Project October: Preparation

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So I’m taking a little break in order to increase my novel writing output, which means a reduction in my blog writing output but I’ve put together a few tips so that over the next four weeks, you might be able to successfully achieve some writing results from your own Project October.

Preparation
First things first. Just because I’ve identified October as my most productive writing month in recent years doesn’t mean that it has to be yours. In fact, because I write and schedule my blog posts a few months in advance, this Project October was actually undertaken in late July and early August. I’ll be doing another Project October in the actual month of October.

When starting Project October, I highly recommend that you choose a novel to work on that you are at least a third of the way through writing. The completely blank page can be an awfully large challenge and I often find the best way to prompt the next writing session is to read through the previous day’s writing – hard to do when there isn’t any previous writing.

Choose a daily writing target with a minimum and a maximum. I always like to set myself the writing target of a thousand words each day but I also recognise that some days I am just not going to get there. So I chose 500 as a minimum and 1,000 as a maximum. The great thing about having a range like this is that when you’re having a good day, 1,000 words isn’t difficult to reach and sometimes even exceed. And when you’re having a bad day, 500 words can usually be achieved, even if the writing itself isn’t what you might call “a keeper”.

And finally, I can’t stress this point enough. If you are going to commit to an intensive novel writing month, there is really no point trying to do it if your other commitments are going to impact negatively on your ability to achieve the targets you have set. I knew going into the end of July and the start of August that several family birthdays, several social events and the birth of my twin nieces would occur but I thought I would manage it by writing nothing on some days and twice as much on other days. I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how that worked out (but I will in future Project October posts).

I will post every Friday for the next four weeks with further tips on making it through Project October.

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