5 Rules to a Successful New Project

Laptop, Tulips, Books, Writing, Work

You know how I keep going on about new projects? New blog topics, new novels I’m going to write, new fitness regimes that are going to make me look like Cameron Diaz… I even toyed with the idea of writing my own cookbook for a while. Well, I’ve got a bit of extra time on my hands now, and House of Blog is pretty much sitting pretty (I am SO organised), so I don’t really have an excuse to back down. This time, it’s a novel.

I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around my head for a while – zombies and the apocalypse and Greek mythology and one character that simply won’t leave me alone. But they never really sorted themselves in to any semblance of order, and I never knew what to do with them. So with my extra time, I’m going to line up my ideas and see what happens. To be able to do this, I have given myself 5 rules to follow.

1. Find space to write

I don’t often get space to myself. My room is so full of junk it stresses me out to be in there, and when I try to write at the kitchen table, I get distracted by people and the siren call of the fridge. So I need to find a good space to write, pitch up my tent and STAY THERE.

2. Find time to write

I might have some free time, but that doesn’t stop me from being really good at procrastinating. I think I’ve had 3 or 4 coffee breaks with friends, and yesterday I spent 6 hours shopping. My strict routine has sort of fallen by the wayside, so I need to find myself a new one.

3. Stick to the reading list

I have a LOT of research to do. So I need to stop getting distracted by the shiny blogs and new book releases and special offer tables at the bookshop, and actually READ WHAT I’M MEANT TO.

4. Fuel-up

I’m terrible at eating junk food. Give me a spoon and I can polish off an entire jar of Nutella in one sitting. But that’s no good for my brain. Junk food gives me jittery sugar-highs, followed by lethargic slumps. It’s no good trying to write, because one minute you’re writing a thousand words a minute (but not necessarily in real sentences) and the next you’re napping on your keyboard. Healthy food, on the other hand, is far better. More fruit, more vegetables (GREEN! LOTS OF GREEN!), saying no to dessert… all of that. Regular, healthy meals (and regular, healthy breaks with some fresh air) mean I can concentrate properly instead of behaving like Hammy the Squirrel from Over the Hedge.

5. Let It Go

(Admit it, you’re singing the song now). Sometimes, I won’t get time to write. My space will be invaded by someone, I’ll see a new book I want to read that’s completely unrelated, and some days I will gorge myself on biscuits until I can’t move. This free time won’t last forever, and my willpower will last even less than that. But rather than beat myself up about it, or try to force it into submission (and thus give up other stuff), I just need to let it go. But only sometimes.

Who knows, by the end of July I could have something that resembles an Exciting New Project with Direction instead of what it is now – A Few Ideas That I Keep Ignoring.