For me, one of the most difficult aspects of writing is…wait for it, wait for it…
HOW LONG IT TAKES TO WRITE THE BOOK!
Surprise you? Maybe you expected plotting, or coming up with ideas, or writing a synopsis, or even querying a publisher.
After 17 (really? 17?) completed books, I believe I have conquered all of the above. And I have a bit of an in with my current publisher. 😉
But, logically, you’d also think that the amount of time it takes to write a book wouldn’t be so daunting anymore, right?
Before I started writing, I worked as an auditor for the local school system. My job entailed sifting through records to see that checks and balances were in place and that the school operated with good accounting practices. Every day, or every couple of days, I worked at a different school. The longest audits took a week, maybe two, but those were rare. Basically, every time I wrote the report, I wrapped things up and moved on to the next school.
Not with writing.
A writer’s work is NEVER done.
Besides all the planning, the marketing, the promoting–all those extraneous tasks–the actual writing of a book takes months, sometimes years, depending on several factors such as word count, how much time a writer invests, etc.
So, coming from a background where I experienced that sense of accomplishment on a daily basis to working on the same project for months…how do I recondition myself? How do I measure my time and feel satisfied with my progress? I…
- set daily word count goals to track my progress in an Excel spreadsheet.
- don’t focus on the end date, just what I plan to accomplish each day.
- write books with varying lengths, just to shake up my schedule a bit.
- discovered my peak writing time and use it. With my body clock, I can pump out double the words in the mornings, but after lunch, my word count and creativity declines drastically. So, I write only in the mornings. Of course, that’s not possible for everyone. The point is to find your peak time and reserve that window for writing, as much as possible.
- garner the support of family and friends. My family and friends all know my writing schedule. OK, so I might’ve growled and answered in monosyllables when they called in the morning just to chat. But, hey, I don’t bother them while they’re working, either.
For my writer friends, what’s the most difficult aspect of writing for you?
For my non-writer friends, how do you gauge your work day? How do you measure your satisfaction for a job well-done?