14 July 2009

Might is Write

Listening to: Common, "The Light (Kero One remix)." It's been awhile since I've found any hip hop I've liked. Well, here's a throwback. Kero One is from SF, he's Asian, and he raps/produces/everything. Seriously, read about his skills here. I plugged him into Pandora and got all sorts of good stuff spilling out. Love it.

I'm not entirely sure how much time most people take to kick out a first draft, but I'm aiming to crank one out in about a month and a half. With most young adult novels, that means somewhere around 60,000 to 80,000 words. Writing at top speed, about two or three thousand words a day, that's pretty insane. To be honest, I never gave much thought to my work flow before. If I had a deadline, I'd just put my head down, shut out everything else, and write. Somewhere at the end of the time (and usually a bit more than that) I'd have what I needed.

Then after I wrote Exclusively Chloe, I started to meet a few other authors and it dawned on me that not everyone has time to do that. I mean, without a normal job, without any real obligations, I could make my schedule fit the writing when I needed it to. But what about people with jobs, or families, and kids! Can you imagine doing anything while having children? I played with my friends three sons a few weeks ago and was worn out after like an hour. It boggles my mind how so many of my fellow Debs and other authors have full fledged, amazingly busy lives, and yet manage to crank out books.

And I thought about whether or not I was being efficient. I mean, I started reading about when other people write. Some people wake up an hour earlier, sit down at the computer, and then throw down a few hundred words before work. Some people set out a lunch hour, or two hours after work, to write a few scenes. It slowly dawned on me that blitzing through (till dawn) wasn't the only way to write. You could parse it out into little bite sized pieces. A half hour here, a half hour there, is still an hour.

So my experiment starting with this draft is to see if I can set my goals for the day, say two or three scenes, or two thousand words, and sneak it in once in the morning and once at night. I want to see if this helps to relieve the pressure that constantly hangs over me when I'm like "Oh I have to write today, I have to write!" By doing it for an hour at each sitting, like taking a meal, it might just free up the rest of my day.

Basically I'll be running my personal National Novel Writing Month this July. Wish me luck.