Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Like Sands in the Hourglass

Finding time to write. It's the subject of countless author blogs, because it bothers the heads of countless authors - particularly those who hold down normal, non-writing type jobs (ie, most of them).

It's been a problem for me too. Last year it wasn't so bad - somehow I managed to squeeze in a few hours each evening before bed, even managing to bang out an 80,000 word novel in around six months. This year, I've found there simply aren't enough hours in the day. Possibly that's because our boys are sleeping a lot better, so my wife is going to bed later. It could also be something to do with the fact I'm writing one book, editing a second book, and critting on OWW, all at the same time. Maybe I shouldn't be surprised I feel as though there aren't enough hours in the day.

I've read the advice on countless blogs, and while some of it is helpful, some of it just doesn't suit me. The idea of getting up at 5am to get a few hours in before work makes me shudder. I can only imagine the quality of work I'd come out with at that hour of the day. At the same time, the evening is sometimes not good for me - by that time I'm tired and frazzled and ready for bed. But evening is all I have, so that's what I use, and more often than not I can produce something useful before climbing beneath the sheets.

I did read one useful thing, I can't even remember where it was. Somebody suggested you should always set a target of 1000 words a day. It's not much, but if you stick to it, the first draft of that 80,000 word book takes less than three months. Lately I've been trying to stick to that, and so far I've got 6000 words of Weight of Souls down. It takes me anywhere from half hour to two hours to write 1000 words, depending on my state of mind, my flow of ideas, and my level of motivation, but most times it's achievable. If I can stick with it, I might have a first draft ready by August.

Of course then I have to edit it, and judging from Ghost of Ping-Ling, that's much harder than writing it in the first place!

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