Start a daily writing habit.

Start a daily writing habit.There has to be a way to get some words down. Not more words, just some words.

It’s summer in Florence. August, the month when no one works. Though that’s no excuse. Still, all the Florentines have left for the beach or the mountains. Florence is full of hot tourists trying to find their way to the Duomo. Temperatures are up to 40 degrees. My kids are on school holidays. The days are long and lazy – every one of them blue. Along with 99% of Italians, my husband is also on vacation. Luring me to the beach with promises of spaghetti alle vongole or risotto al mare, under a striped awning with a glass of cold wine. How on earth can I write my 10,000 words this month with all these temptations?

Enter the 250 words per day rule. That’s it, as low as I can go and still move my bookStart a daily writing habit.forward. It has to be the way to maintain some sort of flow. While my discipline is out the window, emergency measures are necessary. JUST 250 WORDS A DAY!

The thought ‘I should be writing,’ burns in my brain and makes my summer life really difficult. Trying to shake the ‘I should be writing’ chant is impossible. So I am trying out this daily writing habit – just 250 words per day.

When I don’t write, I am anxious. When I do write, I am happy, self-assured and fulfilled.

Do you want to try the 250 a day word rule with me? And let us know how you go? Or do you have any secrets, tips, formulas that can help me get through this Italian August with something to show for it?

Seriously, let me know.

PS: This Blog is 295 words, does that count?

Start a daily writing habit.

6 thoughts on “Start a daily writing habit.

  • John Hingston

    You know it doesn’t! And I know that procrastination is a lose/lose choice, but I find it hard to overcome, which is why I am responding to your email. As an infamous man frequently tweets: “sad”. I can’t even blame summer lassitude!

    • Lisa Clifford

      Try the 250 word a day rule.
      Another trick is to note down the points, the scenes that need to be re-written. The ones that need more beauty and prose.
      Give it a go!
      It’s really working for me.
      And lovely to hear from you,
      All the best,

  • Steph Kara

    Lisa, I hear you. It’s not summer here but I’m still struggling.

    The other day I moved my office out of the living area and into an ugly little room off the lounge room because I was sick of seeing piles of paper! Today I resisted the urge to procrastinate with sorting and moved all the junk onto the little side desk and set my computer up on another and off I went!

    Yay…it feels so good to have a space again and even quite cosy in this not so pretty room. I’ve been under pressure and not getting anything done but I’m going to adopt your 250 words until I can get into a better groove.

    Perhaps try to get up pre dawn to write before they all wake and write then the rest of the day your free…you’ll probably need a nana nap tho but that’s perfectly ok!


    • Lisa Clifford

      The getting up early trick seems to work for many, I’ve tried it but my mind is very blurry early. So for a long time I went for a dawn walk. Loved it. Then was sharp enough to trust my edits. I am going to try to get back onto this, only haven’t been sleeping well and it’s the holidays!
      Take care and good luck Steph, moving the pile of papers out of view was a master stroke 🙂

  • Bronte Jackson

    Laughing out loud! Yes who can resist the attempts by one’s husband to sit on the beach and drink cold wine and eat spaghetti alle vongole – I hear you Lisa. Mine is doing the same. I capitulated for the whole of the Ferragosto week as resistance was futile but then came your timely article on 250 words a day to save me from my self recrimination. Yes I can do that! I do believe in going slow in August, especially as the heat just overcomes me here in Rome, and I don’t get much quality sleep as a result, so I have not been pressuring myself as I usually would. However your line about how when you write it decreases anxiety and increases happiness and fulfillment got me moving again as I recognise that in myself as well. Writing is not just a job, it is a necessity for mental health and well being for writers. So as I slowly get back into editing (my third time) my second book, my least favourite part of writing, I wish you well in banishing thoughts of striped awnings on beach fronts and thank you once again for motivating me and giving me something to aim for!

    • Lisa Clifford

      Hi Bronte,
      haven’t written a word since I last wrote to you. Lawdy!! It’s out of control in the Consumi Florence household. Just so much to take care of with the kids over summer. As well, as editing jobs and all that. I will have to wait until everyone is back at uni and school. I am trying, but along with my other jobs, and the school holidays, am not writing at all. I just have to forgive myself.
      Thanks for keeping in touch,

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