I'm writing a novel, the first draft of which can be found elsewhere on the site. Over here you'll find my thoughts about writing.
Let's start with momentum. Over the past period I've had to divide my time and attention between my novel and my thesis, with the latter having the more pressing dead-line attached to it (I'll need to finish it by mid-november at the latest). I didn't want to stop working on the novel altogether, but for a while I was down to 500+ words a week. I've found that, though it's possible to keep going at that pace, it's as hard as trying to slowly ride a bike. For the past few weeks I've been back to writing 1,000+ words a week, and the going's been much easier and I think right now it takes me about as much time to write 1,000 words as it did to write 500. I feel I'm getting back in the groove, writing is fun again and I even believe that my productivity on the thesis has actually increased.
Lesson number two: writing should be a habit. When I get on a train, the first thing I do after hanging up my coat and settling down is to get out my pen and my notebook and to start writing. Same thing when I'm in a restaurant waiting for my food to arrive. During the 500-words-a-week interval I had pretty much stopped writing on trains or anywhere else except sitting at home with my laptop in front of me. Once I decided to go back to 1,000+ words a week I made a conscious effort to go back to writing whenever I had the opportunity, and right now I do it without thinking. I tend to get a lot of writing done that way.
Lesson number three: writing should be a joy. It's fine if it's difficult and frustrating at times, but on the average it should be nicer than at least some of the other stuff going on in my life.
This article was written after writing episode 71 of the first draft of my novel After the War.
After the War (71)
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