Well, I’d planned on writing and posting this journal entry last Friday, but it got away from me. Forgot to write it, so I never posted it.
But I did want to write a little bit about my new and improved writing process. At first blush, it’s not much different from what I was doing before:
- I get up early, before my wife and kids wake, around 4:45 or 5 a.m.
- I ignore the siren song of the Internet and dive into my current project
- I write for an hour, hopefully two (if everyone stays asleep and I stay properly caffeinated)
- By 7 a.m., I’m off to start the day — shower, help get the kids ready for preschool or the babysitter, then to the Day Job from 9-5.
- Enjoy the Day Job of technical writing much more, having gotten my own writing done already for the day.
- Start all over again the next day.
What’s different, starting this year, is that I’m:
- Writing faster and not getting in my own way by trying to revise as I write. In fact, I rarely read over what I wrote the previous day.
- Telling myself the story as I write it. I have rough outlines for my two projects — the baby werewolf novel and the In Maps & Legends comic script — but I’m not beholden to them if something really cool pops out of my subconscious.
- Keeping track of my daily progress with a (gasp!) spreadsheet. So far this month I’ve knocked out 18,600 words, which is about 67 pages worth of stuff, in about 36 hours. I’m hoping to get my wordage up in the next few days so I can hit 30,000 words — that’s about 1,000 words a day.
- Having fun! This is the way writing should be — all about telling stories, surprising myself, wondering what the hell comes next.
This month is a little odd, in that I’m doing two big projects at once. I’m not that great at shifting my focus. Ideally, I’d like to just work on one big thing at once, but a paying deadline (for the comic) quickly changed my mind. So I did the novel early in the month, and now I’m jamming on the comic for the last half of the month. I tried doing a little bit of both each day, but that way lies madness for small-brained me…
And, speaking of splitting one’s focus, I hope you go check out artist/writer Niki Smith’s website, where she talks about doing the same thing with her projects. She’s the amazing artist for In Maps & Legends, and quite prolific in her own right. Check out her lovely page for the comic on her site.
As an extra added bonus, you can see a sketch of one of the characters who’s showing up on page 9 of our comic. Enjoy!