Sure, some days end with no new word-count, but I blame those on my toddler, MyLove, and the dogs, and not on my muse going on strike.
So we put things in numbers, it took me three years to write the first ten thousand words of Cherry Blossom, and two months for the next forty-five thousand. I’m two scenes from done, and it will be published this December.
But it’s not just Cherry Blossom I’ve been working on. Since June, I’ve finished two novellas (that you’ll find in upcoming anthologies), and have written about ten thousand words for each of the two novels I’m hoping to launch in 2015. Add my reworking of The Kiss, to relaunch with Acelette Press, and I’ve put down one hundred thousand words in five months.
That’s not much for more prolific authors, but keep in mind I have a full-time job, the above mentioned black holes sucking my time, and do editing and cover designs on the side.
And that I didn’t write more than fifty thousand for the year and a half before that.
This wasn’t meant as a bragging post, though. I just wanted to share the things I believe have helped me:
1) Multiple projects
This is counter intuitive, but I think it helps. When your brain refuses to work on one idea any longer, a different one may be just what you need.
2) Specific short-term goals
I initially set a daily goal of one thousand words. I saw, however, that I got frustrated if I didn’t write two days in a row. So I set my goal for the week instead. Nothing happened when I didn’t reach it, but if I did, I treated myself to a walk, some real relaxing time, and a couple weeks back, a marathon of Masters of Sex.
3) A-MAH-zing co-conspirators
Er, I meant writing partners. I’m generally a control freak who wants to do everything alone, from writing, to editing, to cover. And I run for the hills at the idea of approaching new people.
I’m thanking God that my pregnancy three years ago made me emotional enough to reach out to a Goodreads group and say, “Hi! I’m too shy to add anyone, but if you friend me, I’ll friend you back.” And Sofia-bloodyawesome-Grey messaged me. We started PM-ing and emailing, and a while later, she introduced me to Allyson-fuckingfantastic-Lindt.
Now, I’m not going to use the word ‘addicted,’ but I’ve since learned to count on their advice and support, and offer the same. Just an email from them asking how it’s going makes my fingers go typety-type on their own.
So there you go. Those are the three things that made me write more than ever before, and fight off the dreaded writer’s block.
What works for you?