My Internet crush Felica Day has written an article on how to increase your writing productivity. Much of it is common sense, but if you are serious about writing it is a pretty good starting place.
My own writing productivity has drastically dropped since I got my new job. I simply do not have the time anymore to sit down and write a 1000 words day, heck, most days I struggle to write 250. Even on weekends I find it difficult because now I am squeezing more activities into less time.I would really like to get to doing a 2nd draft of my short story and I’d like to get started on a longer project I have been outlining, but I simply lack the time. I am seriously considering dropping this blog in favor of the more shallow Facebook (but easy to use) or at the very least writing here less, maybe cutting down to 12-15 posts a month. I have made no decisions, but I see some changes coming down the road.
On a separate note. Smallville, the really wretched TV show about Clark Kent before becoming Superman, is finally off the air after 10 seasons. All I have to say is in some alternate reality, this show lasted 7 episodes and Firefly had an epic 10 season run, and that is a universe I want to live in. As for this universe, I cry for humanity.
Late last month I wrote I was going to try and write a rather lengthy short story. As of today, I finished the story. My goal was to write 10,000 words over a 5 week period, the final count was actually 11,400 words. The pace was very comfortable and I had no trouble writing 2000 words a week. I am not going to be showing the work to anyone else, primarily because it is a first draft and is not really ready for any one else to read yet. I am going to mark this one a success, I set a goal for myself and I was able to focus enough to see it through to the end. I am going to walk away from this particular project for the moment, in a couple of weeks I will come back to it and do a second draft. I could easily add 4-5000 words further developing characters and adding more and better dialogue, so the end product will probably be more like 15,000 words. In the interim, I will be plotting out my next story, and deciding how I want to divide up the chunks.
Recently PezWitch and I have been discussing professional writing. What has been working for me over the last year is I make a concerted effort to sit down and write a minimum of 250 words per day. Some days I write more, some days I go back and edit a previous days work and add another 250 words to it. The whole idea behind forcing myself to write 250 words per day was just to get into the habit of writing. Even on days I didn’t feel like it or had nothing to write about, I still sat down and wrote. The sole exception has been when I was really sick, but if I could get out of bed and sit at a computer for about 30 minutes, I wrote my 250 words. Most of the output is this blog. You will probably notice I don’t publish 250 words a day here, that is because often I trash what I have written or I spent a couple of days writing a bigger post.
My new writing exercise is to write a short story of about 10,000 words. I am chopping it into 5 chapters of 2000 words each, I figure that is a comfortable output for 1 week. I am further breaking each chapter into 4 scenes, approximately 500 words each, which I should be able to do easily in an hour or two. Chapter one is done, hopefully in another 4 weeks I will have a first draft. If this works and I try again, I may try cutting the story into 3 acts and each act has 3 scenes, similar to how plays are written.