Honoured to be closing off the Death’s Silent Judgement by Anne Coates blog tour today. Death’s Silent Judgement is the thrilling sequel to Dancers in the Wind and the second book in the Hannah Weybridge series. The book is out now and available to purchase from Amazon. For my stop I have a fabulous guest post on the authors writing day.
My writing day…
So here I am in my sitting room, laptop in its designated place on my lap, feet up on the coffee table. Do I look like an industrious writer? Probably not. However, my writing day doesn’t begin like this. I’m an insomniac and also wake early so I get on with some plotting and/or writing from the comfort of my bed. Morning is my most productive time to write but sometimes that gets hijacked by family and other commitments.
Being able to schedule time to write is a luxury that sometimes has to be put on hold while I get on with my “day job” which is usually editing or abridging books. I write almost every day and sometimes this involves articles or reviews for the parenting website (www.parentingwithouttears.com) I run. I also have to edit contributions from a variety of writers.
I don’t think you should be precious about when or where you write. It’s a matter of getting words on the screen. Some years ago I heard the Olympic gold medalist, Duncan Goodhew, say that on the days when he felt below par he pushed himself harder to swim further and better so he knew that whatever he felt like at the time of a big event he would be able to achieve his best. This is great advice for all of us.
Even when I have little inclination to do so, I write knowing that whatever I have written is better than nothing at all. I can always edit and rewrite which you can’t do to a blank page. If I get stuck or bogged down in a scene I just type in some notes about how and what I thing should happen, pose some questions and then move on to another chapter.
Setting myself a low daily word count helps. A target of 500 words is easily achievable and I invariably manage more. However if I pitched at 1000, I’d probably start struggling at the 700 mark. A cup of cold coffee is testament to writing having gone well! Personally I don’t think it matters how much you write as long as you right something. Obviously if I’m working to a tight deadline, then I have to up the productivity levels.
Having said that my best time for writing is the early morning, I think you have to train yourself to write whenever and wherever you can. I had my first commission for a non-fiction book when my daughter was eight weeks old and I learned to grab any moments I could to get words written down. I also find it helps to move rooms when I’m writing. Different room, different perspective, works for me. For that reason I tend to write on my laptop rather than the desktop although I do email what I have written to file on the desktop as well as saving to a memory stick. Belts and braces but I have lost work before.
If I’m out and about during the day, I have a notebook with me to jot down ideas. Much of my writing day is actually thinking time. Going for a walk in the park or for a swim helps to clear the mind and let new ideas in. And I spend quite a lot of time researching – usually after the first draft is finished but sometimes contemporaneously.
This month, work on book three has been put on hold as I prepared for the publication of Death’s Silent Judgement – writing blog posts, organising events and preparing to go off to Crimefest where I’m on a panel this year.
In an ideal world my afternoons would be spent reading but usually writing eats into this time as well. Just before bed I like to review what I’ve written that day – and maybe the day before as well. This means I keep the storyline active in my mind and go to sleep pondering any problems – often waking in the night with solutions. Maybe this is what causes my insomnia!