Pt 2: What I Learnt While Writing a Book
(or: what I won’t do next time)
I let myself be distracted too readily.
When I’m working on a big writing project it is just too easy to say, I should make something nice for dessert tonight, or ring someone I haven’t spoken to in a while, or linger too long over breakfast with the crossword (I ‘m not a morning person and getting up from the table takes WILL power!). I am now determined to have a set time to write EVERY week day - no ifs, buts or, I feel inspiration-deprived.
I WILL set myself to write a daily word quota. And I won’t beat myself up if it’s all rubbish; at least I will have written something and ‘something’ can always be worked on for improvement. I have set quotas in the past, but not dealing with the ‘rubbish’ issue always de-railed me.
One thing a University education teaches is that you have options, and you learn which options you’re good at. But the broad spectrum of an undergraduate course of study means you tend to flit from one subject to another, retaining only the basics of each in order to pass an exam or submit an assignment. It’s possible to be competent without excelling. Until three years ago I wrote only short fiction, which may be likened to undergraduate course study – got that one down pat, done the assignment, on to the next thing.
Writing a book taught me that focus is essential. Writing a book requires a mindset that’s prepared for the long-haul while still keeping an eye on the high calling to complete the project! Not focusing means the book takes longer to write than it should do. I won’t let that happen next time.
For me, daydreaming is best confined to the period of time I'm thinking about the next book and that oh so glorious time when I've completed it!