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Behind the Scenes-Day Two
Totally Unproductive Day
I am early in this new novel. It surprised me that I did not even open the file and look at it today. Why you might ask? No, real reason. My mind most days runs at 95 miles a minute and I have trouble keeping up with my own thoughts. I start several things a day and some get finished and some don't.
If you are like that in any way, you will have to learn discipline or your novel will never get written. Most days I write first before checking e-mail or my social networks. I know if I don't those things will distract me. I turn on reruns on the TV for background noise. Because they are reruns I don't have to concentrate on them or really pay attention.
I am also a late night person, so will probably look at it at sometime tonight. I sometimes have trouble sleeping and when that happens I work on whatever my work-in-progress is. It seems the minute I lay down I get a ton of ideas. I keep a note book and a couple of pens next to my bed so that I can capture these ideas before they are lost.
With this particular book I know what needs to happen next and I'm pretty sure my characters will cooperate to get me there. I am comfortable with these characters. They are not new to me. I know there will come a time when I actually have to rein them in or let loose the strings I hold, but that's for much later in the writing.
Learning From Other Writers
I have read Phyllis A. Whitney's book on how she writes. I also have read Janet Evanovich's book on same topic. I find it interesting to see how others who are successful keep being successful. I even sat in on a session at a writers' conference on how one author researches and puts together her novels. She creates a calendar.
Ideas for what to put on a writing calendar:
- The day you start writing.
- Your writing goal for each day eg. number or pages or words
- What you need to research to complete your novel.
- When you will have it far enough along that you can contact an agent or small press.
- The date you plan to have it completed.
- When you will send it to your editor.
- When you expect to do the edits.
- When you should line up people for ARC's (Advance Reader Copies)
- Date that ARC's need to go out to reviewers.
- Date you want reviews for the back of the book.
- When you will start the advance press releases for the book.
- Date you will release the cover art to readers.
- Date your finished book will be released.
The list is endless. I don't keep a calendar like that. I'd spend too much time on the calendar and not enough time writing. The writing is more important to me.
I do have a Google calendar on my blog. It keeps me grounded for where things are going in my life. I have put the days I'm working on it. I have put my dates for Boucherson 2012 on it. My publisher has put a few dates on it. I have given her access so that she can do that. It is a working calendar, but it does not control my writing life. Using a calendar is entirely up to you. All my dates for public appearances go on it. I will up date it for Book Tour 2013 as soon as I have locations. I have the cities, just not the venues yet.
Was Today Really Wasted?
Not really. I have not written yet, but I most likely will before I turn in. I have had all day to picture the next scene in my mind and work out how I will put it on paper. Sometimes just letting my mind not focus allows me to focus completely when I sit at the keyboard.
I've spent the day thinking about lesson plans and how to make the classes meaningful for the students. The last thing I want is to be a lecturer. I want my students interacting with each other. They will learn better when they teach each other. Kids who sit in lectures and don't interact, get bored and stop doing the work. See one more thing to distract me from writing.
Figure out what your distracts you from writing. Deal with it first so you can focus on writing. It's a discipline thing. You need to work it out so it works for you. Best of luck.