Early June 2011
What are your writing habits?
I recently read that Ruth Dugdale, winner of the CWA Debut Dagger in 2005 and author of three novels, writes a thousand words a day. Others have their own goals; some write five hundred, some a minimum of two thousand. A friend of mine attended a Jeffery Deaver event where he said that he spends eight months researching his books, then writes solidly for two months.
As new writers, many of us don’t enjoy the luxury of being able to write full time, often fitting it around day jobs and family commitments, squeezing it into every spare moment we have. An old writing tutor of mine gave me a great tip. Associated ‘thinking time’ can be done anywhere: in a supermarket queue, waiting for your child to finish swim class, driving home from work. Notes can be made on trains, during lunch hours. Penning even a few lines during a spare moment, something that can later be added and edited, all adds up.
I was initially intimidated by other writers’ habits, lambasting myself for not having set goals. But if my experience has taught me anything it is that we all have our own methods. And what works for one, certainly doesn’t work for another.
I found that committing myself back to writing my second novel, blog, short stories, meant that I wasn’t constantly checking my inbox for the result of my recent submissions. So, I decided to write for an hour every day. In practise – well it doesn’t work all the time, sometimes I go several days with no spare time, but generally, most days, I get on the PC and write or edit something.
Jane Isaac is very much a Newbie, she doesn’t even have a website yet (one day…) and with a day job, a family and a very demanding black Labrador, she squeezes her writing into every spare moment she gets. Join her on the rocky road from pen to publication – hopefully!