Staying put

I've added around 700 words to a short story I'm working on this morning. 700 likely terrible words that will need a lot of editing. But 700 words to work with is better than a blank page. I did that in about 40 minutes at my desk. I've been with this story for a while so I can work reasonably quickly with it. I'm currently re-drafting it from a different point of view. I started in first person, switched to third but have moved back to first again and am sticking with that.


I've taken advice from Neil Gaiman (I think it was him) and adopted the approach of when I'm at my desk I can do 1 of 2 things:

  1. I can do nothing

  2. I can write

Allowing myself to do nothing is a nice way to take the pressure off needing to write. But not allowing anything else also means that writing starts to look like an intriguing idea when I'm bored from doing nothing. I've had success with that idea and now when I do sit down at my desk, I do get work done.


But I think I need to work on staying here longer. I've done 40 minutes of writing. In reality, that's a nice amount but it's not a mega-amount. It's the weekend so I feel like I should be spending hours and hours at my desk. Taking advantage of all this free time. I feel guilty for not doing so. But it's quite exhausting this writing stuff.


I'm going to start setting a stopwatch on my phone (turning the screen off so it doesn't distract me as I work) whenever I sit down at my desk to write. I'll take note of the times and see if I can edge the amount of time I spend writing up little by little. I think I'd feel better if I dedicated hours to writing each day instead of minutes.


40 minutes today. Maybe 41 minutes tomorrow.

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