Monday, December 15, 2014

Busyness (Or What Passes For It)

From roughly 6am to 9pm, I am awake (except for a cat nap).  That's 15 hours I have, every day, to get stuff done. I don't work outside the house.  I'm not a squeeky-clean housekeeper. I don't cook elaborate meals.  I don't do my nails, or my hair, or put on makeup.  (Takes me about 15 minutes from closing the bathroom door to opening it fully clean and dressed for the shower thing - less if I don't blow-dry the hair.)

So, I should be able to whip the writing out lickety-split, right?

Generally, I write about 1500-2000 words an hour when I'm on a roll.  Let's say on average 1200 to be kind.  That means I write a 100,000 word manuscript in 83.3 hours, roughly.  If I wrote for 8 hours a day, that's about 10 days.  Too bad the best I've ever accomplished is a 5 hours stretch - after which my hands turn into crab claws and I'm mainlining Aspercreme.  During a NaNo-like marathon of writing, I average about 2 hours of writing a day before I say uncle. 

That means a 100K book takes me about 55 days to complete, if I really push it.  Actually, it's more like 6-8 weeks to write the first draft of a novel for me - writing avg 1000 words an hour for about 1.5 hours a day.  And for me, the first draft usually ends up at around 68-75K. 

Right now, I'm not writing, though.  I'm editing.  And I'm averaging about an hour a chapter.  And I'm finding that right now, I can only do about an hour of editing before I get the urge to stab myself in the eye with a pen.  Hour in the morning, if I'm lucky.  An hour at night.  Two chapters a day - on a good day.

I guess I'm at that point where I'm wondering where the other 13 hours of my days are going.  I can push it.  I know I can. I also know I'll be a surly basketcase when I finally finish and poor Hubs doesn't deserve that.

Apparently, I have scads of time laying around that are being wasted on non-writerly things.  Yes, yes, I know - all work and no play makes Jack a really weird, axe-wielding psycho.  I need to ramp up.  I can do this.  And I can do it without going all whacko-bananas.  I just need to put my head down, quit whining, and do my work.

I will have this edit done and back to my editor before Christmas.  I will be ready to get into the cover design stuff after Christmas.  And I will start polishing up the next manuscript while I'm waiting for my editor to get back to me.

The plan right now is to have this sucker live by March, with subsequent books ready to go on the quarters - July, September, December.  Right now, the tentative schedule is: this suspense, another suspense in a different 'world', a mystery, and - if things don't work out with Baen - my urban fantasy published by next Christmas.

Might be a little insane to think that way, but I can do this.  After all, I'm not as busy as I seem.  Right?  ;o)

Disclaimer: This is how I do things.  Your mileage may vary - and it should vary.  No writer approaches writing in the same way. 

Disclaimer #2: The aforementioned publication schedule is for books I have already written all the way to THE END.  I don't want to think about how long it would take me from start to finish on a new book.  (Especially since I will be writing new words while I'm editing and polishing and promoting from here on out.)


  1. You just had to go there, didn't you? :-P Ah, well.

    I like the publishing schedule. I think it's very doable for you. And fingers crossed on Baen. I want to see Jo's story published!

    1. Go where. Whad I miss? Seriously, I'm clueless.

      Thanks! I hope it's doable. And thanks for the crossed fingers. She'll get her stories published one way or another. Promise.

  2. I can't figure out where most of my day goes, either. Sigh. Editing wears me out after a couple of hours, so I fumble into read-only mode without meaning to. Then I have to figure out where my brain gave out.

    But you write a WHOLE lot faster than I do. I'm lucky to manage 500 words an hour. I really need to speed my brain -- and fingers -- up to your level.

    1. I know where a lot of my day goes, Deb - TV. And reading. And reading while watching TV. ;o) I hear that on the editing. When I catch myself in read-only mode, I make myself walk away and try again later. Or sometimes, I change the font so it shakes my brain up a little. I write in TNR 12 pt, so changing it to Courier and 14 or some other font helps.

      The fast writing thing comes from working as a secretary, probably. The brain isn't that fast, but when the ideas are there, the fingers can really get the words out. (But if you asked me to take a typing test, I fail miserably. LOL)