Journal, Writing

The Daily News: Making Progress and First Flames

It’s been a pretty good week for writing, which is a nice change after last week! The ennui has faded, and the drive is returning, which means the words are at least a little less painful to try to get down. I’ve made a change to my daily schedule, which I think might just help keep me better on track and avoid the floundering I was suffering from last week.

Main change is this: I’ve recognized that two hour blocks are just too long for me. I’d love to be able to sit down and hammer out words for two hours, but the truth of the matter is, I’m at my peak for the first 500 and after that it starts getting tough to maintain energy and forward motion. 500 words takes me about half an hour to hit, and on really good days, I might get in as much as 1,300 or so words in one sitting, and that typically going into overdrive for an hour. But beyond an hour, I start noticing the time, start wondering what else I’d like to be doing, what else I need to get done for the day, etc., etc.. I trained myself very well for the marker of 500 words, and I’m trying to gradually unravel that training so I can stretch myself a bit longer.

So! I’ve split my two hours between morning and evening sessions, with the morning session being an hour for A-Time (brand new words on the page, and particularly, focused on a given “special” project), and the evening session being an hour for B-Time (plotting/planning/thinking/editing/writing exercises/or working on a secondary project, if there’s one that’s just screaming to be written, and it’s allotted to the “A-Time” session). I’m finding that an hour is still a push for me in terms of keeping the attention focused, but it’s much more obtainable when I look at the clock at the half-hour and go “Oh! Just another twenty minutes or so, that’s not too bad.” Plus, splitting it into A-Time and B-Time is helpful so that I don’t spend all of the morning session stewing on some brand new idea and neglect the project I actually *do* need to be working on. I think this may also help as I move more toward novel-length projects in that I can focus A-Time on the novel and look at word-progress of about 500-1000 words a day on that, while also having the freedom during B-Time to explore short story ideas that are gnawing at my brain, and/or demanding to be written.

So far, I’ve been doing pretty well with it! I’ve managed to keep myself physically at the computer for the full hour, NOT just reading email and keeping up with blogs (though Seannan McGuire has a great post on the raging Mary-Sue debate which I quite enjoyed and found through Cora Buhlert’s excellent blog which keeps me on top of a lot of the ongoing discussions. ^_^), and I’ve also 1) gotten back to the novel re-summary draft which is looking *WAY* better than previous versions, even 19 chapters in, and 2) I’ve started a new short story, tentatively titled “The Nocturne’s Bargain”, and 3) I’ve gone back to an old piece to edit, found I still actually like it, and just need to shore up a bit in places. So there we go! Productivity!

Now let’s see if I can manage to keep it up. XP Oh! Also got my first flame on The Thief Dilemma, which I quite enjoyed. I’ve never been flamed before, so that must mean I’m getting a bit more attention in that arena of late. ^_^ I did, in response, what I suspect most comfortably published authors do in that situation: I forgot about it until just now. :)

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