Writing Methods Old and New

Blog Post No. 523

giphyI’m closing in on the current draft of the Invasion Novel—which sounds good except for the fact that I had hoped to be done by now. There are all kinds of reasons why I’m behind, but that’s not what this post is about. This week, I’m looking into the methods I come up with to try and keep my productivity up. I’ve been coming up with different methods since high school (when I first got it into my head to be a writer). Clearly, what I came up with back then didn’t work or I wouldn’t be trying to finish my first novel many (many) years later. Oddly enough, though, the basic ideas I had back then aren’t all that dissimilar with the methods that have made the most impact over the years.

Back when I was fifteen or sixteen, I was working my first part time job at Subway and I was just beginning my foray into writing. Obviously, I had trouble writing while I was in school (I had a hard enough time getting my homework done). So, I decided that I would write over the summer. I don’t remember exactly what I told myself, but I’m sure it was something like a story a week over the two month vacation. It could have been less or more but the point is that I didn’t actually finish any stories that summer. The plan had been to ride my bike to my part time job on my days off (what was I thinking) and spend time writing in one of the booths. I think I managed it once or twice in total.

giphy-1I was on the right track, though. I knew that I had to get out of the house if I wanted to keep from being distracted and I guessed correctly that getting some exercise was beneficial to my success. Wouldn’t it have been nice if it all worked out there? Thankfully I eventually made friends who also wanted to write. Unfortunately, it would be years before they figured out how to get their own work done, so they weren’t any help to me, yet. Unless you consider knowing I’m not alone is helpful.

Eventually, some of my writer friends figured it out for themselves and I read a book that got me in the fight frame of mind to finally get some writing done of my own. We got together the same way we had many times before, and came up with the idea for Adventure Worlds (which is coming up on ten years in January).

apeFor some reason, it stuck that time. I think making a commitment with others along with going out for writing sessions and not wanting to be left behind was the difference. Still, writing a couple of stories and writing a novel are not the same thing. Since then, I’ve been trying new strategies fairly regularly to try and crack the code of maximum writing productivity. Usually the secret involves being outside of the house and meeting with others. It’s not always possible to meet with others given everyone’s schedules, and I’m not going out much, so that means I have to buckle down and just do the work.

I know I can do that since I pulled it off over the lockdowns. I suppose my limiting factor right now is balance. The day job is taking up more of my time and energy than it has in the past and not getting out of the house has made creating artificial boundaries between work (writing and editing) and relaxation difficult. As always, the solution is getting started and building up the momentum. It’s all well and good to make big plans, but nothing seems to do the trick more than that. With that in mind, I should wrap this up and get to finishing this draft of the Invasion Novel.


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