There isn’t anything much more intimidating to a writer than a blank page.
A blinking cursor.
And a deadline.
Somehow, in the next three or six months you have to pull eighty to ninety thousand words out of your head and throw them into some semblance of order.
And do it well.
What is the one key thing that will get you to that goal?
Some people depend on speed to get them through to the finish line. They can pour words on the page in writing spurts that make my head spin. They can write an entire novella in a week. Or a novel in a month.
Other people depend on their muse – writing only when it strikes. They may write for four hours one day, and not again until three days later when they find the idea for the next scene.
Some people depend on catching what little time they can out of their busy schedule. Five minutes here, twenty minutes there….
Whatever your writing style, there is one key ingredient you need to have:
Persistence is that drip, drip, drip of water
seeping into solid granite.
One by one the words come.
Persistence doesn’t let life interrupt the commitment.
If you have a life that likes to intrude on your writing (and who doesn’t?), make time when the little ones are asleep, or when everyone is out of the house, or when someone else can care for things at home for an hour while you grab solitude at the coffee shop.
Before my children graduated from our homeschool, I rose an hour earlier than they did and wrote. I would write seven hundred fifty to one thousand words a day while they slept.
Persistence protects the writing time.
Turn off the text and tweet messages. Don’t answer your phone. Close the internet browser. Don’t answer the door. Set a timer, and don’t do anything but write until that timer goes off.
I set my timer for twenty-five minutes. When it goes off, I change the laundry, or let the dog out, or check my email, and after five minutes, I set the timer again.
Persistence forms a habit.
If possible, write in the same place at the same time each day. Write for the same amount of time each day. Aim for the same word count each day. Day by day, day after day, builds habit.
Have you discovered the joy of habit? One thousand words a day, five days a week, will give you 250,000 words in a year.
Two hundred fifty thousand words in one year.
How many books is that? In my world of writing for Love Inspired Historical, that’s three books, and a bit more.
That’s the kind of output agents and editors love.
Will you make persistence a key weapon in your writing arsenal?
It is the relentless power that can split boulders and crumble mountains.