An Act of Recommittedness – Day 285

Yes, things have been hectic. Yes, the creative juices are flowing mostly towards day-job projects, leaving little but pulp and seeds for my evening writing sessions — not much use trying to make much of that.

But I’ll also admit that I probably could have fit in a few more hours in here and there. I think I’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed over the last few months… well, anyway. Enough of the excuses.

Which is the whole point of this blog post. I’m deciding to recommit to my one hour per day of writing per day to get this done.

See, I set a tentative completion date for a reading copy as the end of the summer. I’ve always said that that’s flexible. Family and work comes first of course. After that, as long as I’m honestly putting the time in, then it takes as long as it takes. I stuck to my hour-per-day schedule successfully as I wrote the first draft. I abandoned it simply because I wasn’t sure that I could rework the second draft in one-hour increments. I thought that I would need bigger blocks of time to rework scenes, etc.

But you know what? That’s not working for me. I don’t have bigger blocks of time. And when I do sit down to work on it, typically I’m looking at one-hour chunks of time anyway. So why not make it official?

Through the summer — starting today, as a matter of fact — I’ll be going back to my one hour per day writing schedule, and tracking my hours. I’m not 100% it will help me finish my second draft. But what I’m doing right now isn’t working either. Time to take a new tack.

I worked on the novel a few times this weekend. I’m still slogging through the first quarter of the book, paring down the word count and trying to heighten the story, characters, and suspense. Funny, you think “a novel — I have all the time in the world!” but you get down into the thick of it, and you really have to be just as concise with your words as with anything else if you want to hit your targets.

I’m still long, but I’m getting closer. And better.

Until tomorrow.

~Graham

Hours:

Today: 1.25
Total: 137.25

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4 Responses to An Act of Recommittedness – Day 285

  1. I have such a hard time doing any writing with only one hour. It takes me so much time to remember what I was thinking and feeling the last time I was writing. I lose so much time starting again that it makes me feel it’s not worth starting if I can’t do it for at least a few hours.
    The Good Greatsby’s most recent blog post: Everybody Loves a Clown…Except for Everybody I Know

    • Graham Strong says:

      Hi Greatsby,

      Welcome!

      I hear you. Actually, I’ve read several respected writers say that it takes them an hour or so just to get the creative engine warmed up. Working in one-hour bites simply wouldn’t work in those cases.

      Personally, I haven’t had that problem too much. Don’t get me wrong, some writing days are much, much better than others. But generally speaking, I can hit the ground running.

      Again, I consciously made the choice to abandon the one-hour per day schedule so I could devote more time at each sitting. So I agree with you completely, it is better to devote more time to keep in the rhythm of the scene or the moment. Problem was, that time just wasn’t there. So right now, one-hour bites it is.

      Will the novel suffer for it? Perhaps (though I hope not — and I’ll do my best to prevent that…)

      But the bottom line for me is that the novel definitely will suffer if I don’t do this, because it will never get written.

      Thanks for dropping by and taking the time to add your thoughts. I appreciate it!

      ~Graham

  2. Kelly says:

    Graham,

    Good for you! I’d hate to see you lose steam totally because you stepped back from the routine.

    This part was the kicker for me: “… as long as I’m honestly putting the time in…”

    Writing. Exercise. (Even, sometimes, work, if it looks tough. Shhhh.) I know how to twiddle around at other things and say I “honestly” don’t have the time all too well! To honestly put the time in… yeah, I hear you. For me, slightly arbitrary time commitments like your re-commitment here work better than just “make sure I get ’round to it,” too.

    Plus, whether you get done or not, you’ll know you made strides. Looking forward to watching your steady progress continue!

    Regards,

    Kelly
    Kelly’s most recent blog post: The Money-Making Business Manifesto—From Start to Sales

    • Graham Strong says:

      Thanks Kelly,

      The time factor is the hardest thing of this whole process. That and dipping into the well a few more times at the end of a long creative day. But you’re right — making strides at this point has to be the focus for me right now. It helps that I enjoy writing it, and don’t see it as work!

      ~Graham

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