I’ve been struggling a lot with this. I know myself pretty well, so having a set time everyday and forcing myself to do something doesn’t always work for me. To-do lists seem to help, though; instead of telling myself I’ll get something done at this time, I say I’ll get this done today and, lo and behold, it gets done. So, I’m trying a similar writing schedule out on myself.
I’ve decided that I will write at least two pages a day during the week for my primary project (this is the first draft of the novel I want to introduce myself to the world with) while focusing on my secondary project (the series I mentioned before) during the weekends. …It’s half-working. I’ve been doing pretty well with the weekday stuff (except for last night when I got a massive headache out of nowhere), but I’ve yet to really shift gears during the weekend to work on the second project.
Yet the most difficult thing of all? Getting started. I know all you writers out there can relate to this, too. Passionate as we are about the craft, actually sitting our butts down and doing it is tough! Almost everyday I put it off…and put it off…and put it off some more until I finally just suck it up and put pen to paper. And once I get started, it’s really hard to stop…until I hit a wall, but that’s a different story.
I don’t know why getting started is so hard to do, especially since it’s so enjoyable once the momentum picks up. Maybe it’s from unconscious* self-doubt or the fear of losing the story as you’re writing it (I really hope what I just said makes sense), but either way, determination to actually get what’s in my head on to paper seems to be the way around it. That and the reactions I got when some of my coworkers read the opening scene is pretty inspiring. So, until this current writing strategy doesn’t work anymore, I’m going to keep using it.
*Quick aside: why on earth is “unconscious” spelled with an s? You don’t even pronounce the letter when you say the word. Seriously, how is it that “sc” makes the “ch” sound? English makes no sense!