Sure, I hear you saying, who wouldn’t? But how do I end up with more writing than I’ve had in the past?
The answer is easy and obvious: Write more.
Ha! you say. I’m writing as much as I possibly can now. How can I ever find time to do more?
Time isn’t the issue. What you’re working on is.
Consider this project for 2013. It can comprise your “writing time,” or it can make up your “I want to be a better writer” time. Or it can be both!
Here’s what you do: Write one story every week of the year. Yes, seriously, a story a week. But wait, I say to myself, what about this last week—the last week of break? When your daughter was sick? And you started exercising seriously again? And you tried to finish up all those around the house projects you swore you’d do before the new semester? How could I ever have written a complete story last week?
Clearly, discipline will have to be involved. But the rules are very flexible—in a busy week, perhaps you write a piece of flash fiction in an hour. During a more relaxed week, perhaps a fifteen page story with an actual outline. These stories aren’t about perfection; don’t worry too much about making every sentence polished and beautiful. These stories are about learning your craft and giving yourself material with which to work in the future.
There are three big benefits to taking on this project: first, making yourself write a story a week exercises your writing muscles; after a month, you’ll be seeing story possibilities every time you turn around. Second, exercising the discipline to get something complete down on the page every week will help that old saying about success being 99% perspiration and 1% inspiration become crystal clear. Finally, at the end of the year, you’ll have fifty two stories to work with—and how wonderful is that!