I’ve started to keep track of my writing times in an Excel spreadsheet so that I could get an idea of how often I actually write. I’m doing this to measure my progress, but also to help kick the self doubt. I often give myself a hard time, berating myself for not spending enough time writing, when now I have solid evidence to the contrary. I’m spending plenty of time writing.
Looking back over my spreadsheet this evening, I’m pleased to say that since the end of June up until this day I have been consistently writing six out of seven days a week, with the times varying between a half an hour to three hours (and one glorious four-hour chunk… the sun was rising as I was heading off to bed for that one). Six out of seven days. And I’ve also noted that many of those days have more than one session – one in the morning before work, and one in the evening.
Plus, I started on my new novel five days ago, and am about 6k words into the first draft.
I’ve proven to myself that I can be disciplined when I want something badly enough. That’s something to be proud of, huh? :)
I gotta throw another “thank you” out there to Rachel Aaron. I’ve been putting some of her writing tips into play, and I have to say that the one that has helped me the most thus far was the idea of knowing what you’re going to write before you write it. I don’t necessarily mean plotting out the full story. In fact, for this novel I’m trying more of a discovery-writing type of approach – just writing without a plan to see where these characters decide to take me. But each time I sit down to write out a new scene, I take a few moments (sometimes longer than I probably should) to jot down by hand key events that should happen in the scene. Sort of like a play-by-play, just the skeletal structure of what I would like to see happen. Even seat-of-the-pants writers can employ this method – it’s just a basic plot for the scene immediately before actually writing it. It really does help to have a sense of direction, and it’s made the process of writing that much more enjoyable for me.
This is my year for writing, I feel it =)