So, it’s getting towards the end of the summer, I’m having a TON of awesome experiences out here in Jordan, I’ve practically abandoned the Quark writing group (for the time being…I’ll be back…), and I’m only 16,000 words into Genesis Earth, which I was hoping to finish before the end of the summer. My daily routine has definitely been flipped upside down since the end of winter semester, and I need to figure out how what I’m going to do with regards to my writing…
My original idea for this summer was to “prove” that I could handle a busy job and still write on the side by having a weekly wordcount goal of 1,000 while I was doing all of this other stuff in the study abroad program. I based it off of what Brandon Sanderson taught us when he spoke to the Quark writing group last winter. I started out with a weekly wordcount goal of 1,000.
However, instead of writing new material, I’ve ended up revising and re-revising the stuff that I already have, for various reasons which I won’t go into right now. Then, I re-listened to the recording I have of the meeting, and found out that Brandon actually said that you need to be doing about 2,000 words a week, not 1,000. I have 16,000 words as things stand right now, but that’s about what I had at the beginning of the summer (maybe a couple of thousand words more).
So, even though I can’t point my finger at this summer and say “see? I can do it!” I can fall back on a couple of excuses.
First of all, the priority for me has always been the study abroad experience, and if that meant falling behind in my writing life I was willing to do that. This doesn’t mean, however, that I won’t be able to handle a career and a family on top of my writing life. Study abroad programs are unique experiences that don’t really compare with regular life all that well, so if I’ve been too busy to put in 2,000 words each week consistently, that doesn’t mean that I won’t be able to fit writing into my regular, everday life.
Second, in a sense, I have been writing–quite a bit more than 2,000 words a week, in fact. I’ve been keeping a blog on my travel experiences, and I’m seriously considering submitting it to publishers as a piece of creative non-fiction when I get back to the states. I’m at least going to look into it, and if I do, then that means that everything I’ve been putting on my travel blog can be considered a part of my creative writing. Even though it isn’t Genesis Earth or The Lost Colony (I need to change that title) or any other of my fiction projects, it is still creative writing and can be considered part of my work as a writer.
That being said, I do want to make some serious progress in the novels I’m writing/outlining/preparing to edit. Here is the plan as best I see it:
I want to finish the rough draft of Genesis Earth before the fall semester begins. That’s a bit of a crunch, considering I’m only 16k words into it, but I think I can do it. The story is not all that long–probably between 50k and 55k at the most–and I’ve worked out almost all of the major kinks and problems in my head. I’ve got two or three weeks when I get back to the states, and I won’t be too busy in that time, so I think I can handle 10k words per week easily enough when I get back. That’s 20k that I don’t have to worry about, so simple number crunching give me 14k that I need to write before I come home. I’ve got 5 weeks before I go home, so if I do between 2,500 to 3,000 words a week, that should put me where I need to be.
So, the goal: 2,500 to 3,000 words in Genesis Earth per week. Easy enough, if I spend about an hour a night writing before I go to bed.
I also want to keep writing for my travel blog, and make sure that that project is as fantastic as it can be. I have no shortage at this time of subjects to write about; the trick is just sitting down and doing it. If I set a goal for 5 posts a week, that gives me 25 posts minimum before I go back, plus whatever I write about as I’m adjusting back to life in the states. I want to write a four or five post series just on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I want to finish that before I get back to the states, so I need to get started on that right away. Other than that, if I wake up early and write a post every day before I go to the university, I think I’ll be in good shape.
So, the goal: write 5 posts a week and complete the series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and have them all up on the site before August 17th.
That’s quite a bit of work, in addition to homework, hanging out with my Arab friends (and I seem to be making new ones every day…I’ve got to blog on that!), hanging out with my Arab family, and handling everything else as it comes. But I think I can do it.