I have limited time to write, so I have to figure out how to make the time I have productive, and how to not be overwhelmed by all I'd like to accomplish. I read two articles recently, and one was a blog post by our own Diane Burton. The first article was about creating a 'writing ritual' similar to the superstitious rituals that baseball players go through. Although, in this case, the ritual is more about forming a habit that links to your writing. I love the sound of rain and the smell of coffee. So, I decided that would be my ritual. Thanks to modern technology, there are limitless Youtube videos of rain sounds. The below is one of my favorites, because it is accompanied by a crackling fire...
I also bought coffee beans and I carry them around in an empty spice bottle, and I have them sitting on my computer desk.
The blog post Diane wrote that helped me was about dividing the word count of the manuscripts you wish to complete this year by the number of days left in the year. It somehow makes the projects seem manageable, easy even. I did this on January 5th. My goal this year is to complete four novels and two novellas. When I divided the word count, it came out to 1,055 words per day. About the equivalent of one scene. I can EASILY write one scene per day. Brilliant, right?
That was the fantasy. Here is the reality. I have almost no time to write. Of course, I realize I must MAKE the time, so that's no excuse. The awesome ritual I planned? I've done it maybe 3 times. It DID work, though. It helped me get in the zone, and I know that if I did it daily for at least two weeks, it would become a habit, and I would be more productive. And the nifty little dividing word count thing? I did that on January 5th, as mentioned above. And, I have only completed maybe 1 or 2 scenes since. The calculations are useless if you don't actually WRITE.
However, I'm not giving up. I recalculated and, to my pleasant surprise, with the projects and the days left in the year, I only have to write 1,142 words per day. I like to think of word count as 'scenes' and my scenes average 1,000 words. SO, that's still just a little over 1 scene per day. I'm going to call it 2 scenes per day so I can be ahead of the game, and also allow time for revisions. And, on weekends and days off my paycheck job, I can write MORE than 2 scenes.
I am determined not to fail. I will get up earlier in order to reach my goal. Or whatever it takes. The only way I will fail, is if I stop trying. By 'not failing' I am not saying I will definitely complete the four novels and two novellas. I am saying I will not stop trying to complete them. And, if I do that, I have not failed.
Do you have any rituals, tips or advice on being productive?