Finally. I completed Chapter 11 of The Illustrious Client yesterday. I am now on a roll and hope to keep writing to the finish of this second book in my Shirley Combs series. I have an outline, I know where I am and what will happen next, so I am back just past the point where I left off last October. Phew!
As you may know/remember, I participated in NaNoWriMo last November and wrote more than 51,000 words on a new book (not this one). Then I had some deadlines to meet with plays, then a commissioned play, then travel, and here it is the 9th of July. NaNoWriMo is a great way to start a new novel. I don’t recommend dropping your work in progress to participate in NaNoWriMo however. I wish the rules allowed a person to write something she’s already working on and still “win.” They don’t. And I wanted to win. NaNoWriMo is a great motivator with built-in support for getting those words written every day for a full month. All I know for sure is my participating the way I did was a mistake for me. For now.
I do have a writing routine, and unless I’m traveling or sick I write every day. I don’t push myself to write a certain number of pages or words, just to stick to a writing routine. I’ve found that by writing a bit every day the story stays fresh in my mind so I don’t have to start over, re-read everything I’ve written, decide to rewrite while still in first draft mode, etc. This works for me. Even ten minutes a day will keep the story fresh and rolling. Naturally, I do usually spend a lot more time than that (2-3 hours is more usual), but when I was working a day job, sometimes ten minutes was all I could spare. Waiting until I have chunks of time just means that I have to start over, re-read everything, get to know my characters again, think about what will happen next, be tempted to rewrite. I prefer to hit the ground running, able to access my character’s thoughts and plans as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard.
What’s your writing routine? How do you achieve your writing goals? I know we are all unique. Please share.