Writing, as I’m sure is the case with many other professions, takes a large amount of self-discipline in order to be successful. It is really just the writer setting their own pace and doing their best to meet it. From what I see after following several authors, that rarely gets done. Procrastination can be deadly and it has traps and pitfalls everywhere. Throughout my life I have found that in some areas of academics and maintenance I am very self-disciplined, while in others it is almost laughable how lazy I am. For this week and the next, I have set a few writing goals for myself that I am determined to accomplish.
One of my writing goals is to actually write for a few hours each day. Not edit, not research, not fine-tune, not read. None of that. Writing. True crafting of a story. Thankfully, I was able to get about 2 hours of writing in last night, and today I have spent the entire morning writing away.
When setting the goal this morning and every day thereafter, I wasn’t exactly sure where to make the stopping point. So I looked to some of the author’s I trust for advice. Stephen King says that he tries to get at least 10 pages of writing done a day. Once he passes the 10 page mark, he says that he can stop for the day if he feels like it and not berate himself mentally later. Or he can keep writing until he feels he’s reached a stopping point, but once he’s hit 10 pages he relaxes. Brandon Sanderson says that he writes like its a full time job and sits at his computer for hours each day. He says he gets up, reads his scriptures, gets coffee, puts music on, and writes. 6 hours later, he’s done working for the day. That’s a little rough for me. But for B. Sanderson’s writing class, he asks that his students write at least 1000 words a day. That is actually a little too easy for me. 1000 words? That’s not even a college paper. That’s not even a mini-lesson plan, and I used to write several of those a day in college.
So I took their input and set my own goal. I told myself I would either write for 3 hours total in the day, just rough draft writing, or produce 10 pages. Which ever one came first. I didn’t even consider word count because I passed 1000 words after page 3, I think. All in all, I reached both at about the same time. A little less than 3 hours of writing produced 10 pages. I’m happy with that for today. I feel like to keep writing today I would need to brain storm for a bit in order to know where to go next. And that is exactly what the rest of the day is for; brain storming and letting the back of mind take the story and play with what will happen next.
Writing goal for the day: Complete. Now I can continue working on Greyheart and write up a few cover letters for agents. Or I could play video games. I think I’ll play video games. But I’m not procrastinating, promise!