I’ve been writing a fair amount in the last month, but when I looked at the results in terms of finishing projects, it doesn’t look so good. I’ve finished two things in the last month. Two. Not exactly on target with where I want to be by the end of the year. It’s time to quit being lazy and work on the second of Heinlein’s Rules: finish what you write.
It’s easy for me to finish short stories generally. Once I’m writing one, I tend to just get it done (usually within one or two sittings). Novels are tougher to finish, though the endings so far of them are a lot easier than the beginnings and middles. I’ve been tinkering between two novels lately, getting some done on each but not really making huge progress with either. Part of this is fear. Once I’m done, I have to send it out. I’ve worked out a way to overcome that fear by putting together the package for each novel before I finish, so at least that part of the work will be done so I can just focus on getting the book done.
The other part of this is just sheer laziness. I like to work in bursts, when stuff “comes” to me because I’m lazy and making my brain focus and compose is annoying if I’m not in the mood. Yep, just lazy. I know it is laziness because if I have deadlines (real or imagined), I have no problem dumping the “must be in the mood” and getting the work done. I think I can combat my current lazy with some good old habit-forming. I like to take days off writing, but for the next while, I’m not going to. I think I need to build up a nice streak, get in the habit of not letting myself take days off (usually I justify days off because I know I *can* write 10k words in a day to catch up if I have to). So starting today, I’m going to get in at least 3,900 words of fiction a day at least 6 days a week, with the seventh day goal being 1,250 words. At that pace I should be able to finish everything I want to finish by the end of the year. It really doesn’t help that I keep adding things I’d like to finish to my project list.
When I started out this year, I was thinking I’d write four novels and get to 30 or so short stories out to markets. Then I kept having novel ideas, so it turned into five novels. Then because of a conversation at one of the workshops, I decided I was going to aim for 80 short stories on top of that. I’ve since revised that down to 40 or so shorts, not because I don’t think I could write 80, but because at 27 I’m already a little sick of the admin work of keeping track of them so I don’t accidentally sim-sub or something that I think 40-50 will be the max I want to track at a time (and it’ll be a level that, god forbid, if I start selling some, I can replace them). And on top of that, the novel ideas just keep pouring in. I’ve shunted four over to next year already. I’m aiming at seven this year (two of which are shorter, one 50k, one 65-75k). Frankly, I’d love to slow down, but my brain won’t let me. See why I can’t afford to continue being fearful and lazy? I don’t have time! At the least I’ll be getting a lot of practice in and hopefully improving.
Current projects and current word count:
MG novel- ~12k
Suspense/Crime novel- ~8k
Sci/fi novel- ~7k
Sekrit Experiment project- ~1k
Paranormal Mystery, Horror Western, Irish Historical, and Regency Romance- no words yet
Also have one novella that stands at ~1300 words and another that had nearly 5k on it (which I haven’t touched in a year since I really need to redraft the whole beginning, grr).
So… plenty to finish. I should get on that.