Chip. Chip. Chip.

So Danny has been talking about getting into a routine.

Routines are good. Routines help. Without a routine, you’re never going to make money from your writing.

Thing is, any bugger can pretend to be a writer by waiting for the muse to strike. I firmly believe that everyone has a novel (or script, or epic poem) in them – and that very few people have two.

Melpomene or Calliope will see you through one. More than that, you have to do it on your own.

So a routine will help you finish something. But how the hell do you get into a routine?

Well, that’ll be a deadline. Some people can set their own deadlines. Me, I find self-set deadlines all to easy to ignore. I need someone to compete against.

(Not necessarily to win against. I mean, I *like* to win, but I’ll settle for a good fight well-fought any day of the week. I think that comes from having a brother.)

So at the end of November, William and I got into a pissing contest.

One first draft of a brand-new film screenplay, from scratch, in exactly two months. And when I say brand-new, that means that you can’t have written down *anything* about the project before.

Not even an aide-memoire.

Your pen hits the paper on or after the first day of month one, and you deliver a finished draft by midnight on the last day of month two.

I’ve got five days left, and I’m almost done. I spent the first month plotting and outlining, and this month I’ve been doing four pages a day after I get home from work. Takes about two hours.

And a lot of it’s rubbish and I know that. But by the 31st the hard work will be over – that of having something to work with, a rough form out of the marble, a shape that I can work with.

All due to just sitting down and chipping away at it, one day at a time.

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