Blog No. 341
It’s June, again, already. I’ve been working hard to keep myself from slipping this summer and, while I’m not where I wanted to be, I’m doing better than I have been in some years (maybe ever). I originally wanted to get the first draft of a 90 to 100 thousand word novel written by the end of August, giving myself a goal of 20 000 words a month. I am not on pace for that right now. That sounds bad (believe me, it does to me too) but things aren’t quite as bleak as they seem. I’m at just under 25 000 so far (20 000 behind my goal) but I spent all of May reviewing on Christian‘s new book.
“Really, Ben? It took you a whole month to review Christian’s novel?” Yes. But it’s a whole novel and whether he asked me to initially or not, I did an entire edit.
“Why forsake your own writing for Christian’s book?” Because it’s the partnership that we have and he not only gave me an edit for Neon Heart, he did the cover for me too.
“If he didn’t ask you for an edit, was he mad that you did one for him? I mean, it took you a month. I’d be mad.” No. I don’t think so. We went over some of the things I pointed out and he seems to be appreciative of it. When I review, edit, or otherwise go over another authors writing, I do my best to be constructive. I want their book to be the best it can be.
Anyway. Now that that’s done (and I am nearly as excited as Christian is for this book to be finished) I’m back on the invasion novel. I think I may be permanently behind by a month, but if I can keep pace, I should be able stay just the one month behind. (And to be clear, I could have managed to get Christian’s review done faster and get more writing done, but I suck a little. I’m working on it). The thing is, the day job is rearing its ugly head once again. As I said to a writer friend recently, its spindly tendrils are reaching into writing time and strangling everything it can grasp. It’s part of what happens every summer. My carefully crafted routine gets shuffled around and the days that are normally reserved for writing become day job days and I’m not agile enough to work around them. So, as I’ve said many, many times before, my only recourse is to take advantage of my free evenings (and the weekends).
So far, not too bad. I went out Monday night for a bit with Christian (after boxing no less) and I went out on Tuesday night too (no WOW this week). I keep reminding myself that if I just go for an hour and get even 500 words done (totally manageable most days) then at least I’m making progress. Plus, those little bits add up. Two short evenings equal a single good day (usually a bit more than a day). Stopping at a round number is actually difficult. Once I pass a couple of paragraphs and get into the writing, things move pretty naturally. When I stop to take a breath I’m either already over my intended mark, or I’m not there yet and I have to dive in again. After that second stretch, I’m almost always over. When the goal is as short as 500 words, going over is a cinch, usually. (I hope I haven’t cursed myself).
Now that Christian and I are also working with Elly, that gives another person to meet with and get stuff done if one of us is working (or otherwise disposed). Having plans with someone helps with getting out the door. Really, that’s the hardest part (the second one is opening Word and starting to type). Once I’m on the road, I can usually count on getting work done. For this June, my Mondays are in jeopardy and for July, my Wednesdays are totally gone. The upswing is that I may actually be able to save some cash. I have a few large expenses coming up and I need to save for them. One of them is buying more books and I think I’m low on everything. (I’m definitely low on Neon). So, job number one right now is adding to my word-count. I still have to get the ebooks wrapped up (sometime) and I have to plan for next year’s novella (which I hope to knock out really quickly once the first draft of the invasion novel is done). I may have to reevaluate when I get that started depending on my progress. I’m excited to get it started. I already have most of the book in my head. Hopefully the excitement will help speed up my writing on the novel. Either way. Writing.