So I’ve been following Dean Wesley Smith’s blog pretty closely over the last few days, as he posts about his creative process for a novel he’s ghost writing. It’s more than a little mind-boggling–he started literally with nothing, not even a working title, and yet he’s averaging between 5k-7k per day. If he hasn’t already, he’ll probably finish it tonight.
I’m learning a lot from these posts, especially about the importance of switching off your internal critic and trusting your creative instincts. Over the last couple of days, I’ve tried to do just that with the sword & planet novel I mentioned last week, and I can say that it really works! By doing all I can to put words on the page and ignoring everything else, I’m averaging about a thousand words per day and the story is unfolding wonderfully. It’s like a trust fall with my muse, where instead of failing miserably I’ve found she’s there to catch me.
All of this has made me think that I need to reorder my writing routine and make some resolutions in order to keep this momentum going. If I can overcome some of my bad habits and replace them with good ones, I can be a lot more productive, and writing will be that much more fun.
So here’s what I’m going to do this week:
- Start every day with writing. Even if it’s only fifteen or twenty minutes, as soon as I get out of bed I’m going to sit down at the writing computer and pound out a few hundred words.
- Write in lots of little chunks, rather than one or two large chunks. In other words, don’t put off writing until the chores are done–put off the chores!
- Shoot for 1000 words per hour or better. If the pace starts to flag, switch projects if necessary, even if the other project is fanfic.
- Go for at least one walk at some point in the day. Walks do more to re-energize my creative energy than just about anything else.
Basically, I’m going to treat my work-in-progress as something fun, rather than work or a chore. I’ll use a stopwatch to keep track of how many hours I write each day, but I won’t give myself a quota.
My writing process isn’t the same as Dean’s, and I’m not going to try to imitate his process, but I am going to pick out what I like about it and see what works. Also, I’m going to focus a lot more on quantity than quality, with the understanding that treating everything as practice will likely improve both.
As for the A to Z blogging challenge, I’ve got two posts left, Y and Z. I haven’t written them yet, but I’ve got a great idea for both of them. Since writing takes precedence, though, I may not get to them until later in the day. It also depends on whether the temp agency calls me up in the morning with a job–they’ve been doing that a lot recently. Last week I was at a factory making toothbrushes for dogs (true story). This week, I could be doing anything–or nothing, as the case may be. I’d like a couple of days of nothing, just for a good chance to write.