Wednesday, January 20, 2016


I have to be active on social media to promote my business and I also have to actually sit down and write on occasion, or I won't have anything to promote. But when does being active on social media start to become procrastination? If I spend too much time on social media I feel guilty I'm not writing enough and if I ignore it I feel like I'm not making enough of my networking chances. Sometimes my head hurts thinking about it all.

I try and work to a schedule and my latest one looks a little bit like this:

Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays.
09.00 - 09.30 - social media.
09.30 - 12.00 - writing.
12.00 - 12.30 - lunch and social media.
12.30 - 15.00 - writing.
15.00 - 15.45 - pick the boys up from school.
15.45 - 16.30 - writing.
The rest of the day - social media.

09.00 - 09.30 - social media.
09.30 - 10.30 - weekly (or fortnightly) blog.
10.30 - 12.00 - writing.
12.00 - 12.30 - lunch and social media.
12.30 - 14.00 - writing.
14.00 - 15.00 - maintaining relationships with contacts.
15.00 - 15.45 - pick the boys up from school.
15.45 - 16.30 - writing.
The rest of the day - social media.

Saturdays and Sundays
Spend time with my family and friends... unless I'm behind on a deadline, then it's get my head down time. Even at the weekend I can sneak in an hour or two here or there, thanks to a very understanding wife.

The thing is it's easy to get distracted. This morning for example, instead of starting the blog at 09.30 I actually watched film trailers until 10.00 - Suicide Squad is looking pretty blinkin' awesome! That's half an hour of my writing day wasted... and normally I would beat myself up about it later. I know it's all down to motivation and discipline and I also know pretty much every other writer procrastinates just as badly, but I still feel guilty if I waste even a second of writing time. I guess I wouldn't be motivated if I didn't.

To help me procrastinate less I finally downloaded FREEDOM for Mac a few days ago, something I've been threatening to do for months - yes Mr Stack, it is finally on my hard drive. It's brilliant as it shuts off the internet for programmable lengths of time - my favourite is one hour stints - so I can get on with my work with no distractions. I've written shed loads this week because of it.

But... there's always a 'but'... the occasional procrastination isn't actually bad for me. As a writer I need time away from my work to let my creative brain relax, chill and work problems out unconsciously rather than being forced to do so. I find some of my better solutions have presented themselves this way.

So my advice is this. Don't be too hard on yourself if you find you procrastinate a little when you feel you should be writing. Set yourself daily goals. If you don't meet them one day, make sure you do more the next. Don't punish yourself and equally don't become too complacent. Like the Force, balance is key.

Happy writing!

Wednesday, January 06, 2016


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL! This is my 500th blog post... yay me... and is the perfect way to ring in the new year.

So how was 2015?

To be honest the first six months was a bit pants, somewhat of a struggle and I didn't get much writing done. However, I soldiered on through adversity and things got better. I had a couple of small commissions in April and by August things were beginning to look pretty awesome again.

Because last year started off so slow I'm determined to hit the ground running this month, make the most of 2016 and get as much writing done as I possibly can.

2016 AIMS:

As you may remember a TV episode was my goal last year. I went to several more TV meetings and again they love my work, but that TV episode still remains elusive. So this year my focus is 100% on getting that first episode of TV. To facilitate this I'm going to write one new pilot episode of a TV drama, three treatments of further TV ideas, all by June, and watch my favourite returning dramas religiously to aid me in my quest.

This doesn't mean however, that I'll be neglecting my feature writing duties. There's a first and second draft of a feature to complete by April and a feature rewrite to complete sometime in February or March. So as you can see the first six months of this year are going to be manically busy... but that's how I respond to a bad year, I get up and work even harder the next. Adversity will never kill me, it will never dampen my spirit and I'll always, always bounce back more determined than ever before.

So tell me, what are your writing goals for 2016?

Happy Writing!