We’re talking routines here at the Word Whores this week. A routine is a signal to yourself (and/or your muse if you have one, and/or your subconscious, if you have one), that it’s time to get to work. Like a bat signal. I’ve heard of some writers who have a special ritual. Special music. Or a certain sweater they wear. Like Mr. Rogers.
I’m not surprised my blog mates all seem to have set routines. I tend to carve out the mornings. I wash dishes while my tea water boils, and then I sit down with an nice steaming cup of Earl Grey (yes, that’s right, the very same type of tea that Jean Luc Picard drinks) and get to work. Well actually I fool around on twitter while my brain wakes up, and then it’s to work.
When I’m first drafting, I do love to do #1k1hr things with twitter friends. I rarely make that 1000 words in an hour, but I try. Like Jeffe, I’m working to increase my word count, and I’m up to maybe 2000 words in a 3 hour time slot, which is what I generally have before I have to switch over to day job stuff. Though sometimes I have more hours, and I can eek in a bit more writing. Though, the task can expand to fill the time allotted. A big danger of large chunks of time. Like Jeffe, I use Freedom, kind of like Internet blinders…to keep the Carolyn Crane horse off email.
When I’m revising, I set a page count. For me with my current book, it’s 13 pages a day (1.5 spaced) which is pretty leisurely, but I really get into revising. These days, I’m tracking what it takes me to finish a book. This one for my new series is probably going to be about a two months for a 65K book, written, revised and polished. That’s not so bad, because I’ve changed it radically along the way. But I’d like to go faster! I just have so many exciting projects I want to work on. My head buzzes with them!! Moar exclamation marks!!!!
Sometimes when I get near the end of a book I speed up. I love getting to a mature draft of a book, and I’m like a horse, just running like crazy to the finish because and I don’t care about word counts or page counts anymore, I just could work for ten hours straight. It’s always just a dream when I have time to do that.
I avoid working under the gun, doing marathon sprints out of deadline pressure. Even when I was with a NY publishing house, I’d always shoot to be done way before my deadline, because it seems like a hell to me to have to turn in a book that isn’t as good as I can possibly make it, and steady always works better for me.