Novel Update: Making Time to Write

September 11, 2009 in Fantasy, Novel, On Writing by pacejmiller

making time

Yesterday I wrote around 5,000-6,000 words on my work-in-progress fantasy novel.  Sure, none of it was really any good, but it was the most I had done on it since at least May 2009 (more than 4 months ago)!

The main reason for this sudden spike in productivity?  Simply, making time to write.

And I don’t mean ensuring that I have 10 minutes a day.  I already do that, and while it keeps the momentum going, it never really gives me me the production that I am striving for.  Having had so much time off from writing led to gargantuan struggles to get back into it each time I sat down to work on the novel.  Sometimes the 10 or 20 minutes I allocated would be spent just trying to get my bearings right.  As a result, I often found myself stuck on the same scene for days on end.

In making time to write, what I mean is literally putting aside a few consecutive hours, with no interruptions, no disruptions, and just write.  It may still take me 10 or 20 minutes to get into it, but eventually when I do, I’ll still have a few solid hours to make some real progress.

When I returned from my studies in the UK, I had envisaged this genius plan where I would work on my novel every day in the month or so I had before a return to full-time work, and perhaps even finish the first draft!  Well, things rarely turn out the way you expect.  Something was always going on, and I never had a continuous block of time to get any decent writing done.

So yesterday, after doing the laundry, I had to put my foot down and tell my wife that following lunch (out), I was coming straight home and I wouldn’t be going out again.  No more new plans, no more spontaneous suggestions to do this or that, no more visiting the in-laws, no more excuses.  Not today.  And thankfully, I did that, and it felt great.

I’m not expecting to be able to do this every day before I return to work – in fact, if I could just get 2 days a week I would be satisfied.  Once work starts, that’s another story.  I caught up with a colleague today who told me it’s been 9am-10pm for 4 weeks straight now…hopefully that rough patch will blow over by the time I go back!