Jason Webster is the acclaimed author of Duende, Sacred Sierra and Guerra. His brilliant (I've read it already) new detective novel about Valencia featuring an anarchisticly inclined police detective is out early next year and called "Or the Bull kills you", published by Random House- check here for more:- http://www.jasonwebster.net/.
This is how he writes:
"I try to be as disciplined as possible when actually in the process of writing a book. Coming up with original ideas, feeling your way through the book - all that comes before, and can be quite unstructured. But the process of putting words down has to be determined and unwavering. I set myself a target of 2,000 words per day, and simply don't get up out of my chair until that's completed. Sometimes it might take an entire working day - 8 hours, say. Once I get about half-way through the book, however, things tend to start flowing better, and I can do my words in just over 2 hours. As a 'prize' I get the rest of the day off. Not that I do very much during those free hours. Much of the rest of my life shuts down when I'm 'in production'. There isn't much space left in my head for anything else. So even simple things like paying bills, meeting with friends or answering emails get put to one side for weeks or months at a stretch. It's the only way I can make sure I get to the end. Certain 'rules' have worked very well for me: Never edit when you're writing - I don't reread a single line of a book until the first draft is finished. Watch what you read - Some will tell you that any reading is good for your writing. I haven't found that to be the case. Certain books can infect or contaminate you, others can inspire. You have to work out which is which. But if I sense a writer's voice is starting to get inside my own, I drop the book immediately. As a rule of thumb, novels are pretty much out, particularly if you're writing fiction. They're largely the end process of someone else's reading. Books that give you real information or insights are far better and help feed into your own 'uniqueness' - something that's important, but which may take a fair amount of time to understand and mature. Think about myths - At a late stage in the structuring of a book, thinking about classic folk stories, legends or myths can help find the final 'key' to unlocking what it is you're actually trying to do. It can't be done too soon, however. The book has to be pretty much clear in my head before I try this, but it's a useful exercise and can bring greater clarity. My book GUERRA, for example, is very loosely structured around the story of Orpheus in the Underworld. When I saw that, writing the book became much easier. Be poor - In all senses. Having no money, or the prospect of no money over your head, is an excellent motivator. I'm naturally pretty lazy, but financial constraints have forced me to be disciplined and get books finished. If I'd had more money I doubt I would have written the number of books I have (six in 12 years, which is OK, but not that amazing). But being poor in terms of ego is no bad thing, either. Writing can be a major ego trip - "Thousands of people will read MY words...". But that kind of thinking tends to get in the way of actual writing. It can help to think of yourself as less of a broadcaster and more as a retransmission aerial: ideas come and you help transmit them. But just because ideas - even good ones - float through your mind doesn't mean they're actually 'yours'. Better to think that they're coming from a muse, the angels, the atmosphere, your duende... whatever. Anything but from 'you'."