How do I keep up the pace? This is a question that many authors face, sometimes in their own heads, sometimes honestly and out in the open. Some people would suggest setting aside specific time. This is a great idea if you have that kind scheduling skill/flexibility. Establishing specific times, you could set yourself up for additional pressure, so be careful. Always approach writing as what you want to be doing right now, not something you have to be doing.

There are always opportunities to have extra time to write. Evenings when on travel are much better used writing than drinking, unless you are in sales. Take a lap top computer with you when ever your kids have activities. Take that lap top when shopping with your wife, especially at specialty stores that provide chairs for husbands. Sorry, I don’t have advice for our female readers, men’s shopping locations don’t usually have seating areas.

As far as setting a writing pace, this can be a good thing. Set your pace for an appropriate time scale. Look at a weekly rate, not daily or hourly. It is just like tracking your weight, checking too often will just get you twisted up with the numbers. If you have a bad day, you will eventually have a good day. When you are on a role, try not to stop. Staying up late is not a bad thing as long as it is productive. If you get all of your ideas down, you will sleep better.

Another way to keep your writing pace, don’t get tied down by a single story. If you get bogged down, start something else or try to go back to something you have put on hold. If you have having that much trouble, the creative juices for that story line have dried up. Let it go and the well will refill. Sometimes even just writing gibberish can help, odd but true. Try just writing down what you are currently hearing, like the conversation at the next table at the coffee shop. If you don’t have conversations around you, write descriptions of what is in your field of view. All of these efforts are to distract you from your block while keeping you writing.

Remember that all ideas are good, some are just better than others. The best way to keep your writing pace up is to keep writing. The goal is, of course, to complete the stories that are floating around in your head. The first step to reaching that goal is to get as many of the ideas down on paper (or in the computer) as possible. Do the math. If you don’t write anything, your pace is zero. Anything you write will be beneficial, even if you cannot see that benefit right now. Try your best and remember to

–KEEP WRITING–

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Martin writes about writing in his weekly column Ramblings from Martin.

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