Down Time

Blog Post No. 460

5398cf9abb0c8644f14f0ddfabe22425I’m still sitting on the first draft of Snow from a Distant Sky right now. I need to leave enough time between drafts to get nice and critical about my own writing (and to forget a little about what I meant when I wrote awkward sentences so that I can notice and fix them). The trick is not waiting too long and deciding what to do in the mean time. I’ve found that I need at least two weeks between the first and second drafts (though three is better) but I’m still not great with effectively using that down time. Sure, I don’t have to be totally productive at all times. It’s a good thing to take a break and burning out is a real potential problem. My issue is falling out of the routine and picking it back up again.

Also, I have a shrinking window of time before I have to really worry about my future and potentially put writing on the back burner. I haven’t set any concrete date or anything, but it’s in the back of my head all the time. Ultimately, when it comes to the time in between drafts, I’d love to have a system in place where I jump into a short story or (like I said last week) get into the draft of another book or story.

For now, I’m still going over a book for Christian. It’s taking me a little longer than I would like. I was reluctant to get into it. After the high from finishing a book, it was nice to spend a few days doing nothing and with advanced polls going on at the facilities where I work, the day job has been taking up more of my time.

when-your-mom-tells-you-to-hurry-or-you-get-no-dinner-slipI’m not even halfway though his book as of writing this, so I will probably finish this up and get right to the second draft of Snow. Since the day job has always been feast or famine (and it’s even more so as things slowly open up in the province) it’s hard to balance it all sometimes. I may work a series of long evening shifts in a row then have a whole week off. I’ve gotten better at getting some work done even on those busy work days, but sometimes there are other priories that come before writing to account for too. I think the trick going forward is to do my best in the busy periods and jump into writing and editing quickly when I have the time off.

I found out a long time ago that planning to get a lot of work done on a day off in the future doesn’t work for me. I’m much better off getting a little done every day. That way I have more momentum going into that free day and I don’t feel so pressured to spend all of it working. I know there will be days when I sit down intending to work and fritter my time away procrastinating. 4d05f22b09978fc76d54149ca79738ecI’ve managed to cut those days down (mostly by convincing myself to get just a little bit of work done than taking the rest of the day off). Over the last decade, I’ve gotten more and more productive bit by bit. I just have to keep that going.

Well, this post got a little off track, but that’s part of what this blog is about, so I’m just going to wrap it up. Hopefully it was interesting to read. If not, at least you can take comfort in knowing that you didn’t have to pay to read it (unlike my books).

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