Another month has flown by. Has this year zipped by everyone else as fast as it has me? I think it’s a sign of getting older, but I’m not telling how old. Anyways, on to the task at hand. Let’s leave talk of old age in the dust. It’s time for another month of
miserable nervous insecure writer commiseration. Us insecure writers need support, so if you haven’t already clicked on the little image and checked us out, then get on it. We need witnesses to our twittering and shakes otherwise…well, I don’t know what we’d do otherwise. So click! 🙂
This month my insecurity has circled back to time. It’s something that never lets go of me, but this month the time issue is different. This month, I’m coming out of my beautiful, productive summer break – a time where I actually “finished” my first WIP, and I’m beginning my second. But the trouble is that I’m beginning it as I gear back up for another school year. I thought I’d have more of the summer to outline and draft, but “final” edits of my first novel took longer than anticipated. So, I have to cut down from four hours of work per day to one. And I’m tackling a much bigger project. Ah… My fingernails are already stumpy at this point. I worry that before long I’ll start gnawing at flesh. Wait, is that another book idea?
My question for all the illustrious IWSG’ers out there is: How do you balance early stages of planning and drafting with small windows of time?
Now, on to the weekly news. If you’re uninformed and choose to stay that way, stop reading. 🙂
This first kernel of interesting news leads me to believe that someone needs to read the definition of sport. I’m sorry to anyone who loves this tradition, but finger-wrestling is not a sport. It may be fun, and the beer may be good, but IT IS NOT A SPORT.
Knock, knock. Tell me if you’ve heard this one.
And in science news: What happens when Robert Frost meets particle physics? A really cool experiment.
I always have a pen and paper with me to sneak in little notes or to write down ideas. You never know when you might have an extra minute, like while you’re in a long line at the grocery store. Just do what you can. It might take you a bit longer, but you can still tackle the second W.I.P. Doing a little bit every day will get you where you want to be. Good-luck
I guess just doing it in spurts here and there. Since it takes me forever to plan and outline a manuscript, I’m probably not the best one to ask.
I draft on my iPhone note pad. That way, I can jot down ideas anytime, anywhere. I’ve outlined books waiting for my kids to get out of football practice. I also downloaded a word program onto my kindle, so I can get ideas down on the run there too. But I won’t lie…finding the balance and getting it all done is so hard and I whined, ooops I mean commiserated, on that this month myself.
Planning and drafting is easy. If I’m inspired, I try to start the day with two hours of writing before doing other daily tasks. However, rewriting is hell for me and I never seem to have enough time to make something decent out of my manuscript 😉
Time is a beast, isn’t it? Planning and drafting is the fun part, but I have learned to appreciate rewriting. The layers it can add so much. Worth the work.
This will be the first year I’m NOT heading back to school. I walked out of my classroom for the last time in June. I’m actually a little worried about how I will structure my time to write WITHOUT the day job. What if I needed that stress to actually produce my stories? *bites fingernails*
But to answer your question, you might try a planning tool — like The Snowflake Method, for instance — that is set up to be accomplished in hour-long intervals. I’m also something between a pantster and a plotter (a dot-to-dotter?), and I’m trying the Snowflake Method as a planning tool for the first time. Don’t know how it will work for me, and I expect my manuscript will deviate from the plan like always. But it’s a historical murder mystery, so I’d like to have it planned out a little more than usual before I jump into the draft. Here is the site I’m using: http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/articles/snowflake-method/
Thanks for the link! I’ll give it a look. I think structure could help me make the best use of my time. Good luck with with your new step in your writing journey. I bet this time of year is easier for you. 🙂
Ah the issue of time! I seem to always be fighting it. Between work and writing and other projects, just being able to read a handful of blogs seems like a tremendous triumph. I try to set aside one day a week where I focus on writing for at least a couple of hours. I usually do a really, really rough outline of the story and then dive in. The outline acts as more of lines on a highway but with lots of room to pass and merge into other lanes 🙂 I guess you could say I’m a pantster with plotting tendencies!
Thanks for stopping by my IWSG post! Have a wonderful rest of the weekend! ~Jen
I’m with you on having pantser and plotting tendencies. I need more than one day a week though. I’m trying to convince my boss that school should start one month late this year. Think she’ll go for it? 🙂
I have a weekly to-do list. When I know time is going to be tight, I lessen my writing goals and stick to them. When things slow down, I’m back to increasing the goals. It just feels good to be working on something to achieve things.
Meeting goals, even if they’re truncated for time, sounds like a nice way to keep the motivation going strong. I use regular goal setting in the summer. I’ll have to give it a try during the school year. Thanks!
I’m not a good example of one to ask this question. I’ve learned the hard way that nothing is more important than family. You do what you can do and trust that it’ll all work out. That’s my philosophy. I’m learning in my 60s to be kind to myself. Great question, Kim. Thanks for visiting my blog.
I agree about family being important. Time just gets carved out of those times of day where it can. Thanks for commenting!
I’m a pantser, which I know gives most people the heebie-jeebies! I just get an idea, think about it a while, then jump in when the words start forming sentences. It all seems to work out somehow, although I do spend a while in revisions…
I don’t get the heebie-jeebies from pantsing because I understand the push of creativity. I do some of it at times, but to cut down of revisions, I see the value in planning as well. I agree, though, that it will all work itself out. 🙂
I don’t have much balance in my life. I’m the dreaded hot cold writer, outliner, reviser. 🙂
That’s tough, but I know that it works well for some people. Thanks for commenting!
Great question, and I wish I had a good answer. My solution generally steals from my sleep, which ends up having me too tired to be productive and somehow farther behind the longer I do it. Yet I keep looking for that lost time.
Yeah, dark circles are my calling card during the school year. It sucks, but I’ve never been able to find time otherwise. Chasing our tails, huh?
In answer to your question, I suppose I am a daydreamer. Like other commenters have said, I often go about the more mundane duties of my day (dishes, laundry, driving, yard work, exercise) with a story or dialogue developing in my mind.
But I’m not much of a planner, so there isn’t a lot of structured planning, even when I have the time!
Congratulations of finishing the WIP, that is a great feeling 🙂
I hope you get the time you need to develop the next one!
Thanks! I also let the ideas roll around while I’m doing other things, but getting more writing time in the summer makes it hard come fall to pare back. I covet. 🙂
Time is the most precious of commodities and there’s never enough of it, but that’s an old saw and no excuse for me not to get down and write no matter how little of that precious stuff I have. I hear what you’re saying and I totally get it.
I think it’s a perennial problem for adults. But you’re correct about not letting it be an excuse.
I find it really hard to write or revise in small amounts of time. It messes with my concentration and if I stop, I can never pick up the “flow” the next day. Stuff comes out very disjointed. It doesn’t help that it often takes me 8 hours to write 500 words. 😛
Huge congrats on finishing WIP #1 and good luck on the new one!!!
I must admit to better flow when I get larger chunks of time, but not writing during the school year is just not an option. So…smaller chunks it is. 😦
Thanks! I have this CP who’s been pushing me to hurry up and start my fantasy novel that’s been brewing for two years. 😉
I don’t plan, as such, but I’m constantly thinking about writing. So in the early stages, you’ll find me doing housework, running errands, and training in the gym with a very thoughtful look on my face. Just don’t try to say hello, because I won’t actually know you’re there!
Congrats on finishing the book – that’s a huge step!
I know that look. I call it my “in my head look”. We should get some sort of pass from interacting when we’re wearing it, huh?
I just plan my day out very well. That’s the only way to make the most of time. If you have to sacrifice other things you would otherwise do, then put them off for a while. That’s all I can think of.
Very practical advice. I know it’s part of life, but I always covet more time. 🙂
I just keep planning a little bit each day. Most of my books have taken months of planning, outlining, character sketches, etc. I just use the time I have to plan.
I suppose using the time I have is all I can do for now. But like most writers, I long for the day when this is my full-time gig. A girl can dream. 🙂
I’ve always been a pantser, so I’m not really sure if I can answer that question. I would fill that spare time with just writing whatever part was inspiring me the most. Maybe make a list of what needs to get done and try to work on it a little bit every day.
August IWSG Co-host
I’m in the middle between a pantser and plotter, but this next book requires more planning because it’s going to be a series. But I’ll have to steal time wherever I can get it. 🙂