With the advent of Indie and e-pubbing, the luxury of spending time writing and revising well written novels has been sucked into the ether.  I feel the increased pressure to hurry up and write, but I've resisted it, for the most part, by assessing my strengths as a writer and coming up with a plan for the next five years. Sound OCD?  What do you think?  What's your plan?   

 

I'm blogging about getting organized around a career plan at www.marymcfarland.wordpress.com (see 2011 tab).  If you'd like to dig into this topic, I'm really interested in learning how you feel.  No SSP here: I'm serious about helping others get organized behind their writing and their careers (that's where my expertise lies).  Let's do it.  

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I'm fortunate. Writing is my job. So I don't have to plot my time as to when I write. I tend to do it first off in the am.

I had a great chat with David Morrell at Sleuthfest a couple of years ago, and what works for him is; when starting a new novel, he writes five pages in the morning, then sets it aside. Does research, etc.

The following morning, he edits the first five pages, then writes the next five pages.

The following morning, he edits the first ten pages, and writes, the next five.

He does this every day until he reaches 50 pages. He sets those pages aside, and starts on the next 50 pages, five at a time.

It takes discipline, but I've had success with it. Once we end up marketing and signing and everything else we have to do these daze, it derails slightly.

 

The late Stuart Kaminsky once told me, just write a page a day. In a year, you have a 365 page manuscript. Viola!

I think the most important rule is to write every day, and I do mean seven days a week, if you've started a draft, even if some days it's only for a half hour. That way there is measurable progress on a consistent basis and the world and characters you've created will seem more real if you visit them that often.

 

Another tenet: get some rest, and write first thing in the morning even if it means getting up early. I've now got a child, three weeks old, and I'm sleep deprived so haven't written a word since his birth. Being tired a lot is a killer of progress, at least in my case.

Eric, congrats on your new family member.  This is one of the biggest challenges, right?  Just trying to organize around our lives?  (Where do people get the idea writers don't have lives outside our writing, that we live in isolation in towers?).  You've got a really huge challenge with sleep deprivation: I'm stymied 'cause I honestly don't know how on earth I'd organize around that.  Honestly, I think I'd just let a new son be my priority and not even worry about writing.  Heh!  But seriously, I will give that some thought.  Any ideas when you might be back on track with your writing?   
Back on track? Not before the inlaws go home and the baby sleeps through the night is my guess!
Writing races. That sounds interesting. I was involved with a group that competed with a point system. A writer acumalated points based on how many finished short stories or novel MS they had out with pro publishers. It kind of died out with so many of us going indie.
David DeLee
Fatal Destiny - a Grace deHaviland novel

I can't do the race thing, either, David.  Not sure why, either, because when I think of nanowrimo and how many people go for that, I've got to admit it works for many writers.  Just not for me. 

 

I'm racing alright, but with myself.  I've set impossible goals this year and said, meet 'em, girl; or go down in smoke (to rise again in 2012, of course). 

 

That's part of my goal: to determine how to get a repetive writing process I can use to write every novel.  I know it pisses many writers off to think about doing that, but if I can crank out five well written novels this year (my impossible goal), then my process works, eh?   

Rachel, I had the exact experience.  Last year, tossed that novel together without a plan for it.  It's been a massive revision effort.  This year, mapped my second out.  The writing went smoothly, there's very little revision (especially compared to my first ms), and I cut my time to produce the novel in half. 

 

Yep, it's every single day for me, as you say, even if it's tweaking, or whatever.

I read your note.

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