If Anthony Trollope can do it, or 117,000 words 15 mins at a time.

In my last post I told you that I was easily distracted from writing, in reality suffering from the chronic malaise of procrastination. Then how did I manage to write more than 117,000 words in eight months you ask? Glad you asked.

When I began my draft last year, I set myself a goal of 1000 words a day in order to achieve at least 80,000 words. This was also dependent on writing every day. What could possibly go wrong? Four months in and I was way behind. I was lucky to write 1000 words in 1 week at times.

Let me explain my procrastination problem. My overlying issue is that I do not put my writing before all else; before the housework, a good book, the dog, friends, family, social media, the new adult colouring fad… you get the picture. And then the guilt sets in and the self chastising and before you know it another day has gone by and no writing. (And probably no housework either, but I didn’t tell you that.)

This old dog is not good at learning new tricks, so the problem is not going to go away any time soon. What to do? By chance I came across a post about this very issue. (Surprise surprise, again with the procrastination.)

Apparently, prolific author, Anthony Trollope, managed to churn out so many books because he made himself write 250 words in 15 minute time slots for 3 hours every day. I am no Trollope and there is no way I would find 3 hours in my day. But this piqued my interest.

Anyway long story short, I said to myself, ‘Self, it is only 15 minutes, you don’t have to find an hour or more in one sitting.’ So I set the timer for 15 minutes and wrote. Or typed. For 15 minutes non stop. Of course it would need editing, it was a draft for goodness sake. BUT I always managed more than 250 words in each sitting. Sometimes I would leave it and set aside another 15 minutes later in the day, or I would immediately set the timer again and go for it.

Because I realised I would still not manage to write every day, this method was perfect and worked wonders. My self esteem, my sense of achievement, raised itself a notch as my goal of 1000 words was easily met, and often beaten, in up to four sessions on any given writing day.  And my goal of 80,000 words? See for yourself.


If I can do it, anyone can. Enjoy and happy writing.


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