I have a personal schedule when it comes to my writing.
If I told you what that schedule currently looks like, you would probably think that I’m insane.
On the other hand, on a day where I’m not working, have no personal matters or household matters to attend to, am not going out and can just stay home, I can write 20,000 words in a day. Yes, you read that correctly. Twenty Thousand words in a day. I do it regularly. It takes me anywhere from six to ten hours of working solidly, but it is achievable. At least for me. My record is 22, 500 or thereabouts and it was in a mad dash to finish something for either NaNoWriMo or some sort of other contest. (Pretty sure it was the end of NaNo last year while I was writing and finishing Blaze for a contest.) It also took me 8 and a half hours and I was up until 4 in the morning on 4 hours of sleep the night before, plus I had fulfilled all of my other duties in the daylight hours.
I won’t talk to you about what my editing schedule looks like because that’s not the point. (If you must know: I have 3 projects in editing right now that are being looked over, one that has had preliminary edits and is awaiting further edits, additions and rewrites, and one scheduled for a complete rewrite/overhaul later this year and my beta readers/editors can’t keep up with what I produce.)
Anyway, I’m about a week behind on my personal schedule for getting projects done in my own time.
I’m glad right now that I’m only working on a schedule and deadlines that I have set for myself, and not for someone else. Once you’re working on someone else’s time things get a lot more desperate, sloppy and you worry about ‘burning money’ a lot more.
Basically, it means that I can either stay a week behind and just continue my schedule with the goals all being a week behind (unless I magically manage to pull an extra week out of my butt somehow) or I can adjust the schedule to cram an extra week’s worth of work into it. It also means that the only person I am really letting down is myself.
Now, I can hear you screaming “HOW CAN YOU CRAM AN EXTRA WEEK WORTH OF WORK INTO YOUR SCHEDULE? THAT ISN’T POSSIBLE!”
I assure you, it is entirely possible to cram an extra week into an already tight schedule. I’ve been doing it off and on for years.
It means a lot of sacrifice (or a little, depending on what you wanna do and how much you wanna go for it.)
I’m the biggest procrastinator that I know. I’m pretty sure I can waste time better than most of my friends. I work a demanding job that wears me out. I have rekindled my love for TV. I am addicted to Twitter. I love to play video games. There’s a TBR pile of books that is probably as tall as I am that I’d like to get to before I die…
There’s a lot of things that take away from my writing time.
I’m not here to tell you how to live your life though. Yeah, you can look at your daily schedule and take out the unnecessary TV and video game time and devote it to writing IF YOU WANT TO. It’s a sacrifice. But when you think about that 2 hours you spend watching TV or the 4 hours you spend playing whatever game the kids are into nowadays (I have no idea, I play Pokemon and Animal Crossing on my old systems. I don’t own a current gen system at all. I borrow my sister’s Wii and 3DS sometimes) you can see your average word count running away. When you add that extra time to what you already devote to writing — even if it’s only a few days out of the week — those words really add up.
If you can add even an extra 300 words to your average daily word count every day for a months, you’re looking at 9000 words. That’s almost 1/5 of a novel in a month that would otherwise be spent playing Halo or something.
It’s really up to you, what do YOU wanna get out of your schedule?
As for me? I’m a week behind and Camp NaNo’s July session just started. So I’m gonna up my word count goal to finish my current WIP and do the book that I planned for Camp. What am I gonna give up in order to achieve this? Sleeping in is getting struck from the list. No more late sleeps on the weekends. I’m also gonna give up playing video games three times a week. (I play video games with my younger sister almost every day so no more Monday, Wednesday or Saturday video games.) I’m not giving up my reading time though because it’s part of who I am and books are my favourite form of escapism.
So, now it’s your turn.
Leave me a comment telling me what kind of schedule you’re on and what you’re gonna do to get you back on or to keep you on your schedule. It’s always better when you have someone to hold you accountable, and I’m happy to help!