Weekly Word Counts
Difference from last week: +412
Editing hours: 2
Well then. From the looks of those numbers, I’m finally headed in the right direction, which is “up”. Eventually I’d like to be writing 4-5k words per week, total (that’s pretty much all I have time for, ultimately, but it’s a good chunk of progress, even divided among several drafts). Time and practice will tell. I’ve had to rearrange my writing schedule several times this year, and I think I’ve finally stumbled across a routine with enough of a backup plan that I can at least get 500 words in daily, and I typically write four days per week (sometimes five, but not often). And my subconscious is finally starting to realize that we write during those times, and on those days, and once I get that “habit” back, I should be writing a lot faster for that 30 – 60 minutes per day.
It’s a process, getting back to writing after letting it go for so long. And honestly, it kind of sucks. My advice? Don’t do it. Keep writing. It’s much easier than stopping and starting again.
I took Friday off this week so I could relax and work on writing-related things, and one of the things I did was to find and print out two drafts that need a lot of work and expansion done to them. I’d shelved them, taking Dean Wesley Smith’s advice about not revising (just rewrite) to heart, but I’ve been doing that for quite a few years now, and in looking over my “stars” on Goodreads, I noticed that the earlier books that I spent time revising are the ones I generally got 4 stars on. When I started taking DWS’s advice and not revising, just writing, doing a quick edit, and releasing, my stars went down to 3, 3.5 or so (and lower, in one or two cases).
The thing about writing advice (or any advice, really) is that you have to know when to take it, and when to do something else. I hate revising and editing – it’s my least favorite part of the writing process. But in my particular case, it looks like that’s the way I need to work, at least for awhile longer, in order to make my books the best they can be. So, it’s back to revisions and editing, and I have two printouts just waiting for me to go through them and start marking up the pages with how and where I need to make changes, fleshing out storylines and plots, and adding description. I plan to make those my Saturday morning projects (or whenever I have an hour or so to work on one).
Learning to write is a difficult thing, mainly because often, people who don’t like your book either won’t tell you, or if they do, they can’t tell you why. Likewise with those who just didn’t get drawn into the story for whatever reason. So it’s largely a learn-as-you-go affair, with a lot of experimentation with various craft elements in the attempt to tell a good story while still staying true to your own unique voice.
Someday, I sincerely hope to be proficient enough to write it well the first time, and only need one editing pass after a draft is done before I release it and move on to the next book. That’s the long-term goal. But for now, I’ll bite the bullet, do the revisions, and hope that every time I tear a book apart and put it back together, I become a little better writer for it.
Time will tell, as always…