There are three things every writer needs - a story to tell, a way to tell it and the opportunity.
Everyone has their own ideas about the first two items on this list. Put three writers together and you’ll come up with a dozen different plots. Each of them will have their preferred way of working, too. That can be dictation and voice-recognition software, typing straight onto the computer screen, good old pencil and paper or a combination of all three.
It’s getting the opportunity to write that causes all the trouble. Here are three tips I found useful when working on Lady Rascal, and my current WIP, Jewel Under Siege.
1. TIMETABLING: When do you do your best writing? If it’s first thing in the morning, set your alarm an hour earlier and use that time just for writing. If it’s after work or the children’s bedtime, lay in plenty of coffee and get writing once it's quiet. DO NOTHING ELSE! Don’t let yourself get distracted by anything at all. Set a kitchen timer, or call on the team at #1k1hr on Twitter to get yourself motivated.
2. A SPACE OF YOUR OWN: Make sure you've got your own dedicated writing area. No matter how small, it'll be your private territory and that will give you a boost. It also means you don't have to hunt all around the house for your dictionary, thesaurus and other reference books, once they're all concentrated in one place. If your writing space doesn't include access to the Internet, that's better still-unless you're single-minded enough not to go online while you're working. The net is a great help with research, but it can turn into a terrible time-waster.
|Mother's Little Helpers|
3. SHORT CUTS: Online shopping is a Godsend for the time-poor. Try your local supermarket delivery services. They're convenient and reduce the amount of impulse-buying, too. The discipline of making out a list to shop just once a week is another time-saver if you usually hit the aisles every day. We use Abel and Cole and Laverstoke Park Farm, too, for those times when there's nothing in the garden.
Of course, all these tips can easily be adapted to other areas of your life, such as reading or hobbies. How do you organise your own "me time"?
If you'd like to keep up with the latest news about Jewel Under Siege, you can subscribe to Christina’s newsletter by sending her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with the word “subscribe” in the subject line. You can also read her blog athttp://www.christinahollis.blogspot.com, and see a complete list of her published books athttp://www.christinahollis.com.