I started writing when I was very young. My first tale, The Mystery of the Mysterious Mystery Woman, started when I was seven, was also the first story to end up in the metaphorical drawer – believe it or not, a seven-year-old doesn’t have the time and focus to finish a full story.
Years later, I realized that this is a recurring topic for many writers and aspiring writers. I finally comprehended the old saying that goes ideas are sold a dozen a dime. Everyone and his neighbor has a novel in progress in their head. The hard part is to sit down and write. And if in my youth years I had the time and will to write late at night – because my only concern was school – evenings don’t work in my adulthood. When I did try to write at night, I ended up drinking too much whiskey, something that gives you the confidence to write more but hinders your ability to actually write good things. And most of the time, my daily job takes up all of my mental energy, if not all of my physical one. And weekends are for family and friends, right?
So when I started my first novel, Dead Men Naked (which is going to be out soon – stay tuned!), I actually wrote the first chapter at night. Noticing that the idea was going somewhere, I tried multiple more nights, or weekends, to develop and finish it. Without surprise, that was a struggle, for the reasons I’ve expressed before. And that was the make it or break it moment, the moment that defined my adult self as a writer, because writing wasn’t a hobby or an egotistic idea; it was a necessity, and I needed to find a way to make it work.
And yes, I found my method by copying other great authors. I started to wake up really early in the morning, around 5am, brew a cup of coffee, meditate for fifteen minutes, and then just sit down and write, until my wife would wake up at seven and we would have breakfast together.
This method was a revelation; every morning I would be at my peak condition, physically and mentally, and were able to dedicate that time to my writing. If the first half of Dead Men Naked took six months, the second half plus editing took only two. I finally found my holy grail, and got healthier in the process (to meditate every day is the key to mental happiness).
So now, every time I have an idea ripe for consumption, I will go back to this routine of early mornings, coffee, meditation, and writing. This is my secret to writing regularly, and you can see the results starting with my collection of short stories, Of Life, Death, Aliens and Zombies, and very soon, with my full novel – follow me on twitter or facebook to stay tuned!