Need To Pick Up The Pace

Writing journey I’ve been on this writing journey for just over four years. It took me two years to realize the first attempted WIP was never going to work, but I learned something from those pages and went into a new WIP with much enthusiasm. After five months of plodding along, I gave myself a deadline, dug deep, set a daily goal, and made it happen. Three years in, I had a completed rough draft.

Today that book is nowhere near done. *sigh* Revisions are HARD.

Because my writing has been so sporadic, thrown in with a full-time job, single-motherhood, and at one time a part-time college schedule (not to mention planning a conference and coaching a softball team) I’ve never been able to gauge my productivity.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not under the false hope I’m a fast writer yearning to break free of the trials and tribulations of everyday life. I’m a little saner than that. But I wasn’t sure what I could do with steady, uninterrupted work. And by uninterrupted I mean no classes, coaching, and kiddo for the summer. The day job has to stay.

Slika-Panic As with most writers, there’s a constant panicked voice in the back of my mind worrying the WIP will be lost. Something will happen. The file will become corrupt overnight. Or what if my laptop spontaneously combusts?!

To appease this voice, I back up to an external source, but I also email the file from my personal email to my work email every night. This way I not only have a backup copy readily available, I can write at work if the option arises. (It never does but a girl can dream.)

Using the files I’ve been emailing, I tracked my word count by date and determined I write an average of 10-12K words a month. What a letdown.

I’m proud of the 36K-some odd words I’ve managed to write since May, but in the grand scheme of things, and considering the months of revisions ahead, this number just isn’t going to cut it. I fully intend to have deadlines someday. Contractual obligations. And since I’m sure the day job will still exist even when the deadlines come into play, I have got to pick up the pace.

Bouncy Ball Losing sleep is not an option so this clearly comes down to better time management. And discipline. Less email and Twitter. Less channel surfing on weekends. More Butt on Ball, Fingers On Keyboard. (I bought an exercise ball to use as a chair at my desk. I need to whittle down the abs as I bulk up the WIP.)

I know many published writers turn out two (usually more) books a year while running a household, herding children, and bringing home a day job paycheck. HOW do they make this happen? Is there a fairy dust I don’t know about? Is cloning involved? And how long is the norm for writing/revising a book start to finish?

9 thoughts on “Need To Pick Up The Pace”

  1. JK Coi says:

    It’s SO tough, Terri! You shouldn’t feel bad at all. I can’t keep up either. Just be glad you’re not writing to deadline because then the guilt about letting the other things slide gets WORSE

  2. Hellie says:

    I think they don’t vacuum. 🙂

  3. Don’t be discouraged! Revisions take a LONG time, no matter what you do, because you have to go slow to accomplish everything, and to make sure nothing gets past your editorial eye.
    I do think it’s tougher to get drafting done when there are other obligations (like full-time jobs). I’m trying to do the #1k1hr first thing in the morning, before I have a chance to distract myself with other things (*cough* Twitter *cough*). Some days it works better than others. I definitely FEEL better when I get the writing done first. It’s a continual struggle tho.

  4. Terri Osburn says:

    You’re a prime example, JK! You’ve written what, thirty books in the time I’ve written 1 1/2? LOL! I should be more productive!
    Hellie – Kiddo is back so she can vacuum now. Ha!

  5. Terri Osburn says:

    Donna – I’m getting better at rough drafts (says she who takes MONTHS to write one) but the revision stuff could take years. Makes getting published feel light years away.
    And truth be told, I don’t have great time management at the day job either. LOL! Discipline, I don’t haz it.

  6. Well, you can think of all those authors who don’t do it. For those who manage the writing juggle act, there are hundreds who don’t. So, if you’re making forward progress, you are already ahead of a ton of them.
    Hell, I have all the time in the world and don’t produce as I want to.
    I hear that world prioritize and I look at my house and yard. I’ve already deprioritized them to the point of a hazmat sight…I have no idea how to actually get more writing done!
    And here, I’ve been no help at all! Typical!

  7. Terri Osburn says:

    That’s a nice spin, Mo. There are a lot who never make progress. I used to be one of them! I write every night and on weekends, though I could write more on weekends I guess. But I have a kid and no spouse and I’m not about to let my house fall down around me.
    If you don’t have any life outside of writing, what do you write about? And then we need time to read. We’re going to have to add more hours to the day. That’s all I can think of.

  8. I’m SO dreading the revision time. I did it once for entering a competition whilst juggling full-time work, and the amount of times I told my husband “this is too hard! And if I’ve done tho and not get selected (which is exactly what’s happened), I would have been busting my ass for absolutely nothing!”
    It’s not, but I really wish I could have taken some time off and done nothing but live and breathe the revision and did very little of anything else 🙂 The day will come, I’m sure, when I’m able to do that… I hope.

  9. Terri Osburn says:

    I don’t know your situation, but I’m sure the day will come. But at least while we’re doomed to multi-task, we’re at least developing killer time management skills. LOL!

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