I’ve been sweeping dust off stymied WIPs in various stages of revision, trying to start 2017 with a bit of a clean plate. This is going… let us say medium-well. One of the great things is finding stories you love but, for whatever reason, have put aside. For me, a favourite is this sci-fi with a cranky and foul-mouthed protagonist and corporate overlords – and kissing. Of course. So here’s a snippet – with hopefully more to come before long!
After my last post, I was thwacked in the side of the head with a marriage of convenience shifter idea, which brought my active WIPs to… Too many. Just. Wow. So I did as many have before and made a spreadsheet.
There are many tools out there for helping to approach writing more constructively – and effectively. I’ve a lot of time for Rachel Aaron’s 2K to 10K and LA Witt’s Writing Faster FTW, though I’m the first to admit I don’t apply them as well as I could. For my current approach, however, I’ve gone simple:
Shows where I am and (in some cases) where I plan to be. Four of these are in minor of major revisions before submitting, two need outlining, one is shelved until later in the year, and three are actively being worked on. And the start counts – holy crap, I feel more productive already!
I might eventually track daily word counts but I think that’ll put more pressure on me than not; I’m familiar with the way my brain works by now. Mostly I’m looking forward to reflecting at the end of the year and seeing how far I’ve come.
And so if you want to join me on this, and get updates of new releases, please sign up to my new mailing list – release notifications only, I promise!
Recently, in my day job, I went on a time management course. This was mostly because, hey, who doesn’t love a day out the office? Plus, free lunch! And one of the things we learned was finding our ‘styles’ of time management; I was not even vaguely surprised, once I found out such a thing existed, to learn I’m a hopper.
What does this mean for writing? Consider I have, at last count, 19 WIPs and 3 drafts I’m editing, and generally write bits into a handful of WIPs over the course of a week. This approach, while fun (shall we go to space today? or to WY?), means I’m not fully concentrating on any one thing for long and, in honesty, isn’t really sustainable if I want to avoid burning out. My brain needs the dopamine boosts that come from completing projects.
So I’m trying to take things one… Okay, two projects at a time. One WIP, one edit. Ngl it’s been difficult. But since starting this approach on Feb 1 I’ve drafted one short and am ~60% into a novella, with a reasonable expectation to finish this month. I’m chafing a bit because I see other WIPs making sadfaces but I’m staying strong. Dopamine will provide.
If you’re a hopper…
Tools that bring varying results for me are those blocking other apps and programs, like Writer’s Block or WriteMonkey. (And I hear good things about Anti-Social, but I’ve not used it.) Sometimes these work but other times I go dick about in another room instead, which is super unproductive (but there’s a pretty rug in there so). The experiment is still in progress.