For four days, I gave myself permission to do nothing but think about the book. No e-mail, no Twitter, no blogging, no scheduling appearances, no designing, purchasing, signing or mailing of swag. None of the business stuff that gets in the way of the actual work.
It was like a vacation. I haven't been this happy in a long time. Whereas in February I was kind of going through the motions, keeping up with my wordcount but letting the writing be just one of many daily tasks, I am now really, really excited about this book. I know what the central conflicts are (for now), how it ends (for now), and how the plot twists and turns to get there (mostly, for now).
One thing I learned: I suck at balance. A day is either a productive writing day or a productive business day. Rarely (maybe three or four times ever) is it both.
So my new strategy is this: 3 days on, 1 day "off", and so on.
"on" = book, the whole book, and nothing but the book. My goal is to write 2,500 words/"on" day until April 14.*
"off" = every other task involved in keeping this small business running; some fun (like blogging and returning reader e-mail), some not (like updating the website and doing taxes)
As for actual "off" days, well, let's not talk about that.
Today through Friday are "on" (I wrote this blog post yesterday and scheduled it to post today), and then Saturday I go to the MD/DE/WV chapter of SCBWI's Spring conference, where I'm obviously not going to be getting much writing done (that would be really anti-social!).
We'll see how this goes. My entire freelance career has been a series of strategies to trick myself into working. Hopefully this will at least get me through spring.
*This is a stretch, yeah, but it gives me six whole weeks to do the second draft, due June 1. I'm one of those writers who likes to blurt out the first draft, with little editing as I go along, because I know half the scenes are going to be yanked, anyway, so what's the point of making them pretty, or, you know, sensical?
Labels: writing life