I once read a post describing how long one should spend each day on writing vs editing, something to the tune of 2 hours on writing new words, 1 hour on editing (I could be mis-remembering, it was a while ago and I can’t find the post). there have been many times I have attempted to follow that, usually without much luck.
I would LOVE to be able to focus 100% for 2 whole hours on writing new, fresh words. But even in the little bit of time I have been working on this blog I have been interrupted about 5 times. Right in the middle of writing ‘interrupted’ in fact ^.^ And I know many of you have issues with that also.
Ever notice that? You sit down to write and suddenly EVERYONE needs you, kids, hubby, phone calls, dog, boss, coworkers…. So what do you do? How do you get word count especially when you are in a non-writing friendly environment?
I do a mish mash of things to get my writing done, sometimes with huge success sometimes with little success.
~ Setting word goals in sprints. I usually have a daily word count goal of 500 words. I want to get 500 words on my main WIP every day. But sometimes getting it can’t be done in one sit down session but rather spread out over the course of the day. Since I am a SAHM* with small children I often don’t have the luxury to sit and do nothing. I have a LARGE household and lots of things to do to keep it looking presentable, the family fed, clothed and clean. So I’ll sit down and set the goal of 100 words. Which usually doesn’t take me much more than 15 min. (There are ALWAYS exceptions to this rule though, especially with kids) 5 sessions of sitting down to write 100 words, spaced out through the day and BAM I have my 500 word count goal.
~Sometimes just finding the time to sit down to write feels like an impossible goal in itself. On those occasions I’ll sometimes use the Flylady** method of baby steps and using a timer. I’ll set the timer for about 15 min and write for 15 min, then reset the timer and go do housework. I’m often surprised at how productive I can be in that short period of time.
~ Word Wars. What, you might ask, is a word war? Well you and a couple writer buddies set a timer and write for a predetermined amount of time. Anywhere from 5 min to 1 hour (I usually go for about 30 min.). In chat, someone usually yells out START! and we all get to writing, often after posting our starting counts. When the time is up someone (usually the person who yells START) will yell TIME and we tally up our wordcount to see how many words we wrote. Though it is called a word war, there are no winners or losers, we aren’t competing with anyone else, just ourselves. To push ourselves. I have seen on twitter that folks word war there also. I think there are a couple other writer chats beside the one I go to*** that might do word wars. I don’t have any personal experience with those, though, so I’m not sure if they do and how they manage it.
Sometimes, though I hate admitting this, the words just don’t get written.
Everyone has different ways to get writing, and what works for one person doesn’t always work for others. One thing, though, that stands true no matter what works for you. If you don’t write it, you can’t edit it. If you don’t write it in the first place you will never get published, in ANY venue.
I would suggest making a goal, word count, time frame, scene/chapter, whatever works for you, but find a goal to work towards for daily words. Even if you don’t meet that goal, as long as you work towards it you have succeeded.
and now I have to go change a diaper and do the mommy thing. Take care all.
* SAHM = Stay At Home Mom
** Flylady, is a lady who has helped many, many people with organizing and cleaning. though not all her methods work for me, I find much of her stuff very informational.
***http://fmwriters.com which is a free site with tons of information.