a) My tone here has been too formal; let’s bring it down a notch. I mean, look: I crocheted little amigurumi dolls of my main characters to celebrate the release of my first book, then parked them on my desk. They’re staring at me right now. So no, I am not a dignified adult.
b) The 100-days-of-writing challenge is going swimmingly. Up till now, my habit has been to write in bursts, usually late at night on the weekends, separated by months of ignoring the project(s) entirely. I’d like to be more consistent than that. My hope with this challenge was to establish a good habit of working on this stuff, whether it’s putting down actual prose or outlining, on a regular basis.
Because, contrary to all advice on writing ever, I am not a full-time writer. I have a day job, and I am OK with that. So I need to work writing into my life in a constructive and consistent way without burning out.
It’s only been a week, but the answer so far has been early morning. However, I am not one of those intrepid and energetic people who get up at 3 a.m., run a marathon, write for 4 hours and then pack their kids off to school. I am a person who has a free half-hour every weekday morning, generally 7:30 – 8 a.m., just before the day job starts. It is normally filled with reading other people’s books and playing tablet games. (Kairosoft games alone have probably set me back a hundred thousand words.) This has been my unlikely little pocket of writing time.
But I’m going to be burned out! Surprisingly, no. A little time in my dream world and I’m pretty energized. Plus, well, the coffee is kicking in right about then.
But it’s going to suck! Maybe, but that’s what edits are for.
That’s not very much time! True. I’ve averaged 500 words a day in that half-hour or so. About two composition book pages, longhand. But my mantra for this week has been: 500 words is more than zero. Five hundred words every weekday, let’s say two thousand every weekend day to be ambitious = 6,500 words a week. That’s a book as long as The Healers’ Road in about twenty weeks. Five months.
THR took about three years to finish, in that “write a scene, then ignore for months” pattern. Not counting edits. So yeah, 500 words a day is an improvement. Five hundred words a day, maybe a few hundred more on lunch break, a few more hours on Friday and weekend nights, and a vacation day every now and then… who knows.