As you may have seen across my social media channels over the past 24 hours, I’m launching two new projects; both writing related, both on Youtube. 

The first is called Writing Productively and is dedicated to being more efficient as a writer.  As just about all writers know, we have good days and bad days when it comes to writing.  Some days the words flow, other days it feels like we are wading through treacle.  Finding time to write can be difficult as well. 

About ten years ago, I made some major changes to the way I wrote and approached writing.  It came from a place of need.  I looked at the productivity space to find tools and approaches that could help me, and over the years I’ve built systems that help me.  I wouldn’t say I’m good at being productive so much as I’m good at building systems that help me stay on track and get me back in the right direction when things go wrong. 

Systems is a word we don’t really hear in the writing space, but think of it as the project and business management that goes into writing a book.  It’s about getting through the huge number of hours it’ll take and trying to get it done fast enough to get done quickly, without foregoing any form of quality.  They help balance things and keep you on track. 

I don’t see a lot of writers talking about systems, mainly because the productivity space seems to be geared towards going flat out all the time – and that’s just not possible as a writer.  So I think there’s going to be some interesting content here, both looking at systems I use as well as others I’ve looked at but don’t work for me. 

The other project is a multimedia project.  It’s called The First Draft. 

Often as I read great books, I wonder what they looked like in their early drafts.  I think it would be great if you could peer over the shoulder of an author as they write and see why they do the things they do. 

Now the problem is that first drafts tend to be crap.  Whether professionally or self-published novels go through many rounds of edits.  And most writers are nervous about showing first drafts because they were so bad.  Plus, those pieces of prose were written to be published and it starts to get commercially murky.

I’d like to think that readers are sophisticated to enough to understand the value of editing and how it’s a vital part of the process, and for a long time I’ve wanted to do a project where I basically live stream me writing a first draft.  It wouldn’t be a commercial project for obvious reasons but it would give all the same insight.

I also want to play with different types of writing this year.  I’ve written scripts, done commercial work for games, written and edited novels, worked on short stories.  One area I’ve not worked on, and one I’ve not seen done a lot is web serials.  Dickens used to write his novels serialised in the newspaper but it seems this art has been lost.  I love the idea of writing a story and publishing a new episode each week. 

So the two ideas have come together in The First Draft.  I’ll live stream me writing it, explaining why I’ve done the things I’ve done and then the first draft will be published for you to read.  If there’s sufficient interest, we might then go back and livestream revising a scene.  It has loads of potential whether you just want a cool story to read each week over a coffee, or want to dive into the guts of writing and how stories get made. 

For more details, please check out the announcement video below, but be sure to check out my Twitch Stream ( on Thursday 3pm BST (UK time) where I’m going to stream some of my initial planning for The First Draft.  I’ll explain my thinking and you can ask questions if you like.  If you miss the livestream, a replay will be put on Youtube afterwards.