Writing every day…

There was a time when i just wrote when i felt like it. I didn’t sit down with a word count in mind and not finish until i’d met it. It worked, but not as well as i wanted. Some days, i didn’t feel inspired and so i didn’t write. I’d write in my head, plotting things out, creating characters, building words, but there was the odd day where i didn’t get anything on paper– or screen.
Stephen King’s advice came in pretty useful at some point. I don’t know where i read it, don’t know when he said it, but it made me realise i might be doing things wrong. King writes 2000 words a day minimum or he feels as if the characters go stale in his head, that he loses interest in them– i’m paraphrasing, but it was something along those lines. And i realised that there were times when this happened to me. So i decided i needed to be stricter with myself. A couple years back i set myself a target of 1,500 words a day, and i didn’t stop until i’d hit it. Sometimes i went over, well over if it was a good day, but i never let myself do less. It was tough at first, but then it wasn’t at all. The story flowed better, the characters and world seemed more real.
After a few months, my minimum word count for a day went up to 2000 and that’s what i keep to still. I can do over 2000 words a day, but i never let myself do under. And it gets easier and easier to meet that. Like any job, there are deadlines and rules to writing, and the minimum, set word count worked really well for me. It might be different for other people. Many writers only write when they’re inspired. Some set themselves crazy word counts. But 2000 words works for me. I get most of, if not all, of those words done in the morning. I start somewhere between 5 and 5:30 AM. Some people are morning writers, some afternoon, some evening and well into the night.
Does anyone else set themselves a goal for the day and not stop until they meet it? What’s your writing process?

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About Sam Whitehouse

Sam spends most of his time in a different world to other people. If it isn’t one he’s created himself, it’s one he’s reading about. In the rare moments when this isn’t the case, Sam can either be found addicted to a sci-fi or crime show, re-watching Marvel movies, finishing up an assignment for his final year of studying Creative Writing at Sheffield Hallam University, or trying to get the dozens of ideas for stories in his head under some kind of control. Sam has lived in the same small village in Yorkshire, surrounded by countryside on all sides ever since he could remember. His childhood saw him get into plenty of scrapes climbing trees and crossing rivers and generally believing he was Indiana Jones. Sam gives credit to his Grandad for him wanting to be a writer, and his bedtime stories for keeping Sam’s imagination stoked. But credit must also go to Steven Spielberg, J K Rowling and Stephen King, who have provided plenty of inspiration over the years, too. Sam writes what he reads, and that is pretty much anything—save romance. Fantasy, thrillers, or crime: once an idea takes root, he can’t stop until the world, characters, and plot are on paper. A huge Marvel fan, Sam one day hopes to pen a screenplay for one of their movies, or direct one, or do anything at all related to one. Until then, he’ll stick to his own fantasy worlds and wait for Marvel’s phone call.

Posted on 02/24/2015, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I also write best with a daily target – not as much as either you or Stephen King though – 1000 words written or edited, 5 days a week minimum (or 5000 words weekly target.) I always make the best progress when I do this – whether I’m in the mood or not. As King says (and I’m paraphrasing here) Don’t wait around for the muse to strike. If you’re at your desk at the same time every day, the Muse knows exactly where to find you.

    It doesn’t matter if the quality is not there – there’s always something you can salvage. You can sift more quality writing from 5000 words of dross than you ever can from a blank sheet of paper.

  2. Sam Whitehouse

    Targets work, mate, no doubt. King is full of great advice. On Writing is an awesome book for writers.

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