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Just do it!

he difference between being a writer and being a wannabe is unambiguous. Those people who are

writers, write - wannabes don't or don't consistently. Writers write whether they want to or not, whether it's cold and wet or gloriously seductively sunny. They write when they are happy or when they are sad. They write whether or not they are in possession of their special pen, their handcrafted, £25K shepherd's hut, their special supply of exquisitely beautiful notebooks or the very latest writing software downloaded to their laptop. That's not to say that having the right rituals and the right equipment, 'a room of one's own' and all that is not helpful, of course, it is (I struggle to do much without a strong, black coffee,) but it's the determination to write that matters. People who haven't met me tend to assume I'm disciplined. Nothing could be further from the truth but when I was at my most productive, I hesitate to use the word most efficient, I was uncharacteristically disciplined. My four kids were small, the youngest part time at nursery, my house was in a permanent state of chaos, my husband often worked abroad and I had roughly two hours a day to work in. I never wasted a minute of that precious two hours, or at least that's how I choose to remember it now. These days, when I have significantly more time to write, I will even blog to avoid the discipline of the endless 'what next?' I have a few theories on what works to replicate that sense of urgency and delight that made me work best when I had least time. Here are some ideas: Limit the amount of time to work - a half hour slot and no more, say, so that rather than trying to avoid it, you actively look forward to the allotted time. Write before you get up in the morning or before you leave the house for work. I know this is more helpful for those who don't have to be in the office for 6.00am. Some people do daily pages then or just 500 words and find it either gets their creative juices flowing for further work or they choose to work in small increments of 500 words a day. Small steps but they still get you where you want to go. The alternative is to work at night when everything is quiet and no one is likely to hassle you with emails or demands for supper/wine/ a glass of water. Establish a routine. Pick a time to work and stick to it. Write every day. (Even at my most productive, I don't write every day unless I am working on a book.) People who do write every day write a lot more books than I do - so it is almost certainly an excellent plan. Set yourself targets if not of time then of word count. Share them with others, post a daily word count do whatever you need to do to shame yourself into doing it. You've probably come across all these before. I would add that it really helps to go into a writing session determined to put words on the page no matter what. Some days everything you write is truly diabolical, that's OK you can always rewrite it. Some days you think everything you write is a work of genius only to discover that it too is diabolical. And some days are very good days when you only write good words in the right order and everything is wonderful. Whatever day it is going to be, you have to open your laptop/typewriter/trusty notebook/sheet of vellum and just do it - write!

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