FIVE MONTHS LATER:
I realise I still want to write this story. I have an image that won’t go away, stolen from a newspaper. I am already scared the idea is no longer topical. But start to write it anyway.
I now have a solid six page treatment. And a window of time in which to complete a first draft. But I am slow. So I’m going to give myself a timeline.
A SCENE A DAY – FOR TWO MONTHS
I am not the first person to think of this but I like the randomness of this idea. It’s also the opposite of how I write. I tend to think about a sequence or a moment for a few days (I told you I was slow) before finally writing a scene or two.
But I do like a deadline. And I am vaguely competitive…!
Writers are fascinated by process – especially other writers’ process. When they meet other writers they say ‘How many hours a day do you write?’ Mostly so they can then beat themselves up about how lazy they are by comparison. The other writer then feels duty bound to say, ‘Oh but I am terribly slow, I never get enough done, I am so easily distracted.’ To which the first writer replies either, ‘But you’re so prolific!’ (no pressure there then) or, ‘Oh I know, it’s so hard when you’re working/have children/a dog to find the time to write.’
My good friend Hilary, an excellent – and prolific – writer told me she once attended a prestigious literary conference. One of her favourite Irish novelists was there and, at the end of the event, gave her this invaluable piece of advice about writing:
‘Just put your arse on the chair.’
Follow my progress week by week- and mark your own progress too if you like!
Twitter @emlin32 #scriptsmart