Saturday, June 29, 2013

Time

Time is such an issue, isn't it? Writing a novel around family, work, friends, and everything else requires serious commitment. This is true whether we're polishing our best work or pushing through the sh**ty first draft.


Just ask Brad. When we were dating, he and I had this same discussion about balancing creative pursuits with family and jobs that pay the rent.

What? Brad Pitt and I never dated? And he has no idea who I am? The Brad in this picture might even be made of wax?

Details-schmetails. :)

My point is, this is not a new problem for novelists (or actors, I assume).

Whether I have a lot of time or very little, I try different approaches. Sometimes I find I'm most productive and happiest when I require a certain amount of words per day. That's how I wrote most of the first draft of my last completed novel. Sometimes I work better with a schedule based on time. This spring I was crazy-busy, and x amount of time per day worked best for me. I find time can be saved either way if I work on my manuscript almost every day because the story stays alive in me, and I don't waste time on re-entry.

How are you most productive?

13 comments:

Steven J. Wangsness said...

In really have to clear the decks of everything else. I am very bad at time management.

Dawn Simon said...

Steven, it can be tricky, huh? I need deadlines so my obsessive-compulsive self has boxes to check.

Theresa Milstein said...

I think whatever works, works. For me, I just try to do something everyday. I don't have a word count or amount of time. Since I made a point to write nearly everyday, I write nearly everyday.

You and Brad look so cute together!

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Theresa! I agree: whatever works, works!

So funny about the picture! The things my poor husband puts up with... ;)

Barb Davis-Pyles said...

I'm with you, Dawn -- I like to work on my novel every day in order to keep it "alive" in my mind. I usually use time instead of word count or pages. Fifteen minutes a day is my minimum. Yes, that is a tiny slice of time, but it leaves me with NO EXCUSES (I mean, EVERYBODY has 15 minutes, right?).

LOVE the photo!

J.L. Campbell said...

Setting targets work for me, but inevitably, I don't give myself enough time. Working on setting more realistic goals.

Dawn Simon said...

Hi, Barb! It's so interesting to read everyone's approach! You're right, it doesn't take long to keep it alive. I always feel inspired when I read Shelley's blog, Storyqueen's Storycastle, because she gets so much written by working regularly around her teaching schedule. I can say the same about Medeia and her blog. I often think of them when time is tight.

Joy, I'm impressed with how much you get done! Realistic goals are a good idea.

Melissa said...

I can write anytime when I'm inspired, but for slogging though those less-inspired times, I need long stretches of peace and quiet.

Thanks for visiting my blog. :)

Dawn Simon said...

Melissa, that makes sense. Thank you for visiting, too!

Medeia Sharif said...

I have weekly goals, because trying to write everyday can seem impossible and I usually do most of my writing on weekends.

Dawn Simon said...

Medeia, that makes sense. I sometimes use weekly goals as well. Wanting a completed chapter for each crit group meeting is huge motivation. :)

Jay Paoloni said...

I am most productive when I have a plan, and when I know already what I am going to write.
In terms of time, yes, I need to devote at least two or three hours a day to it. No matter what happens, come hell or high water, I'll be sitting there writing.

Dawn Simon said...

Jay, I agree about how helpful it is to have a clear plan each day! Excellent point! Also, I applaud your time dedication.