Does this routine sound familiar? Every day you get up - intentions as hot and fiery as your obligatory mug of freshly roasted coffee - and head to the computer to see if today is the day you’ll make real headway on that novel/short story/blog post/industry white paper/catchy headline.
Spoiler alert: the answer is usually “not as much as you’d like”.
With all the Facebook posts, tweets, and emails you churn out in an average day, it sure FEELS like you’re writing a lot, but really, those are all just distractions disguised as ‘building your writing platform’. And you can’t add those posts and emails to your bibliography.
So how do you turn this routine on its head and make writing a habit that actually produces results?
Take a leaf out of the (many many) books of prolific writers like Nora Roberts, James Patterson, and Stephen King.
By her own estimate, it takes Nora Roberts (a romance novelist who also pens detective fiction under the pseudonym J.D Robb) around 45 days to write a novel. And then she starts the next one. "Sometimes the house has to be shovelled out so I sometimes have a day before I start the next one," she says. "But not usually longer than that."
Another high-volume author, James Patterson, has produced nearly 150 books (mostly co-authored, but still), with 15 of those released in 2014 alone.
Stephen King has written over 500 novels, non-fiction books, short stories, essays, novellas, movie and television screenplays, comics, poems, and anthologies since his first, Carrie, was published in 1974.
And the list goes on. And on. And on.
You might argue that quantity does not equal quality and you would be 100% correct. However, between their novels and screenplays, and your Facebook posts, which one do you think looks more like writing? And which one is more likely to get you paid?
Whichever way you approach it, actually finishing that writing project feels a whole lot better than not, so see how to get it done with our infographic: Writing in 6 simple steps.