I recently challenged myself to start writing every day, at least 1,500 words. I’ve been working on this goal since January 27, when it started as the vague “write more” and grew into “the every day goal”, then “every day for a hundred days” challenge. Along the way, I’ve discovered a few things about how I handle writing every day. So here’s my list of things I do when I’m writing every day:

Ignore every other thing. Getting up at 6am to write meant I was knackered by the time my day job ended at 6pm. I didn’t have the mental energy to blog, post on social media, or chat with friends. My gym time suffered, running became a once-a-week prospect. My quilting stopped. My attendance at community events and meetings? Gone. The birth of my nephew? Happened while I wrote a really great romantic scene.

Ignore other books. I read books in one gulp, usually in an afternoon, although sometimes taking the whole day. Reading another story was a sure-fire way to make the next morning’s writing session into a poor copy of that novel’s style and tone. Thus, the third novel in the amazing Crazy Rich Asians trilogy by Kevin Kwan had to stay on my shelf. The influences of the first book are fairly obvious in my character and how his family works. After that, my to-be-read pile grew by leaps and bounds.

Show up late. I’d like to offer a blanket apology to the world for my tardiness over the last four months. I’ve been late to everything – my day job, appointments, dinners. I thought I could contain my inability to stop writing and get on with life by writing in the morning, instead I pushed everything around and became a completely unreliable attendee. In my defense, it’s hard to show up for a meeting or concentrate on a conversation when a dragon is battling with a sorcerer in your head. Or seducing him. Or vice versa. Actually, the more I think about it the more I should go write more….

Struggle to pay attention. If you’ve talked to me since January you probably noticed a lot of ‘umms’ or ‘ahhs’. When I was feeling smart, I’d try reflective statements “Wow! What do you think about that?” to cover my inability to stick with the program. Because, having dragons and magic and murders and battles in my head makes it a little hard to follow stories about grocery shopping and mowing the lawn. I’m sorry. I’m ready to talk now. Promise. Just don’t mention dragons.

Because even acknowledging all that, and knowing that I need to get back to the work of writing (editing, submitting, promoting), oh, and this dear neglected blog…I’m still more excited about the story. Not the one that started this 100 day challenge, but the next one. I’m not sure what it’ll be (the werewolf deserves his own book, but then so does djinn) but I can’t wait to have it take over my life.