- Write for at least two hours every morning, in two or three sessions. I find it's better to have a time commitment rather than a word commitment, because there are some days when the words just won't come, and I don't see the point of beating yourself up every time you don't hit a thousand words (or whatever). If I spend the two hours at my keyboard, thinking about my novel, I'm convinced something will happen. Won't it?
- Resume 'morning pages' as recommended by Julia Cameron in The Artist's Way - three pages of stream-of-consciousness writing every morning, preferably on waking. This year, I might combine this with journal writing, so that the freewriting comes from what I've done, seen or thought about in the previous 24 hours.
- Do all teaching admin, lesson preparation, reading students' work, writing reports, student tutorials etc in the afternoons only, thus keeping the mornings clear for writing. I have a habit of thinking I'll get teaching things 'out of the way' first, only to find they then stretch into the whole day.
- Restrict daytime Twitter activity to two half-hour sessions a day - this will be difficult! There is so much on Twitter that is of interest to writers, not to mention the simple, pleasant chit-chat with other writers. But Twitter can easily gobble up a morning.
- Take one or two days off from writing each week. These days can be used mainly for boring but essential stuff such as shopping, housework, household admin etc, but should also contain something nice - coffee or lunch with a friend, a walk in the countryside, some time reading all the fabulous blogs that are around, or even a short train journey to somewhere new - anything to recharge the creative batteries and allow time for story and characters to develop. I'm particularly keen to take a few train journeys this year - going to new places always helps to sharpen my observational skills.
- And finally, I've realised that by having three sections to this blog - the Writing Bit, the Reading Bit and the Food Bit, I've bitten off rather more than I can chew, so in 2012, there won't be three sections every week, but there will always be either something about writing, or a book review. And there will usually be something about food.
For more about me and my work, check out my website: http://www.susanelliotwright.co.uk