The Weekly Screen & Fiction Writers' Tips

Do you know what the time is?

In Authors and Books on 11/01/2014 at 16:50

clock 2


let’s get our ass in gear

and get down

to some work.

Time’s moving on…


So are you bashing the board? Tip-tapping those keys? Scribbling that pad? Pounding that typewriter?

Are you writing?

Now you’re either making excuses for not writing, you don’t know when to write, or you don’t know what to write. You could really be a master liar and use all three reasons.

So do you want to be a writer or not? Do you just want to pose and tell the world you’re a writer, hoping that the world will think you’re some kind of intellectual? Is it something you’re telling a new girlfriend, or boyfriend, so they would be more impressed with you. In other words, are you following up on your own publicity machine? Then write for God’s sake.

3 images clock

Now another problem with time is tripping you up…

What’s that Nev?

You’re going to ask me how much you should write and when you should write to become a writer?


Let’s get this point clear from the outset. Ask that question to all the professional writers alive or dead and you will get a different answer. Some like writing early in the morning, some prefer to burn the night light. Some prefer it when the kids are at school. Some write when the kids go to bed instead of watching television. Some prefer to write for a couple of hours in the morning, go to gym in the afternoon, have something to eat and write at night. Get to bed early and wake up early the next day and repeat the sequence. You see? You see?

I have tried most combinations before settling for my preferred way of working. I prefer early morning, or late at night, or to go to some cafe somewhere and spend a few hours there listening and watching the human buzz around me. When I’m at home, it’s usually quiet, so I play music either through a pair of headphones or through speakers. You see that’s another thing… A lot of people cannot write with noise around them, some can only write with music playing, and even the type of music differs. I love music full stop. So you will hear anything playing while I’m typing, usually the more obscure the better. At the moment, I am listening to ‘In the terror of the moment’ by The Doomed Bird of Providence. A track from their ‘Collision/Detection’ Box set. A beautiful guitar and violin instrumental track.

It’s up to you, when you write, if you want music, or the sound of nature, or even how much to write. Some writers are happy writing one sentence per day. Some are only satisfied if they’ve written x number of words (I can’t work that way). I will know instinctively when to stop and it’s usually on a high, so I can be rip roaring rampant to start my next writing session.

There are some weird formulas out there about writing. You know the ones…  Write 3,000 words a day and in 30 days you’ve written a novel. Or write 1,000 words a day and you’ll write a novel in three months. You can follow these formulas if you want, that’s up to you. But remember you’re not going to have a life for three months and you’re likely to suffer a burnout because you’ve been clock and word watching every day. And if you are a dedicated novelist, then you will need to allow yourself some reading time too. Reading in the genre you write in. And me… s a screenwriter, I have to leave time to write, read a few scripts and watch a few films EVERY WEEK. As a writer you need to learn how to manage your time.

But remember, a once a year holiday swimmer is NEVER  going to be an olympic athlete. No! That is for the swimmer who swims a few hours every day. Likewise with writing. If you want to be a professional, then write daily. Treat your writing like a job. Writing needs commitment, dedication and belief. And if you want to become a fluent, respected writer, then you experiment with the time, when to write, how much you need to write, and what sort of environment suits you best. Try all the variables. Remember, you are attempting to write your own working contract. The number of hours, how much productivity and your working environment ares all set by you.

images 3

So, last week we said that 2014 is the year of What If… Keep asking that question as you arrange your working environs. What if you changed those thoughts about you as a writer to more positive ones? What would happen? There’s only one way to find out.

Until next week… keep well, be blessed with love, peace and try to understand others. Try not to judge them. You are you. And they are they. If you want harmony, learn to be accepting.

Peace. Peace. Peace. In your heart and in your lives.

All my loving to you and yours



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