Thanks so much to Shar and Jenny for inviting me to guest blog today! When you see the title of this blog, take into account that I’m a Libra, aka an air sign, so that’s probably why, instead of saying I write fast, I have to make the statement airy-fairy. But since you’re Writers in the Storm, it fits, right?
But first a disclaimer about the title. It’s not exactly true. The steps may sound easy, but things can sometimes sound easy until you try to do them, right? It works for me, though.
I’m on a 25 pages per day clip right now, not counting blog writing. Here’s how I do it:
It’s a constant reminder of where I need to be before I go to bed.
2. I set aside a period of time, two weeks if I’m lucky, and do my level best not to schedule anything during that time.
No hair, dentist, or doctor appointments, and definitely no lunch dates! Yes, life can throw you a curve and tank the plan, but you have more control over your calendar than you might think.
3. I live alone, so I stock in the food I need.
My goal is to shop for food as little as possible. If you live with others who can cook or fetch food for you, enlist them. Snack food you can eat at the computer is also helpful.
4. I keep my internet presence to a minimum.
The pressure of that page goal on the fridge helps enormously with that. I feel guilty for every minute I spend on email or Facebook because it’s not moving me toward that goal.
5. I follow my exercise program.
For me, that’s walking about two miles every morning and stretching before I go to bed. Your routine may well be different, but I hope you have one, because it’s critical to stay energized and healthy. This is not the time to slack off. Getting sick is not an option!
6. I have a deadline and I’m serious about meeting it.
The daily page goal is based on my deadline. Sometimes it’s a publisher deadline and other times it’s a personal deadline now that I’m a hybrid author who’s also self-publishing. Doesn’t matter. Deadlines are sacrosanct.
7. I let friends and family know I’m on a Write Like the Wind schedule.
Now that I’ve spent 30-plus years of writing for a living, most of the people in my life get that, but it’s taken time and training. When I meet my goal, then I turn into a social butterfly. Until then, I’m wrapped in my cocoon. They’ve learned to respect that.
8. I give myself a couple of small rewards during the day.
One is a quick tarot card reading, which is my hobby, and the other is writing morning pages. Some of you may recognize morning pages from Julia Cameron’s THE ARTIST’S WAY. While writing morning pages may seem counterintuitive, it’s a treat for me to write random thoughts with pen and paper because I’m not typing narrative and dialogue.
9. I don’t watch the news or read about awful things happening in the world.
My creativity is negatively impacted by bad news. Sometimes the bad news is too important or too close to home to ignore, and when that happens, my Write Like the Wind program is shot to hell. So whenever possible, I avoid bad news that doesn’t require an immediate response from me.
10. I remind myself every day, sometimes every hour, how lucky I am to have found work that I love.
Too many people in the world have no idea what kind of work makes them happy. If you’ve discovered that writing makes you happy, you’re way ahead of the game. If you’ve managed to make money doing it, you’re really blessed.
That’s it! I realize that my Write Like the Wind method won’t work for everyone. We all have different circumstances and different personalities. But I started this list with the page goal on the fridge because it’s honestly the most concrete, kick-in-the-butt trick I know. If you take nothing else from the list, I urge you to try it. And now I need to get back to meeting my current page goal! It’s on the fridge!
What sort of tricks do you have up your sleeve
to help you Write Like the Wind?
* * * * * *
Vicki is giving away TWO copies of her book, Cowboys & Angels, to two lucky commenters (international or domestic WITS readers can win) so let’s shower her with comment love!!
A romance writing career has brought Vicki Lewis Thompson many wonderful things –New York Times bestseller status, an appearance on LIVE with Regis and Kelly, the Nora Roberts Lifetime Achievement Award from Romance Writers of America, thousands of readers, many dear friends, and the cutest little yellow convertible in the world. Her career has also given her work she loves.
Although she’s written more than 100 books, she continues to be fascinated by the many ways that a man and woman fall in love. The age-old story remains a challenging puzzle to be solved anew with each book. That makes her a very lucky person, indeed.
Find out more at http://vickilewisthompson.com/.