It's amazing to me how a little time, a pat on the back and a deadline can motivate me to get things done.
I write every day, even if I'm exhausted and it's 10 PM (because that's the earliest point in the day I've had time to sit). My rule is I have to write at least one GOOD sentence before bed. Most work days I can knock off up to 800 new words. Today, the first day of spring break, I put down 1100 words before lunch. Most likely, I'll have half that again before my day is done. All because I have some undistracted writing time, someone who says my writing is worth pursuing, and a deadline.
I like to write as soon as I wake. My head is clear and the ideas flow easily. The day's events aren't able to distract me, because they haven't happened yet. I'm focused. I find that if I start my day thinking and working on my WIP it's easier to solve character issues or plot problems. I'm better able to think of ways to raise the stakes for my characters. In short, I'm more productive and it feels less like work.
A compliment can make a huge difference in my writing attitude. I am productive for days after a good word from my writer's group or critique partner (shallow and silly? Maybe...). This scholarship award from Chautauqua is very much the same. It's validation that I'm doing something right, and they are willing to invest their time and money towards my writing education. It's a powerful motivation, and I don't want to disappoint.
I have always worked best with a deadline, but since I'm unpublished, my deadlines are self-imposed. Sometimes that works. Sometimes not. My goal is to have my new WIP complete by July. The hope is I'll have a completed manuscript (albeit rough) to take with me to Chautauqua. That only gives me 13 weeks, so it's definitely fast-drafting (for me).
I've got an entire week free of the day job, and I'm hoping it'll be a productive week. It helps that I love the story I'm writing. The characters are fun, and the plot is an intriguing puzzle to solve -one I want to get right.
How, when and where do you write? Do you have a routine, or do you write when the muse hits you? Just curious...