Writing Update, Schedule, and Goals

Happy Monday, everyone! I hope y’all had a relaxing weekend. I’m writing this Saturday and just realized the Superbowl is a thing happening — did your team win? Did you eat nachos and drink a lot anyway? (Did you manage to do that without having to actually sit and watch the game?) Past me has a feeling future me will be going that last route.

The last post I made on my writing (coincidentally the last post I made in 2016), I was working on my first manuscript for an X-Men road trip, jail break adventure type of thing. I was 67k words in, with another…15k to round the story out to go and working through some rough preliminary edits.

Well, it’s 2017 and I still remain 67k words in, with another 15k to go to finish the story and heaps of editing to do. But that’s okay! I’ve come to terms with it. I may never really finish that project to what I’ve built it up in my head to be, but for my first real attempt at finishing a long-form piece I’m not mad at it. It holds a special place in my heart, like my first born (speaking, myself, as a first-born 😉 ), but I’ve got some perspective now and realize there are flaws in it that will require the type of surgery I’m not willing to commit to right now.

…Especially in light of the project that took up the second half of my 2016 🙂 ! What a transition.

So. New novel is 53k in, and what I’d estimate is…20k to go? I honestly can’t really guess how many words it will take me to get the rest of the action fleshed out. A worry I have about this novel straight off the bat is that it’s “back-heavy,” (is that even a phrase any other human uses to describe a book?), and a lot of the most plot-heavy action comes at the end. I know I personally like time in books to get the time to know and give a damn about the characters before they are thrown into whatever they get thrown into, but I also know one of the first things I will have to tackle when I start the editing process is making sure I didn’t overcompensate this in my own novel.

But again, we haven’t even really gotten to that part yet. And especially as I am trying to bring this blog back to life, I am having to plan my time a bit differently to accommodate all the balls I have in the air. So I wanted to discuss today my kind of updated writing/life schedule/goals.

Basically, I work a Monday – Friday office job. Sometimes in the past I’ve tried to write in the slow moments at work, but it was ultimately something I was able to do only erratically and I can’t really rely on just doing it then to get things completed and also keep the job that pays the bills. Moreover I’m likely going to be moving to a different job/department that won’t even allow this soon, so a new plan is in order that doesn’t rely on spending my whole weekend holed up writing/working on the stuff I couldn’t finish at my day job.

I want writing to be my full-time gig sooner rather than later, so I don’t mind treating it like another job now. In fact, I think I have to. Basically, I get off work at 5:30, have a little dinner, and unwind with some YouTube or Netflix for about thirty minutes in my office. This is important for me, because as soon as I come home the bra comes off, the pants come off, and I’m on tumblr the rest of the night, curled up with my dog. Not conducive to writing.

After my break, I spend at least an hour and a half writing. I’ve broken it up roughly like this: three days out of the week are purely spent on my current manuscript. One day I dedicate to queuing up posts for the blog, and the other is a freebie day for me to work on either (or, more likely, one of my two “fluffy” pet projects). Conveniently, when I finish up this writing time, it’s around when the gym across the street is clearing out from all the folks who go right after work so I’m able to change into my gym clothes and also hit the gym on my way back home. (Another life goal I desperately wish wasn’t necessary).

(Not conveniently, the gym is something I have to pass on my way home from the office. I feel the guilt hard if I drive by without going in).

I don’t have it in me mentally or physically, most days, as I do live with chronic pain + mental health issues, to go to the gym every day. But I’m going to try to do it the three days I work on my manuscript, since that already feels a bit more like “work” than the other. Also I can work on this blog and my fluff projects on the off days without that looming over me, and it puts me in a better headspace with less pressure to do so — because these days I want to keep in the habit of writing I’m trying to build (I firmly believe no writing is “wasted” or “wasteful”) without running the risk of burning out on any one of the projects I want to work on.

Now, this doesn’t mean I don’t or won’t do any work on the weekends, but hopefully it will take some of the pressure off of me to write 10k words in a weekend or whatever I feel like I have to scramble to do to catch up, at the expense of things I may want to do instead (spend time with my family, dogs, friends…rewatch Luther on Netflix, etc.). Because I do like to have 10k words written (the majority being in my actual manuscript) a week. That’s a reasonable goal, for me, that makes me still feel like I am getting closer to accomplishing my big picture goals. 7,500 is the absolute minimum I could feel good about, though, because 1500 words a day is something I should be churning out like clockwork.

This post feels so long. Does it feel long to you?

Anyway, that’s my revised plan I’ll be trying out the next few months. What are y’all’s writing goals? Do you stick to a schedule? I’d love to talk with you about it! 🙂

I hope the rest of your week is wonderful. I’ll be seeing you Friday with a different sort of post for this blog…dundundun. (And maybe a cheeky post Wednesday for T5W!)


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