Word Counts, Pages and Edits (Oh My!)

I really need to write a new blog post, but I’ve been back and forth between two novels lately.  As a quick update:

Definitely haven’t dated anyone since my last post… Not really looking, just letting time take its course.

A thought for a new novel came to me and interrupted what I was already working on… Thanks to friend, Derrick Jaxn, I’m plowing ahead on the newbie.  It just feels fresh so far.

I’ve been trying to set some count goals or page goals for myself, but I find it to be too much pressure.  Instead, I’m giving myself a certain amount of time each day, and focusing on adding to the body of the work (rather than editing — it’s so easy to keep going back to make adjustments without ever getting everything on the page).

Stay tuned, a proper post is on the way!

Excerpt from “On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft”

“You can approach the act of writing with nervousness, excitement, hopefulness, or even despair–the sense that you can never completely put on the page what’s in your mind and heart. You can come to the act with your fists clenched and your eyes narrowed, ready to kick ass and take down names. You can come to it because you want a girl to marry you or because you want to change the world. Come to it any way but lightly. Let me say it again: you must not come lightly to the blank page.”  ~Stephen King

Writer’s Block

I’m finding more and  more motivation to write, but less and less time to actually be productive.  How do people get this done?  Often, I don’t feel like it’s worth it to write for a half hour, if that’s all the time that I have, because I barely get into anything before time runs out.  I don’t have some complicated process, but I need a chance to refamiliarize myself with the characters and get back into the tone of the story before I move forward.

Does anyone else have this problem?   I’ve seen lots of other writers set word counts for themselves, or set a certain amount of time to glue themselves to their laptops.  But what do you do when writing isn’t your day job (but you want it to be)?

I was doing some reading on another writer’s site, one who is far more advanced in her writing career — she’s extremely successful in selling her books.  She mentioned how she didn’t quit her day job until the first book was in print, the second book was done, and she had a contract in place for her third.  Being more of a realist, and knowing how the publishing market has changed, I fully expect that I could end up self-publishing and be nowhere near a contract by the time I reach a third novel.  I just want to get my work out there.  I  don’t look at self-publishing as a negative, but I don’t want to create the expectation that my book is the next NY Times best seller when I can’t even find the time to write.

I feel like I need a plan.  Or a schedule.  Maybe I could just plan to invade an hour that I set aside for sleep, or maybe I should bring my laptop and just write through my lunch break.  I’m certainly open to some sage suggestions.

What do you do when all you want to do is write, but you have to put other things first because they pay the bills?

The Writing Process of L. W.

My writing process is more like a work in progress. It hasn’t changed that much since my first novel, although I am slightly less terrified of the process now, but it’s far from perfect. It usually goes something like this: figure out how long I have until final, drop-dead deadline, calculate how many words I would need to write every single day between now and then to make that deadline, pledge to start that very afternoon, and then procrastinate for six more weeks. It goes downhill from there. Once I’m actually seated at a computer, there’s always a white noise machine in the background, noise cancellation headphones clamped over both ears, a liter of coffee or Diet Coke or both, and an addiction to the internet so intense I can easily lose three hours to a single Google search of “Nicole Richie’s son’s name?”. It’s not pretty, but eventually I get scared enough to start putting some words down on paper, and once I get to that point, I really do enjoy it.” ~Lauren Weisberger  (Clearly one of my favorites)

Don’t Quit Your Day Job… Yet

I think it’s important to point out that I sold GOOD IN BED in 2000, and did not quit my day job until Book One was published, Book Two was written, and Books Three and Four were under contract.”  ~Jennifer Weiner