Fitting It All In

Gandhi writingSo I have ambitious plans for writing in 2018: 2 novels, 3 novellas, with a fourth to be serialized after No Marigolds wraps up in the fall. So how to do it?

For the past several months, I’ve been making do with writing before work and first thing on Saturday and Sunday mornings. When working on something for publication, this usually gets me 500-700 words before going to work. The problem is that I used to write much, much more than that. The Children of Amargosa was written in blocks of 1000-2500 words a day. I would duck out of work and drive to a nearby library or park and write.

I have also lost weekend time. I have a family now who need my attention, and I sleep later on Saturdays. Why? There’s a lot more going on in my life. So I’m going to have to reschedule my time.

Lunchtimes are when I write and when I do revisions. Unfortunately, it’s also when I do beta reads. That may need to be rethought. Lunchtime writing is sometimes better than morning writing even though mornings are when I’m fresher. A lot of time, I’ll get an idea while I’m writing first thing in the morning but have to stop because it’s time to go to work. If that’s it for writing that day, then I have to hope I remember my idea the next day.

I also need to quit hitting the snooze bar so much in the morning. A few years ago, I read a book called The Miracle Morning by Hal Eldon. Eldon created a system called SAVERS, an acronym for Silence (or meditation or prayer), Affirmation, VisualizationExercise, Reading, Scribing (or rather writing.) This is an ideal morning routine for a writer, one that ends in writing. The Self-Publishing Podcast guys even convinced Eldon to write a version aimed specifically at writers. However, while the routine keeps me focused and grounded, it also sometimes has me running out the door to work. So getting up at 5 AM, or at least after only two smacks of the snooze bar, needs to happen. And I need to be consistent. I need to do this on weekends as well, if not at 5, then well before 8 AM.

I do know writers who do nothing but write, no social life whatsoever. I know a couple who write late at night after the family’s gone to bed. I used to love writing late at night, but I spent most of the 80s and 90s as a night owl. Coming home late and writing was a great way to wind down. But right now, I’m typing this on Sunday evening. It’s 8:30. By the time Star Trek: Discovery ends, my eyes will drift downward, and I’ll be wanting to climb upstairs for bed. Hmm… Maybe that’s why I have trouble getting at 5.

But I also used to write at the drop of a hat. Pull off into a Starbucks, and I’d write for half an hour. Go write on the back deck when I live in Eastgate and had a deck. Wait. I have a deck again! And a laptop that isn’t subject to sun glare! Whoo hoo! So, yeah, stealing moments here and there to work on the novel/novella/short story in progress is on the docket. Starting…

Two days before you read this.

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