Do you struggle to get down to the nitty-gritty of writing? Maybe you get distracted easily, or maybe you find that you’re not meeting your requirements as you go. Moving at a glacial pace, never settling into a
groove, waiting for inspiration to strike but stymieing it with everyday concerns or interruptions. A productive writing session is like a skittish animal, if you’re ill-prepared when you approach it, you won’t even have a chance to kiss it goodbye.

Like so many things in life, improvement on this front is completely achievable, with a degree of discipline. Writing is your job, and whilst it’s important to feel passionate about it, free from pressure, you must take it seriously. Take it from the most prolific writer of our time, and probably ever: Stephen King.

King manages at least 6 pages a day, or every other day. By making it clear to himself that writing a set amount is a requirement, another day at the office, he finds that it alleviates the pressure to write perfectly, making room for productive editing as time goes by, because there’s all the more material to actually work with once you just get on with it. So, how does he get himself into this mindset?

Concerning how he churns out so much material: “You can read anywhere, almost, but when it comes to writing… your writing room… should be (humble). It really needs only one thing: a door which you are willing to shut. The closed door is your way of telling the world that you mean business; you have made a serious commitment to write and intend to walk the walk as well as talk the talk.

By the time you step into your… writing space and close the door, you should have settled on a daily writing goal… With that goal set, resolve to yourself that the door stays closed until that goal is met… If possible, there should be no telephone in your writing room, … no TV or videogames for you to fool around with. If there’s a window, draw the curtains or pull down the shades unless it looks out at a blank wall. For any writer, but for the beginning writer in particular, it’s wise to eliminate every possible distraction.”

Now, not everyone is Stephen King. As a matter of fact, next to no-one is, but what remains helpful in this quote is the sentiment: Distraction is the enemy, and the only solution is discipline. It is easier now, more than ever, to get distracted, to convince yourself that you’re on a well deserved break, or that you’ll get inspired by scrolling Twitter for a little while (this has never ever happened). Reject the inclination, take care of yourself, put aside time to go outside and enjoy yourself, but then it’s writing time: It is time
to write. You ought it to yourself to pursue your work utterly.

Taking Writing Seriously with Stephen King
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