Today’s post continues with the theme of how each member of the QT blog team keeps (or tries to keep) our writing or writing process/career organized, less stressful, and more effective.
Over the years, I’ve learned to streamline my writing (more so now that I’m a published author with multiple book deals). It used to take me a year to finish writing and editing a book. With my first book (which was never published), I got a tiny bit carried away and spent TEN MONTHS planning it. At that point, I was writing YA fantasy and for some reason felt it was necessary to figure out EVERY TINY DETAIL about my story world. And that included the types of plants that would grow there based on soil type. Did I use any of this information in my novel? Nope. It wasn’t necessary to the story.
Research is another area I’ve learn to rethink. My books often require some research before I can figure out my characterizations. For example, in my first published book (Tell Me When), I dealt with stalking and post traumatic stress disorder. I needed to understand how an eighteen-year-old girl would react to different situations in the book based on what she had endured prior to the story. I had to research these topics first. But while writing my books, I quickly learned that I didn’t need to stop writing every time I had a minor research question. Let me ask you a question. How many of you can go onto the internet and only look up the ONE thing you need to know? How many of you decide that since you’re already online, you might as well quickly peek at your inbox (especially when you’re querying)? How many of you end up then checking out Twitter and Facebook and all your other social media sites instead of returning to your WIP? *puts up hand* Now, I don’t stop to look up those details as I write. I make a note in my manuscript (which is easy to do because I use Scrivener), and go back to look them up once I’ve finished my first draft. And because I use Scrivener, those comments are easy to find. I don’t have to spend time combing through my manuscript to find them.
Another thing I do to increase my daily output is writing sprints. I see how many words I can write in an hour and then take a brief break before continuing with the next bout of sprints. I also write first thing in the morning (5:30 am) and don’t check my inbox until I’ve written for an hour (then I have to get my kids ready for school). I also schedule my writing time so that it gets done. All of these things have helped me increase my productivity.
What helps you increase your writing productivity?
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