Remember how last month I talked about writing full-time? Yeah. So that didn’t work out. It seems my wonderful *cough* car *cough* has decided to break down. Two days before our family vacation to West Texas, the air conditioner broke. Kaput. Kaplooey. Done. Dead. Buh-bye. We drove the car anyway. It was so hot, I could have sworn even my eyeballs were hot. But we had a great vacation anyway.
Long story short the car needed repairs with a money amount that had a comma in it. Not a happy girl about that.
So I felt like I had to go back to work. Which, ya know, isn’t all bad. I did a lot of soul searching before accepting the job and realized that I really wasn’t ready, mentally or otherwise, to start writing full-time. The car repairs were an added bonus. *sarcasm*
But I’m not here to talk about that today. I’m here to talk about how scheduling your writing can save your life. Well, your writing life.
When I accepted the job and discovered I wouldn’t have to be there until 8:30 am, an idea formed. I decided in my infinite wisdom I would get up at 6 am and write for an hour and THEN get ready for work. I would also continue writing on my lunch hour. I started the new plan the day I started the new job. Hey, I figured they should go hand-in-hand.
I did manage to crawl out of bed at 6 am. It took me a few minutes to wake up and get into the story again so my actual writing time varied. I would do about forty-five minutes or around five hundred words. Turns out, I succeeded in writing over 5700 words for that first week. By the second week, I had managed nearly 7000 words. I love seeing the numbers rise and the progress happen. I’ve drafted the first three chapters of the new book and found that a book really doesn’t start to flow until you pass the 10,000 word mark. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because you can figure out your characters by then and you know where you’re going. I suppose that’s true for those of us who are Pantsers at heart. *wink*
The thing is I write better when I know I have a time limit. I know I have an end goal. Looking back on my floundering last month, I know that part of my problem was I didn’t schedule my writing. I hadn’t figured that out yet. I think if I had sat down at my desk and told my brain that I would be writing for XX amount of time, I would have been a lot more successful. I had the mentality of “I’m home all day I can write whenever.” Instead, I allowed myself to be distracted by email/Facebook/Twitter/Internet/petting the cat/whatever.
I’m disappointed in myself. But I know it’s ain’t over yet. I will be writing full-time one of the days. Now I have the insight to know how to make it work.
Michelle Miles is published in contemporary, paranormal and fantasy romance. Find out more about her books at her website at http://www.michellemiles.net.