back in the game: Take 10-15 minutes. Pause the world for that finite period and write...Anything. Any form. Just write, be it typed or scribbled. Simply write.

    I try and do it during my breaks when I'm at work. It certainly gives me something to look forward to, too. You'll be amazed at how quickly, those 10-15 minute sessions can add up. Little by little,the work will pay off. Worlds and ideas will form. Bite sized portions tempt and tease, keep you coming back for more...
     
  19. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    Here's another one that I think falls under inspiration: ambition. I have a strong ambition to tell these stories, I want to get them published, I want people to read them, but I can't even pitch them before they are finished, so I have to write them, do all I can to make them as good as possible to improve their chances etc, so... ambition. Doesn't hurt to be a bit cocky either, to have the audacity to believe in your vision, your characters, your story. It also helps to have someone in your life who believes in your vision and supports your pursuits.
     
    jannert, sunsplash and KaTrian like this.
  20. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,330
    Likes Received:
    3,083
    I might put ambition under discipline...you know if we're trying to split hairs.
     
  21. T.Trian
    Offline

    T.Trian Overly Pompous Bastard Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2013
    Messages:
    2,246
    Likes Received:
    1,449
    Location:
    Mushroom Land
    Or maybe it's a thing unto itself? 'Cause, like inspiration, ambition isn't necessarily a choice. It can get in the way of other things, like a compulsion you have to feed to get any peace of mind whereas discipline is about making yourself do stuff you don't necessarily feel like doing. Then again, unlike inspiration, ambition has its dark side and can even cause problems if you don't control it, so... inspiration, discipline, and ambition?
     
  22. 123456789
    Offline

    123456789 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    6,330
    Likes Received:
    3,083
    I'll have to agree.

    If you only have inspiration and discipline, in terms of publishing you're still dead in the water. You might have the best writing routine in the world and the muses might be singing 24/7, but I'm assuming its an entirely different thing to go searching for publishers, ignoring those rejection letters, writing queries. That's 100% ambition.

    You might be able to write consistently with just inspiration and discipline...but without ambition it might be little more than a grand act of masturbation.
     
  23. friendly_meese
    Offline

    friendly_meese Member

    Joined:
    May 8, 2014
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    34
    You've probably heard of a number of writers whose first book is a big hit, and then their second book gets a lukewarm reception, and then their third book is utter trash and they never get published again. That's because their first book was a labor of love they might have spent years perfecting, but then they got signed to a three-book contract and had to produce two more books under pressure in six months. The quality of their writing deteriorated with the second book, and plummeted from exhaustion in the third. So, after a promising beginning, their career is over.

    Production pressure is the enemy of creativity and writing quality. Don't let the shibboleths of writing fool you. Those shibboleths are promoted by writers who found a way to deal with production pressure so that it didn't exhaust them and turn their writing into crap, and we simply never hear from the people who failed at that because there's no market for their advice. They have no advice to give.

    It's fine to talk about motivation and ambition, but those have to come from the inside. If you want a career as a writer, the first thing you have to do is find out whether you CAN produce quality work under production pressure. Some writers can, and some can't. For your friend, who wants to produce only one book and then quit, the best approach is probably to write only when she feels motivated and not write when she doesn't. That way her work will be the best it can be, and, if she happens to lose interest in it for a period of time, she can do other things without anyone suffering any harm.

    One thing your friend might want to consider, however, is how an agent or publisher would view a writer who wants to produce only one book and then quit. My guess is that such a book would be a very difficult sell, especially to agents, because of the absence of an ongoing revenue stream. Both agents and publishers need to boil the pot on an ongoing basis in order to stay in business. If a writer plans only ever to write one book, they're unlikely to be interested.
     
    jannert likes this.
  24. Renee J
    Offline

    Renee J Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    463
    Likes Received:
    214
    Location:
    Reston, VA
    You can also force yourself to write everyday and edit, edit, edit. Though, that may not be any faster than waiting for inspiration.
     
    jannert likes this.
  25. Rory_Frost
    Offline

    Rory_Frost New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2014
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    2
    I have only just begun to take my writing more seriously so I am still finding my pattern. Though I am always advised to write, even just for ten minutes daily, if the spark isn't there, I cannot produce a word to save my life. My story is always there in the back of my mind. I am constantly mentally writing but perhaps this is a form of procrastination...To answer your final question, no. I do not force myself to write daily for the sake of it, if I have no emotion to write from. Maybe this is not the best way to write, but it is my way.
     

Share This Page