Elizabeth’s post has gotten me thinking about my own writing schedule as I prepare to start the new book. I’ve got a solid block of time to write the first draft, get it critiqued, revise it and submit, but I can’t get complacent. So, a writing schedule.
Normally, I’m the kind of person who, when on deadline, goes for the daily word count. I write every day if possible, hit a target of 1000 words, then done. Usually, that gets me a rough draft in three to three and a half months. Usually. Life has a way of throwing delays at me, but typically it never takes me longer than four months to complete a book. On this book, I’ve been thinking about trying for a higher word count, maybe 1300-1500 words a day, or even *gasp* some 2000 word days.
The problem is that sometimes I chafe under that threat of MUST WRITE EVERY DAY OR ELSE I WILL GET BEHIND OH GOD NO!!!!! Suddenly, the shiny objects that normally distract me (internet, video games, internet) become even shinier, and some days the writing becomes a chore. I’ve considered trying to set aside a block of time to write instead. Say, 8:00 to 9:30 every night is writing time. The benefit is that I know that I can quit at a designated hour and I still have time to do all the other things I might need or want to do. But the problem is that if I don’t hit a certain minimum word count during that time, I’ll feel guilty about stopping.
I know, horrible problem to have, right? And it’s not really a problem, just a question of structure. I want to get the most out of my writing time, so I’ll experiment and see what works for me and what doesn’t. The words still have to get on the page, but how they get there depends on the individual writer.
What about you? How do you structure your writing time?