|Photo courtesy of Wikipedia Commons|
Writing is definitely progressing better than it did last year, but it’s not hard to see my current pace isn’t going to get me where I want to be by the end of the year. People build houses in less than six months. Why can’t I finish a story in that time?
The reasons are many, and being a slow writer is definitely one of them, but even taking that into account, I still find my wheels spinning far too often. So I’ve decided to make some
changes in the way I approach my writing.
Rearrange my writing activities to maximize work flow. I’m no longer at the point in my writing journey where I can jump onto the computer for a quick ten or fifteen minute spurt of writing and get much accomplished. I need more time to slip into the fictive dream. So instead of concentrating on whatever I think is most urgent at the moment (writing a blog post, reading other people’s blogs, critting/editing/reviewing a book, writing my book, etc.), I’m going to arrange the priorities to better match my habits. For example, less working on my story at night when my muse is too tired to be inventive. Reading other blogs during the evening instead of the morning when my muse is at its best.
Keeping up with other blogs in a timely manner. In a followup to the previous paragraph, I plan to develop a schedule for keeping track of the blogs I follow. Instead of haphazardly reading them whenever I think of it, I’ll align my blog reading habits with the posting habits of each blogger. To be honest, I’ve always been pretty bad about scheduling stuff (just ask my wife), but I do find that it works well for me when I force myself to do it.
Setting the mood. I’ve previously posted about my problem with playlists and how anything other than ambient soundtracks distracts me from writing. I recently discovered that white noise brings out my muse, so I dragged an old, noisy, air filter unit into my office at home. I seriously doubt it filters the air much after all these years, and I have no idea how much mold it’s spraying into the room, but the sound it generates lets me tune out the rest of the world. Recordings of thunderstorms also do the trick.
Not being so stubborn. Sometimes, when I get hung up on a scene or chapter, I insist on banging my head against the keyboard for days (even weeks) trying to make headway instead of moving on to some other chapter for a while. I don’t want to fall into the habit of running away every time I hit a difficult scene, but I think working on a different chapter for a few hours every now and then will help get the writing juices flowing again. It’s the way I used to write back before I joined crit groups that expect a constant (and linear) flow of words, so we’ll see how well that goes.
What have you done to increase your writing productivity?