Yesterday, I began writing. I was up late, into the early hours of yesterday, getting my community all set up and wound up feeling exhausted all day because I’m apparently an old man who can barely function on 4-5 hours of sleep. As a result, I’m a little behind where I’d like to be in terms of word count. Not too far, maybe 500 words, but far enough that I really had to struggle to decided whether going to bed was a better decision than just powering though until I reached 1,666 words. Unfortunately, the decision was taken out of my hands once I started dozing off around 11:30pm. Sometimes, I can write quite proficiently when I’m dozing off. Last night was not one of those nights.
That being said, it still felt delightful to be getting back to writing, even if I’m still not sure where my story is going or what it’s really going to wind up being about. The verb tense and narrator have changed twice so far. The person (as in, first person or third person) has only changed once so far, but I wouldn’t bet against it happening again. I’m excited to get home from work and get back to writing this story! I hope your writing efforts are starting off well!
As writers, or creators in general, we often feel we do our best work in a safe space we’ve identified. Be it a quiet office, the privacy of our bedroom, or the bubbly atmosphere of our favorite coffee shop, we all have a place we feel is key to doing our best work (or maybe even key to doing any work at all). What places does your character have that make them feel comfortable like this? How do they handle when one of these spaces is invaded? When one of these spaces is taken from them? Write a scene about your character dealing with the loss of one of their favorite places and how they try to protect or reclaim it.
I am a giant nerd. There’s no pretending that’s not true and I like to embrace it when I can. If this case, I embrace video game music from games I’ve enjoyed. Good video game music is obtrusive enough to be noticed, but not so much that it demands focus until you actively put the game aside to listen to it, at which point it reveals its hidden depths. This makes it ideal for me when it comes to writing or focusing on a difficult task. One of my favorite collects (partially for nostalgia and partially because of the variation in the music) is a one-hour video of route music from various Pokemon games. Check it out and see if it helps you buckle down and focus when your mind begins to wander away from your writing.
The best trick I have up my sleeve is perseverance. Write every day, even if it’s not a “full” amount. Sit down, open your notebook or word document or whatever, take a look at what you’ve got so far, and add to it. Repetition is the key to building a good habit and even a few minutes here or there is enough to keep it up. Write every day and write everywhere. Don’t skip a day because you’re busy. Bring a notebook with you or find a way to get your document onto your phone (google drive is excellent for mobile document editing) so you can write on the go. Write on breaks, between meetings, and while waiting for the bus (I don’t think any of you take the bus, but you know what I mean). Just write. As Shia Lebeouf famously said, “Just DO IT.” Or, if you’d prefer, as every author I’ve ever asked for their best advice has said: “WRITE!”