Last year, when I played fulltime writer, I learned a few things that I’ll be adapting for this year. Last year, I tried to focus on one project at a time, which mean, I ended up spending seven straight hours doing revision. As some of you might know from my many blog posts bemoaning revisions, it’s one of my least favorite aspects of writing. To me they’re like going to the
dentist, necessary, and my works much better after their done, but torture
during (torture is a little extreme but you get the point).
By forcing myself to work so hard on my edits, I burnt myself out some, and didn’t end up getting as much done as I would have liked. This year I don’t have edits, but I do want to do my revisions for Reunion Makes Three, so I’m going to split the difference. This year I’m going to try and devote half my time (most likely my morning time) to writing the two works currently on the docket, Dirty Work and A Ménage for the End of the World, and spend half my time revising Reunion Make Three. I’m hoping this way I won’t burn myself out the same way I did last year and I’ll be able to get all the projects done before January 1st.
The other thing I did wrong last year is I tried to focus on writing for eight straight hours. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I don’t focus on the day job for eight straight hours. I get up and talk to people, when I call someone to verify a budget, I also end up talking to them for a while about their family or personal life, when I talk to my boss about what we have to do next we always end up venting a bit about the craziness going on a work. It isn’t human nature to focus so much for so long. So I’m going to try and apply that logic to my fulltime writing.
What I plan to do is focus for short periods of time, twenty minutes working up to thirty. But during these times I have to really focus, no distractions at all. After the allotted time, I can do something a little more fun, check email, talking online, or wrap presents, for the remainder of the hour. I think by truly focusing for these periods of time I think I’ll get more done and make more progress than if I focused for longer periods but ended up taking longer breaks.
Only time will tell if these changes will improve my output, but either way, I’m looking forward to have two weeks of writing. It’s my favorite time of the year.