Monday, September 5, 2011

Progress Report: 9/5/2011

I have a new strategy.

My old strategy for writing, which it must be said has served me fairly well for many years, was to carve out a chunk of time when I could, write my buns off when I had the chance, and then stop either when I was out of time or out of steam. I have had many a productive session that way.

But for whatever reason, that isn't working now. It has a lot to do with how frantic my work life has been for a sustained period of time. I've fooled myself a number of times with a "Oh, next month looks like things will get back to normal!" At this point, I have to basically admit that what is "normal" has changed, and I'd better get used to the idea.

So here it is, the new strategy: one page per day.

Not an average of one page per day. Not, in other words, seven pages a week. Not "I'll get four pages done today so I don't have to worry about it for the next few days." Not "I missed my page yesterday, but I can do two today and make up for it." And, at least for now, not "I'm on a roll, I'll keep going and do some more pages tonight!"

One per day.

And after about two weeks of this, I must say I am extremely pleased with the results. I look forward to writing every day now, because in many it takes the stress out of it. When I was trying to carve large blocks of time in an increasingly busy schedule, I was putting pressure on myself to get a lot done at once... because who knows when I'd have time next? But one page is easy to find time to do.

What about my old friend, that muse known as momentum? This method provides a different sort of momentum. Granted, I have to put the brakes on a scene when I'm getting revved up, and once I get the hang of this maybe I will go back to taking advantage of larger blocks of time to write more. If I do, any extra pages I write will not "roll over" and get me off the hook for the next day's work.

But meanwhile, I'm sticking to the one a day thing. And I'm very much enjoying myself. Sure it means the book is creeping forward like a tortoise instead of taking great rabbit-like bounds, but we all know who wins that race, right?

Anyway, one per day for now. And in a month or so, if this is feeling good, maybe two per day? I think it's worth a try. Let's see what kind of pace we can this tortoise can sustain.