Last week I declared my intention to try a new approach to writing. Previously, I wrote when the mood struck, typing feverishly for hours and maybe even days, and then stopping for days and maybe even weeks at a time, until the muse whispered in my ear again.
My new plan was to set goals. I realized immediately that word count wouldn’t do it. It just takes longer to write some scenes than others. For example, yesterday I wrote a scene in which the heroine is introduced to fracking. I had to have it explained to her in a way that the reader understood the concept without some other character giving a lecture. The information had to come naturally. It had to be “entertaining” and not dry facts.
I hauled out my newspaper clippings and brochures and my notes from an environmental meeting I’d attended. It took a lot of thought and re-writing before I was satisfied that the reader as well as the heroine learned something without it being force fed. I didn’t come up with the ten-page goal I had set, but I was satisfied.
Yep, my goal is ten pages a day. Doesn’t sound like much, but the fact is I’m averaging eight pages per session. I figure by mid-January I will have the first draft completed. Much faster than the year it usually takes me.
But, this means sitting down every day and writing. No excuses. Even when I whine to my muse that I don’t feel like it. Even if not a single idea is rattling around in my brain. I know now that if I sit down and start writing something, anything, the ideas will come.
I find this means putting the writing first. Before laundry, before vacuuming, before watering the plants, all handy excuses to procrastinate.
Not before feeding the cat, however. Some things do claim priority.
So that is how week one went. I’ll let you know how I do next week, what with Thanksgiving and family.
Maybe I’ll just have to rise early and write before everyone’s up.
Yep, I can do that. I got up at five this morning to bake pies for the church covered dish dinner. Not because I’m some kind of nut, but because I totally forgot I was supposed to bring something until I went to bed, and I wasn’t going to get back up and go roll out pie dough.
Here’s wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.