One of the annoying things I’ve found about the full-time writer gig is a much stronger feeling of not getting enough done in any given day.
Working for the state, I knew I had an hour to write during lunch, and maybe a little time later that evening, depending on what was going on. So if I got 1000 words done, I was doing great.
Now, I get up and do my two hours of telecommuting, and then at 10:30 the rest of the day is all mine. Since I have more hours to write, I should be doing 5000+ words a day, right? Because that’s what the math says.
Of course, the math doesn’t care about calls from the school, grocery shopping, holiday preparation, vacuuming the house, picking my son up from school because he’s not feeling well, and all the rest. Nor does it recognize that sometimes I need to get up and stretch, or walk away from the story so I can think a bit and figure out where to go from here.
My math doesn’t care about any of that.
At the same time, I’ve been thinking about more projects I want to do, things I’m really excited about. There’s the middle grade book, the trilogy I pitched to DAW, and a list of other things that not only would my fans (hopefully) really like, but that would also help me continue to grow my career, and as a writer.
Basically, I want to WRITE ALL THE THINGS! And I somehow expect myself to do it all RIGHT NOW!
Realistically, the past few months have been incredibly productive. I did three and a half short stories in October. I wrote the first draft of a book in November. It’s halfway through December, and I’m halfway through the rewrite of that same book. I also did page proofs for Revisionary somewhere in there.
And it doesn’t feel like enough. I knew being the stay-at-home parent would eat up a fair amount of time and energy, but it’s hard to find that balance. There’s always been the voice whispering, “Shouldn’t you be writing?”, but now that voice expects it to be all writing, all the time.
That’s not healthy.
I’m thinking I need to do more long-term planning. List out these various projects, come up with a realistic estimate of how long each of them will take, plug in the ones that have deadlines, and see how it all looks. NaNoWriMo was helpful because not only did I have a concrete goal, I also had a daily goal, and if I reached that, it was easier to give myself permission to stop.
This has been your periodic glimpse of writerbrain.