In the interest of actually being productive, I’m not going to take up your time (or mine, for that matter) with waffle. Here is every book on productivity summarised:

  1. Set a schedule. Plan when you’re going to work and what you’re going to work on. Allow a bit of flexibility for unforeseen issues (good or bad) but, broadly, stick to it as much as possible.
  2. Arrange a good work space. Uncluttered, easy to navigate, all things you need to hand. A window is good for both air and stimuli. Quiet is generally better than loud though, of course, some people prefer the volume – particularly if they want to people watch!
  3. Remove distractions. Holy hell YouTube is my vice. Unless you need the internet for research I’ve found it best to turn Wi-Fi off to reduce the chances of this happening. There are some apps to help with this sort of thing too (I believe there is one called “Freedom” that I haven’t got round to yet) if that’s your thing.
  4. Set small targets. I’ve made the mistake at the very beginning of this blog of setting myself the HUGE target of a Doctor Who episode. Looked on its own terms, that idea is terrifyingly unassailable. But break it down into sections (plot episode, work on companion’s back story, read through etc.) and it becomes much more doable. Right now my third draft is with my scriptwriting friends for their opinion and advice. The next stage will be trying to get the right people to see it, which will involve serious badgering and, most importantly, writing something else!
  5. Allow yourself a pat on the back for achievements. When I first wrote “End Credits” on my first draft I went out to the cinema to celebrate. Hey, to each their own…
  6. Don’t be afraid to start over. If a piece of writing is, for whatever reason, not working (as I’ve said recently I’ve abandoned a whole script as someone else has beaten me to it!) then there is no shame in setting it aside. Indeed, ploughing on regardless IS a waste of time. The best bits of your script (e.g. a character that you like, or a joke you’re particularly fond of) can almost certainly be used elsewhere.

There. I’ll look out for your £6.99 in the post.

NB: Of COURSE I’ve missed stuff but hey, 1 page isn’t quite going to compete with a dozen books…