Blog No. 346
At the start of summer (but really in the middle of spring (at the end of April?)) I had two major goals. They both involved writing and had to do with the Invasion Novel. Since I always have a drop in productivity in the summer, I wanted to finally figure out why it happens and work through it. Also, now that I’m working on a novel again, I wanted to speed up the first draft process, get it done not only faster, but also on a schedule (that coincidentally would also increase my summer productivity). So far, I can call it a succes-ailure. I believe I’ve discovered that the main source of my summer drop off comes from the change in schedule (and hours) at the day job, and from the fact that Christian (who I meet up with regularly to get in some writing) has his kids home for the summer and can’t get out as much. While I can’t do much about Christian’s kids (though I still maintain that the bigger one should just watch the litter one) I have been trying to solve those problems.
There isn’t much I can do about the day job other than acknowledge it and try to work through the shake up in my schedule. (My schedule being the only thing that even keeps me going day-to-day). As for getting by butt out there and working, I used to do okay with just going to Anchor. Sometimes, though, I just didn’t get enough done and it was too easy to socialize. I still go (I’m writing this post at Anchor on an odd day off) but now, Christian and I have a new member in our Writing Wrecking Crew. I’ve talked about working with Elly before, but now that Christian is starting to miss writing sessions (damn kids) it’s become apparent that going to meet with Elly, having someone to bounce things off of, encourage, and engage in some healthy competition, makes a big difference.
Elly also brings a whole different skillset and background that certainly helps. There is something about being in a group with other writers that can really help you adjust your perspective. As it stands, I’m trying to just work through the day job shakeup the best I can. So far, having more than one person to meet with (and talk shop with) has been a big help. Initially, I wanted to get twenty-thousand words a month on the novel. I haven’t been. My first attempt at a novel took a year and resulted in eighty-two thousand words. (That book is still sitting on the pile. I hope to get back to it some day). I’ve only managed thirty-seven thousand words on this one, but that’s a lot faster than I’ve managed before (especially if you consider that I took a month off to review Christian’s book).
I’m not where I’d like to be, and I haven’t solved every issue (some I doubt I can as long as I have a day job) but progress is good, right? I hope to keep the Invasion Novel going at as quick a pace as I can (trying to reach that twenty-thousand a month) even though I’m behind. It means I won’t be done when I had hoped, but I want to be as far as I can by the end of September so that when I stop to write the next novella (something I’m super excited to do, by the way) I’ll have the majority of it finished when I go back to wrap it up. It’s going to be a long road (especially when I get to edits) and I didn’t think I could both fix my summer writing slump and manage twenty-thousand words a month, but I’ve taken steps in the right direction. At the start of every project, when I’m staring at a blank screen, I find it hard to imagine the finished book. Now that I’m past the first quarter, I can better see the progress and how quickly it can add up when you plug away. I just have to keep trying to do better and realize that the failures can still be an improvement.