Writers endure cycles of varying productivity, and since I turned my novel in to my editor July 1, I’ve been trying to find my groove again. Sure, I took it easy for a few days, then edited a short story and brainstormed my Deals with the Dead series (oh yeah, edited 43k in that), but lately it’s been back to writing new words, and with that, trying to find a reasonable word count goal each day.
I’m a pantser. With every new cycle to explore new horizons I ask myself if I should try outlining, and each time I end up just writing the next scene. This often means I’m brainstorming as I write, and I’ve learned that with internet access I tend to associate browsing the internet with brainstorming. This leads to pretty embarrassing word/minute totals at the end of the day. Sure, I hit my 750 word mark 4/5 days during the week, but rarely more than a thousand, and honestly, the days I didn’t were without excuse.
After I what I expect to be a 2k+ day today, I’ve written about 10k in that amount of time. Sure, it’s only a little under 1k a day, but still paltry in comparison.
The obvious problem to my lack of productivity is internet distraction, so here’s what I’m going to do for the next week: write longhand, only using the internet to check email while I eat, and then typing the words in when I think I’m too tired to write any more. As of writing this sentence, 3:06pm on Monday, I’ve longhand written 8.5 pages in my notebook and had a blast. The typing in later might feel redundant, but there is the bonus of polishing up what I wrote in the process.
Besides the enjoyment of larger productivity, I’m feeling like a writer again. Writing in long enough stretches without distraction reminds me of why I love writing: the escape. The constant checking of worthless emails and social media streams does nothing but rub in my face that other people have books for sale, or that I’m just a bum on the internet, hanging out.
That’s all for this week. Mad props to Bryan Thomas Schmidt for his productivity and inspiration. His blog post “Write Tip: Diligence Pays Off-Success Equals Talent Plus Work” was also helpful, and now that I’ve identified a solution, I’m off to enjoy it. In thanks to Bryan, I’ve included cover images and links to his books. He’s working his butt off to make this a career, so why not see if his stuff is for you.