#WritingAdviceWednesday – Incremental Progress to Write One Novel or Screenplay a Year

doctorow_150x224In The One-Hour Screenwriter and my upcoming Thriller and The Power of Truth book, I recommend writing for one hour a day.  Cory Doctorow, an extremely prolific writer, has his schedule down to 20 minutes a day.

Cory is co-parenting new father who writes at least a book per year, half-a-dozen columns a month, ten or more blog posts a day, plus assorted novellas and stories and speeches.

Here is his take on incremental progress and he recommends:

Short, regular work schedule
When I’m working on a story or novel, I set a modest daily goal — usually a page or two — and then I meet it every day, doing nothing else while I’m working on it.
Leave yourself a rough edge
When you hit your daily word-goal, stop. Stop even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. Especially if you’re in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you sit down at the keyboard the next day, your first five or ten words are already ordained, so that you get a little push before you begin your work.
Don’t research
Researching isn’t writing and vice-versa. When you come to a factual matter that you could google in a matter of seconds, don’t. … type “TK” where your fact should go, as in “The Brooklyn bridge, all TK feet of it, sailed into the air like a kite.” “TK” appears in very few English words … so a quick search through your document for “TK” will tell you whether you have any fact-checking to do afterwards.
Don’t be ceremonious
Forget advice about finding the right atmosphere to coax your muse into the room. … You can put up with noise/silence/kids/discomfort/hunger for 20 minutes.
http://www.locusmag.com/Features/2009/01/cory-doctorow-writing-in-age-of.html
1. A short, regular work schedule
When I’m working on a story or novel, I set a modest daily goal — usually a page or two — and then I meet it every day, doing nothing else while I’m working on it (for 20 minutes a day).
.
2. Leaving yourself a rough edge
When you hit your daily word-goal, stop. Stop even if you’re in the middle of a sentence. Especially if you’re in the middle of a sentence. That way, when you sit down at the keyboard the next day, your first five or ten words are already ordained, so that you get a little push before you begin your work.
.
3. Don’t research
Researching isn’t writing and vice-versa. When you come to a factual matter that you could google in a matter of seconds, don’t. … type “TK” where your fact should go, as in “The Brooklyn bridge, all TK feet of it, sailed into the air like a kite.” “TK” appears in very few English words … so a quick search through your document for “TK” will tell you whether you have any fact-checking to do afterwards.
.
4. Don’t be ceremonious
Forget advice about finding the right atmosphere to coax your muse into the room. … You can put up with noise/silence/kids/discomfort/hunger for 20 minutes. (For those 20 minutes all you do is write and don’t all ANY distractions in.)

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