April 12, 2011. That was the date I released my Novella, Loose Ends. Three months to the day coincidentally. I wrote that novella in about a month or so, and edited/polished for a couple weeks after. So where am I with my next book three months after releasing Loose Ends? 25,000 words. This is a pretty frustrating thing for me to admit. I took a week or two off from writing once I released Loose Ends. In that time I did the cover for the upcoming Gabriel’s Return by Steve Umstead. This was the perfect break for me; I love doing art and had missed it while I was writing.
So once I had finished that cover up I started my first full length novel; a sci fi story. I wrote 6-8k on it, then I decided to stop and do a rough outline to which I could flesh out the overall story at a high level. This worked out quite nicely and then I was ready to dig back in. But oh no! I got busy with work and other “life” things that seem to chew into my writing time. Before I knew it I was doing more covers, working a lot, and more or less just coming home at night too exhausted to do anything. Even reading had become a chore. Not so much that I didn’t want to read, but because when I was reading it was making me want to write, and I was either too busy or too mentally drained to do so. So for months now I’ve only made a dent into my upcoming novel where as by now I should have probably had the first draft completed and having it sit quietly waiting to be read in a few weeks for my first edit pass. So you can see why 25k is not something I am satisfied with.
My passion for writing grows by the day, but my free time to write is also split with art related project (games, covers, etc). Something I didn’t realize was a problem until recently was that I have a mind set that I am full steam ahead, but only with one thing at a time. I have a difficult time multitasking on creative projects. If I am trying to take on an art project, I don’t write. If I write, I don’t do any art. I will end up writing for quite sometime until I get tied up with something else that distracts me, then I might switch gears into doing art. Or I’ll do an art project (such as a cover) and work on that for a few weeks. Then only once that is completed can I consider writing again. This is my dilemma.
Well that will happen no more! Starting this weekend, I will no longer be making excuses. No more “I’m too busy to write.” or “I’m too tired to read.” My biggest excuse almost every time is “well I’ll only be able to write for 15 or 20 minutes tonight, so I might as well just watch TV.” Such a horrible mind set to have, and I am going to do away with it. Even if I only write 100 words, that’s 100 words more than no words. Or I can read a chapter, which is a chapter more than not reading at all. It’s all about chipping away towards the goal. If I chip away and get a few thousand words down in a couple weeks, then have a great weekend and jot down 10k well then I’m in all the better shape. And most importantly, the story will CONSTANTLY be fresh on my mind. The last time I touched my current novel was June 18th. ALMOST a month ago. Though I remember where I am in the story, I certainly don’t have the flow and intensity that was burning in me back on June 18th. So no more. No more will I say “no time to write tonight” and I will promise to avoid playing ping-pong at least 2 or 3 days a week during lunch and opt to read or write instead. It sounds like such an easy thing to do, but for me it’s an uphill battle I’ll have to fight with every day.
Wish me luck!
Good Luck! =)
Good luck, AJ. I do the same thing! It’s either write or art — not both. I can usually pull myself away from Photoshop after a few hours, but Anime Studio (2D animation software) sucks me in for days at a time. I promised myself not to open it again until I finish the rough draft of “Enchantment’s” sequel.
Thanks 🙂 much appreciated.
Charlotte, yeah it’s really hard to get myself to close down Photoshop or Modo when I get on a roll. In fact yesterday a friend of mine asked me to look at a model he was working on and make some suggestions on how to approach things. I knew I had to finish what writing I wanted to do for the day before I opened up the 3D Model or I would never finish that chapter. And sure enough, I opened up the piece, gave him some suggestions and when I finally close down I never opened up Word again. 🙂 It’s all about balance.