Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing Time Pie

As I submit one manuscript and contemplate drafting another, I'm thinking about the way I spend my writing time. For this past year I've been entirely focused on revising a single project. That's good, in a way, but during that time I've let other aspects of writing fade. I want to be more balanced.

What I wish most is that I'd been drafting something new every day. I have a pile of ideas for novels, more than a dozen, all clamoring for attention in my brain. Even after I finish drafting the book I know I want to write next, I could continue to draft a scene or two of some other project each day, then still have time for revising. That way my drafting muscles will always stay well toned, and I think I'll be more productive. I'm going to give it a try.

I do my wool-gathering by keeping a notebook at hand while I do my housework and jotting down random ideas as they come. Outlining for me is like pulling teeth, but I want to learn to like it. I should be doing a little writing exercise ever day, but when I'm on fire to write a new scene or fix an old one I tend to forget. I am getting better at reading a little something every day.  But as for marketing and submitting? Sad to say, I do that as little as possible. Maybe that's why I haven't sold any books yet. Sigh.

In an ideal world I'd have eight hours a day for writing. Then I could make sure I get around to all the aspects of writing on a daily basis. But as it is, I'm going to have to juggle. Or prioritize. 

How do you divide up your writing time pie?


  1. I work on one project at a time and yes, it's difficult to crank the brain up again to write something new.

  2. It is difficult to switch gears between drafting, revising, brainstorming - but the more you do it, the better you get (like anything else I suppose).

    If you really want to learn to like outlining, force yourself to outline an entire novel, chapter by chapter, before drafting any scenes. It's really hard, but you'll be amazed at what you can do, and learn to love it. :)

    1. I have a theory that if I outline first I won't rush so much when I'm drafting. Instead of thinking, "Oh, I can't wait to see how this plot line turns out! Must hurry and get to the end!" I can think, "Oh, I can't wait to see how this scene turns out! Must take my time and do it right!"

  3. Finally wrote a possible first scene for my next book today. Feeling very happy.


What be on yer mind?