The Streak Begins

So the writing in shifts thing has been working out pretty good except for one tiny issue.  I keep working on one thing.  Despite my brain being fully capable and willing to write two (or ten) things, apparently once I get into my groove, it wants to finally settle down.  That’s not a bad thing at all.  I am learning my limitations, however.  Like that it takes me realistically six weeks instead of four to write a novel because I like to goof off and procrastinate and do all manner of things that aren’t writing.  Or that I don’t really like working more than 4 hours a day (some days, I do.  Some days the words and flowing and I’m on a roll and don’t want to stop, so I don’t).  Four hours (broken up into a couple shifts) of writing brand new fiction feels pretty good.  I usually get 3-5k words done in those four hours, which is a totally acceptable pace for my goals.

So I’ve decided to start a streak, a writing streak.  I’m going to write every day for at least 20 minutes.  I find writing is like exercise, I don’t necessarily feel up to it instantly, but usually once I’m doing it I feel pretty good and want to keep going.  I’m usually less focused and more distracted on weekends (weekends being when my husband and cat and stuff want my attention most).  But I’m going to keep my streak up.  Every day. Every. Day. 20 minutes minimum.

I’ve also decided what I’m going to do during my streak.  I’m going to focus my efforts this year on the various novel series I already have going.  I’ve set up a calendar of novels and deadlines because I work best to deadlines.  Most of these books are already outlined.  I intend to use weekends for short story writing so that my short story submissions don’t fall behind and because shorts are awesome.  One and done.  One day (sometimes two) and I’m finished.  They are very satisfying.  When stuck in the middle of a novel, it is nice to remember what finishing something feels like, so I like to do short stories to mix things up.

So here’s the rough deadline schedule:

Wrath (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 2): March 19th

The Raven King (Cymru that Could Be: Book 2): April 29th

Delilah in Paradise: June 10th

Beyond Casimir (Lorian Archive: Book 2): July 22nd

Casimir Rising (Lorian Archive: Book 3): September 2nd

Hunger (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 3): September 23rd

The City is Still Hungry (A Remy Pigeon mystery): November 4th

Vainglory (Pyrrh Considerable Crimes Division Book 4): November 25th

Delilah in Hell: December 30th

The Slow Beat Down (A Remy Pigeon mystery): February 10th, 2012

Sindra’s Storm (possibly a duology): March 23rd, 2012

So that’s the schedule.  Unless, of course, a giant wrench gets thrown in it due to either success (like a contract or two) or disaster (but hey, I could still type in a hospital bed, so I’m good, right?).  And of course keep the streak up and hopefully get 52 stories written and submitted.  I’ve done two shorts so far this year.  I’m a little behind.

Go go gadget streak writer *grin*

7 Responses to “The Streak Begins”

  1. David Barron

    To me, that sounds pretty awesome. Then again I feel that limitations are but the disability of the fleshy incompletes that we are compared to the hypothetical robots of tomorrow.

    Go for 30 minutes a day.

    • izanobu

      I figure 20 minutes is such a short sounding bit of time that I can easily talk myself into it. Hence that time frame.

  2. Jeff Ambrose

    Brandon Sanderson, who, if he wrote normal-sized novels, would have a massive backlist by now, has said more than once that he has a limited amount of creative time each day. In other words, he can only write new material for so long. He never said how long that was, but in different interviews I’ve seen him say he aims for about 3000 words a day. So let’s say he has about three to four hours of creative energy.

    What does he do with the rest of his time?

    He divides it between outlining a new project and revising and old project. Now I know you thoughts about revision, but he does it, and it seems to work for him.

    But the point is that he puts in a full day of work even though only part of that day is devoted to writing new material.

    Just using this one pro as an measuring stick, sounds like you’re doing great.

    Yes, we have to learn our limitations. For me, it’s about 2500 words, or 10 pages.

    Looking forward to following this streak. I know this “minimal” writing has worked well for writers like Cory Doctorow and James Van Pelt — both of who write a “minimum” of 250 words a day. Van Pelt hasn’t missed for something like 12 years!!!!

    Good luck with it.

    • izanobu

      Ha. You know I *DO* revise, right? I just don’t do a ton of it (I’m dyslexic, I HAVE to revise).

      Yeah, I find 2-3k words about my comfort zone, but 4-5k isn’t too painful. It’s that over 5,000 words that starts to feel grinding to me unless I’m really in a groove.

      I hope I can keep it up for 12 years. That’d be awesome.

    • izanobu

      Yikes, yeah. That would drive me crazy… One or two passes is plenty for me 😛 But of course, he’s hugely famous and rich and I’m not 😉 So it clearly works for him.

  3. Thomas K. Carpenter

    That four hour number sounds about right for me too. Exercise will help me recharge the brain and I’ve been able to push longer after taking a break to go for a run with the dog, but otherwise, at the end of four hours, I’m mentally drained and want to do other work (editing, admin, submitting, etc.)


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