So, near the end of July, I noticed I was having trouble keeping up on my writing of my third novel. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to write (Plot bunnies for my next one have been going nuts in my head), it’s that I didn’t want to finish this one.
Plot holes after plot holes have kept turning up. Trying to keep all the characters straight was becoming a nightmare. This coupled with the death of my beta reader in June made it really difficult for me to continue the story.
But it isn’t just a random book, it’s the third in a series. Abandoning it would mean abandoning all the work I’ve done in the last year and a half and the first two books. Not to mention, I hate leaving things unfinished.
So to help motivate myself, I decided to take a challenge and that I would write one page a day for the month of August.
Now that it’s September, I’m happy to say I meet that goal! Thirty-one pages were written during the last month. (And this didn’t count the editing and other work I did as well.)
Here’s what I learned while doing it.
I really had to balance my time.
I work a day job where I sometimes have to pull twelve hour shifts or come in on the weekends. I also enjoy getting a full night’s sleep and then you know, sometimes doing other stuff beside working on my blogs or writing.
For me to write a single page a day, I had to plan everything out. Before this, I would write approximately 1000 words a day, four or five times a week. If work got too busy and I didn’t have the time today, or wasn’t feeling it, no problem.
But for this, I had to find the time. I had to discipline myself to sit down and write sometimes when I didn’t want to. Or when I was tired and cranky from work.
(To tell the truth, a few times I knew the next day was going to be very long, so I cheated and wrote two pages a few times. But at the end, a total of thirty-one pages.)
It’s really exhausting to write everyday. Also, lot harder then I thought it would be.
Stephen King once said he writes two thousand words a day and he writes every single day. On major holidays, his birthday, whenever. Also, as soon as he finishes one, he starts something else. No breaks. I never thought about this before, but man, this is difficult!
Of course, he has the luxury of being a full time novelist, I’m still working the day job, but still.
For me, the best time to write is right before I go to sleep. I feel like I’ve had all day to mentally work on the scenes. I also make sure I spend sometime being online before I start so I’m not distracted by the internet.
So this, combined with the fact I have to get up early for work, means I had to time everything out perfectly.
Over all, I feel like it was a very good month. While I’m not writing as fast as I did the first two books, I do feel like this has extremely helpful and taught me a few things about myself and how I write.
I also know, even if I was able to quit my day job and go to writing full time, I don’t think I’d ever be able to write everyday. It just gets too mentally exhausting.
Besides, with my regular schedule of writing of one thousand words a night, four or five times a week, I can usually crank out a rough draft in about five months. Not a bad pacing for myself.
So that’s about it for me. Still no update on the roach in my bathroom. Maybe he read the post I wrote about him and went into hiding.
Also random, but happy days! This is my 100th post! WOOT!
Have a good weekend! =)