I'm finishing the last chapters of my novel, and I've given myself a deadline. It's far different from the days when I meandered through the week, writing when and if I felt like it. I was always surprised at how little I accomplished. The idea of actually getting published and then having a deadline for the next book was scary. Scary enough to make me question if I had what it took to be a writer.
I just received my May/June copy of Writer's Digest in the mail. My favorite column is Breaking In, where three debut novelists are interviewed. This month, I was intrigued by what Anne Lyle, author of The Alchemist of Souls said.
When asked what she learned, Lyle says, "The change of gears from working at my own pace--even on a self-imposed deadline--to working to order. I went into this three-book deal with only one book finished, which means I have to be highly disciplined and write whether I feel like it or not." If she could do it again, Lyle would have started seriously writing much sooner.
Great advice. And to keep myself disciplined, I've been reviewing some advice meant to keep my nose to the grindstone. Like these:
Randy Ingermanson's Tactics of the Winning Novelist
Kenda Turner's Aim, Shoot, Bull's-eye
Timothy Hallinan's free Finish Your Novel course
In the same Writer's Digest issue, author Lisa See mentions her mother's practice of writing one thousand words every day before doing anything else (her mom is author Carolyn See, who wrote Making a Literary Life).
So what do you do to make yourself write on a regular basis? Is it a schedule? Having others hold you accountable? Or do you have another secret you're willing to share?