If you follow my personal blog, you already know that I recently took a very enlightening (and relaxing) vacation from the day job. One of the things I did during that vacation was sort of “jump start” my writing again. And so far, it’s holding, though not at the pace I’d like.
Between 2009 or so and just a couple of years ago, I wrote pretty much every day. Then, I hit a few “snags” in life: dog problems, changes at work, mid-life crisis, crisis of writerly-direction…take your pick – they were all part of it. And the writing became more and more sporadic until finally I was barely writing at all, and miserable about it. I tried, I really did, but my head was just not where it needed to be. I had to deal with everything else before I could focus on writing again.
So now that my life and head have both stabilized again (more or less), it’s time to get back to work. I bought myself a set of motivation videos by Dean Wesley Smith, watched the first three, and decided I would do my best to rearrange my evening/late-night routine in order to get half an hour more writing time (starting at 10:30pm instead of 11pm, and going to midnight).
I thought I was on to something, but last week, putting my plan into action proved more difficult than I anticipated. Long story short (and whining redacted), I really can’t get more than half an hour’s worth of writing time at night. I can’t get back to the office before 11pm most nights (which is kind of baffling, because theoretically, it should absolutely work with the routine I have set up), and I am falling asleep at my desk by 11:30-11:45pm no matter what I do to try to circumvent that (without jeopardizing sleep later, which I can’t because I do still work during the day, of course).
In any case, all this to say, I still averaged around 500 words Mon-Thurs last week, and I’ve been working toward that this week as well (400 wds last night). And while that’s nowhere near what I’d like to be writing (1400 words a night/4 novels a year), I need to remember that it’s consistent, daily writing, and I can still finish two novels and a few short stories just writing at that speed all year long.
And that’s *not* a bad pace, really. It’s what I can handle right now without sacrificing health, sleep, or mental well-being.
Yes, I could sacrifice “more” for writing, but, I’m not going to. Priorities, you know. I’m not writing Friday nights because I need one night per week to take care of my teeny-tiny publishing business, and Friday nights between 11pm and Sat. 2am or so is the time. It’s working, and I feel good about that.
I’m determined to just be okay with what I’m capable of now, and work hard at getting those two novels out this year, plus a few short stories.
The really cool thing is, I think the break was good for me, as far as getting some perspective goes. I’m suddenly seeing weaknesses in my writing that I knew were there but couldn’t quite put my finger on before. With that new perspective, I’m working on fixing those weaknesses as I go, which will hopefully result in stronger stories overall.
So, that’s where I’m at. Moving forward…slower than I’d like, but moving, nonetheless, and with a better idea of what I need to do. If I can just remember that’s not a bad place to be in, things will be good.