Monday, 10 May 2010


I want to write, but I don't just want to write random words on a page. Whether the page is milled smooth or backlit, I need to write. But the balance of work, life and writing isn't rolling like a bottle on the table of the pirate schooner on the high seas or cornering like a learner driver. My writing is on a slowest but spin-iest of cycles: Ferris wheel crazy. For a roller coaster fan - the archaic shake rattle and roll variety or the velocity of  ultra-new shiny version - I'm scared of the Ferris wheel. I think it's the rush and hover, the crazy shakes, the dip into the dangerous and the hanging around. Writing, to me, is a Ferris Wheel ride - fast or slow: an adrenaline rush.

There many things that make a difference to the way I work - and the number of times I have to revise my writing at the end. When writing time is limited these are the things I intend to achieve everyday:

  • Drink - dehydration messes with my head 
  • Plan (downscaled to the section I intend to complete) - it cuts down on the amount of time I need to stop and think 
  • Write
  • Stop working - the pain in the neck is real problem
  • Set the next writing target
  • Don't let writing targets drag me down
  • Keep the visualisation of the scene in mind 
  • Learn from others
  • Help someone 
  • Write
This is my daily evaluation list/mantra. If I've achieved every one of the things on my list it has been a very good day. 

Do you set daily targets to work towards?


  1. Nope - my kids' schedules are way too random from one day to the next. I sneak it in when I can or when my hubby clears me a chunk of time. :-)

  2. Shannon here's to non-random schedules ;)When I wrote NEAR EDGWARE I was almost nocturnal -although that implies sleeping by day rather than working

  3. No, I can't set targets. When I find I have a couple of free hours, I write like a mad woman. When Monster Baby is gone for some reason, a significant amount of time (like the day she went with her little friend to the fair) I was a maniac and I think wrote like 15k.

    If I can 'think' about my current wip at least once a day, I'm doing something.

  4. The little monsters are only little once, I didn't write when the cherubs were small: to shut myself off from them would have been unthinkable. Enjoy: the years of lightning fast development are precious.

  5. I don't set targets either. Life is too chaotic. I never know when or if I'll find time for more than a sentence of two. Often I only manage ten or 20 minutes to write. So I just cross my fingers and do my best :)

  6. I go in spurts and cycles. I'm more like the crazy roller coaster than the nice predictable ferris wheel!

  7. I try, I do honest. I get a routine, then it fails. I start again and life gets in the way.
    I am on such an emotional roller coaster at the moment, that my writing routine is out of the window.

    I liked your list, drink is good. I usually have a glass of village wine at the end of my writing day. ;0

  8. Hi Jemi, targets are a useful spur or a millstone depending on the pressure.I write something every day, but I agree twenty minutes is, often, a week day total.
    Karen - don't you be fooled by the Ferris wheel into thinking it's predictable - there's no reasonable amount of g-force keeping you safe - pitching and rocking and hanging around are WAY scary! I think it is true though, I would love the predictable - allocated - writing time minus the work-a-day guilt.
    Hi Glynis - emotional roller coaster crises? Misery. Take care of you. The writing will take care of itself later. The things that are sent to try us often make for writing in depth, though. Glass of wine? I'd be asleep on the key board within minutes ;) I veer towards water and push it to water with unnecessary bubbles if I'm feeling adventurous!

  9. I DO set daily writing goals, but not every day. I take some days to just do errands or to take care of house chores. :)