How to Write Every Day, No Excuses-Andy Peloquin
If there’s one piece of writing advice you’ll read and hear EVERYWHERE, it’s that you should try to write every day. “Rome wasn’t built in a day,” authors will say. “A few hundred words a day adds up over the course of weeks and months to a complete novel.”
I’m a huge proponent of this “small bits of progress every day” mentality. I only have a couple of hours in my day to write, so I have to make the most of it. Even if I only get 1,000 or 2,000 words per day, I’m happy with the knowledge that I’m working toward the 100,000-word mark.
There will always be things that get in my way: doctor’s appointments, social commitments, exhaustion, and the list goes on. These things are unavoidable. I have no choice but to set aside my writing time to meet the demands placed on me by work, life, and family.
But there is one excuse I try NEVER to stop me from writing: a lack of willpower/desire.
There’s nothing more exciting than beginning work on a new book. I’ve got a story laid out before me, and I get to explore the world I’m creating. Hooray! Excitement, motivation, and a desire to write.
Cut to 10-40 chapters later and things have slowed down. It feels like wading through mud just to get out 1,000 words, and nothing seems to be working. How is anyone supposed to keep writing when they feel like that?
- Change the environment. Often, all I need to help me get through a writing slump is a fresh place to write. There’s no place like home (and my writing desk), but I’ve had some of my most creative and productive days at coffee shops, a friend’s house, on the bus, or even at the airport. A change in scenery can help you stop thinking about how hard that next scene is to write.
- Don’t give yourself an “out”. If you never allow your excuses to stop you from doing what needs to be done, they’ll never stop you. Circular logic? Not really. We can all come up with millions of reasons “why not”. Most of the time, the reasons “why” are more powerful. But sometimes our lack of willpower makes us want to give in to those “why nots”. If we never give ourselves a chance to think about ditching writing time to chill, go out, or read a book, we’ll never miss a day.
- Understand that willpower is finite. You only have so much willpower to use before you run out. Eventually, the “insurmountability” of a problem will overwhelm your willpower. It’s why you can’t lift a mountain with your bare hands, no matter how determined you are. Not physically possible. All the willpower in the world won’t help you write a fully edited book in a single day. Once you realize that you can run out of willpower, then you’ll be able to save your willpower for the things that matter most—in this case, writing time.
- Set yourself up for success. Just like you eliminate unhealthy foods from your kitchen when you’re trying to diet, so too you need to eliminate the unhealthy things from your time in order to write. If that means cutting back on TV, reading less, or even turning down a few social obligations, it’s worth it.
- Plan your day around it. I try to finish my work at a certain time in the morning so I can get to the gym, shower, and eat lunch BEFORE writing time. I don’t try to fit my writing time into my schedule—I make the other elements of my schedule fit into my writing time.
Am I perfect? Much as I’d like to think so, probably not. I miss writing days here and there—no doubt more than I should. But I’ve found the advice above helps me to miss as few as possible. In the end, my desire to tell the story and my “choice architecture” makes it easier for me to put in the time and word count every day.
****BONUS CONTENT-BOOK RELEASE INFORMATION****
A faceless, nameless assassin. A forgotten past. The Hunter of Voramis–a killer devoid of morals, or something else altogether? (The Last Bucelarii–dark fantasy with a look at the underside of human nature)
The Last Bucelarii (Book 3): Gateway to the Past
Release Date: March 31, 2017
The Hunter, legendary assassin of Voramis, has a purpose: protect Hailen, the boy he rescued from a demon in Malandria.
He joins a caravan in the hope of safe passage across the Advanat Desert. Yet he cannot outrun his enemies: the Illusionist Cleric on a holy mission to capture him, the bloodthirsty raiders out for blood and gold, and the Abiarazi, demons who masquerade as humans.
Every step north reveals who he was before becoming the Hunter, unlocking the truth about the woman who haunts his memories.
Fans of Joe Abercrombie, Brandon Sanderson, and Brent Weeks will love the Hunter…
“Creative, gritty, and beautifully dark…fantasy addicts will love it!” — Peter Story, author of Things Grak Hates — http://peterjstory.com/
“The fantasy world has a compelling new antihero…the Hunter will terrify and captivate you.” – Eve A Floriste, author of Fresh Cut
“From the first words on the page this fantasy holds the reader spellbound even after the book is finished…his character is very well-defined even if his past is a mystery. Root for an assassin? Oh, yes, one must!” — Carol Conley, for InDTale Magazine
“Oh the carnage! Fantastic bloodthirsty carnage! The fight scenes in this book were fast-paced, detailed and thrilling. I love a good sword fight and there is plenty of that here.” — Ami L. Hart
“One could get lost in this novel for its twisting plots, seemingly endless imagination, dark yet irresistible characters, or the mind-numbing paradox of its simultaneously dark and romantic world. One could follow the long and winding road of the dusky, fierce protagonist and fight tooth and nail not to sympathize with him. One could dance in the dizzying, intricate circles of Peloquin’s neo-mythology, or even basque in the black sunlight of a well-crafted gothic novel that both entertains and enlightens.” — Jesse G. Christiansen
Andy Peloquin: Lover of All Things Dark and Mysterious
I am, first and foremost, a storyteller and an artist–words are my palette. Fantasy is my genre of choice, and I love to explore the darker side of human nature through the filter of fantasy heroes, villains, and everything in between. I’m also a freelance writer, a book lover, and a guy who just loves to meet new people and spend hours talking about my fascination for the worlds I encounter in the pages of fantasy novels.
Fantasy provides us with an escape, a way to forget about our mundane problems and step into worlds where anything is possible. It transcends age, gender, religion, race, or lifestyle–it is our way of believing what cannot be, delving into the unknowable, and discovering hidden truths about ourselves and our world in a brand new way. Fiction at its very best!
Where Can You Stalk Andy?
10 Things You Need to Know About Me:
- Hot wings, ALWAYS!
- I never forget a face, but rarely remember a name.
- I’m a head taller than the average person (I’m 6′ 6″)
- Marvel > DC
- I was born in Japan, and lived there until the age of 14.
- Selena Gomez, Skrillex, Simon & Garfunkel, Celine Dion, and Five Finger Death Punch are all in my writing playlist.
- Aliens are real, but it’s self-centered of us to believe that they would come to visit Earth.
- Watching sports: suck. Playing sports: EPIC!
- I earned a purple belt in Karate/Hapkido/Taekwondo.
- I dislike most Christmas music, aside from Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
A Few of My Favorite Things
Favorite Books: The Gentlemen Bastards by Scott Lynch, The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson, Sherlock Holmes by A.C. Doyle, Warlord of Mars by E.R. Burroughs
Favorite Songs: Wrong Side of Heaven by Five Finger Death Punch, Prayer by Disturbed, I’m an Albatraoz by AronChupa, Look Down from Les Miserables, Shatter Me by Lindsay Sterling and Lizzi Hale
Favorite Movies: 300, Red Cliff, Shoot Em Up, Love Actually, Princess Bride
Favorite Comics: Anything with Deadpool, Wolverine or Doop in it
Favorite Foods: Hot Wings, Meat-Lover’s Salad, A good sandwich (made by me), Yaki Soba, Sushi
Favorite TV Shows: The Flash, Daredevil, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Hawaii Five-0, Brooklyn 99, Firefly (too soon!), The Last Ship, The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones