Summer Daze

I love summer.  Not as much as I love autumn, but it’s a very close second as far a seasons go.  But, as the days keep getting warmer, I’ve noticed a problem.  I’m not getting much writing done.  Most days are spent at the pool with my kids.  Just a week ago, when we were having almost constant storms, I was cranking out pages in my rewrite.  But I haven’t been able to polish a single one over the past week.

So my story has stalled.  I mean, as much as a completed story can.  It’s still there and it’s still finished.  It just needs polishing.  But I think that actually makes it all the more frustrating.  When I’m drafting I can excuse days away from a project saying I need to find where it’s going, but that’s not the case here.

My solution?  I’m going to try something I’ve never done before.  Starting today, I’m going to schedule my writing.  It’s a job, right?  And jobs often have set hours, right?  It makes perfect sense in my head, but I’m still a little nervous about it.  It’s left me wondering, do you schedule your writing?  Either in hours a day or words per day?  If not, do you have some other method to keep on task?  Have you tried methods that have been a success or a failure for your personal style?  I’d love to hear about it.  And, hopefully, I’ll be able to report back with a finished story in two weeks.

6 Responses to “Summer Daze”
  1. Suzanne Rock says:

    Hi Chandra –

    I schedule my writing. It’s the only way that I ever get anything done. Through trial and error, found I was being too hard on myself with daily goal settings and schedules. Weekly works better for me as it gives me the flexibility to take a day off if I need to. Since I already have a day job, I don’t schedule days off with my writing – I try to write every day. If for some reason I can’t write on a particular day, then I don’t beat myself up about it because I am still making progress toward a weekly goal.

    So I would suggest a spreadsheet (I can hear Amanda and Barbara groaning, but I don’t care. I *love* spreadsheets. 🙂 ) Say you can comfortably edit ~10 pages a day. Then set yourself a weekly goal of editing 50 pages, which will work out to you writing ~5 days a week. This gives you a 2 day buffer for those tough spots in the book where you go slower and if you just happen to feel lazy some day. You can also track your progress in the spreadsheet so you can get that sense of accomplishment. 🙂 At 50 pages a week, you can edit a 300 page book by mid-August. If you can only do 5 pages a day, or 25 pages a week, then you can be done by the end of September.

    Good luck!

    • chandraryan says:

      I’d never thought of doing it by week. That’s a really good idea! It gives me just enough wiggle room but still ensures I get something done. Thank you 🙂

  2. What works for me is the “light a fire” method. Send out a query and you’ll be polishing like a maniac in no time;>

    • chandraryan says:

      Wow! That is a bold way to get motivated. I’ll have to remember it. This one is going to an editor who wants to see the full, but next time I submit somewhere that requires only a cover first I’ll give it a shot. Thanks.

  3. Amanda Vyne says:

    Ah yes, I’m in favor of the my-mouth-writing-checks-that-my-ass-better-be-able-to-cash method of motivation. My family is too chaotic to keep much of a schedule. If I try…SOMEONE will call or stop by and throw it all to hell.

    And I just KNEW Sue would have the word “spreadsheet” in hers. 😉

    • chandraryan says:

      I’m not sure if my family life is going to allow much of a tight schedule either. I did start yesterday and made it through 13 pages (yay) and then remembered my boys tennis lessons…which I’d written through at that point. Oh well, they haven’t mentioned it yet. Maybe they forgot too?

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