I try to get the Tuesday and Thursday blog posts up around 9:30 or 10:00. You may have noticed that this one is late. You may also have noticed that it’s not the first one to be late over the past several months.
There are a number of reasons for the recurrent delays, but the big one is time.
Let me be clear here: I have plenty of time for writing. The catch is that it mostly comes in small chunks–half an hour here, an hour there–on an irregular basis.
I’m fortunate. I can write just about anywhere. I don’t need any particular conditions, as long as there’s room to set up my computer (or, as at present, when I’m doing a pen-and-paper rewrite, my clipboard). I don’t need specific kinds of music or lighting, and I don’t have any writing rituals that can’t be performed in public.
That flexibility is great. But. What I don’t have is much control. I like routines, especially when it comes to writing. They help me be productive as soon as I sit down to work. Without the organization, it can take me ten or fifteen minutes to get my brain into writing mode and producing words that I don’t immediately erase.
If I’ve got three or four hours, fifteen minutes isn’t a big deal. It is important if all I’ve got is half an hour. In a normal week, I may get two four hour blocks of time I can devote to writing.
An additional data point: a typical blog post takes me around three hours to write.
I think you can see where I’m going.
If I spend my large blocks of writing time on blog posts, I don’t get much novel writing done. And if I dedicate the time to novels, the blogs are late, uninteresting, or poorly written–or worse, some combination of all three.
So I’m taking control and changing things to allow me to establish some routines. Agency! (It’s good practice for letting my characters show some agency of their own, right? Right.)
A historical digression: when I started this blog, I wrote five posts a week. Amazing what you can do when you can set your own schedule and establish your own routines. Then, six months in, I cut back to two posts a week, not counting the Friday Critter Posts. That change was specifically to give me more time for the novels-then-in-progress.
So there’s precedent for what I’m announcing today.
Effective immediately, I’ll be posting twice a week. Friday Critter Posts will continue unchanged, but the non-critter posts will be limited to Wednesdays. (Well, this week you get your post on Tuesday–late–to smooth the transition.) Nor am I going to stress out about the timing. If it’s Wednesday morning, great. Wednesday evening, fine. Tuesday? Sure, why not? Thursday? Okay. It’s all mid-week and everything is awesome.
And with this change in place, I can finally finish rewriting Chapter 15 of Demirep and move on to Chapter 16, where Things Happen. (Yes, Smartipants, Things Happen in Chapter 15 too, but Fifteen is low-key, catch-your-breath time, before my protagonist takes charge of her destiny in Sixteen.)
See you all Friday.
Good for you. Bad for me and other readers who look forward to your posts. I’m of the blog-writing school of “write from time to time” which is lazy blogging, I admit. We will enjoy whatever we get from you. As long as Rufus is still around on Fridays …
I admire your ability to juggle different writing tasks and still maintain routine. I’m working on a story now and the writing of that is making the writing of other things more of a challenge. And then work gets in the way … and the next thing you know, there’s no time left to watch the latest Orioles starting pitcher fall apart.
Here’s to new routines … 🙂
If I’m being strictly honest–and there’s no reason not to be on this point–a large part of the reason I like routines is that they help me avoid that “from time to time” thing. It’s just too easy to say, “Oh, I’ll do a post tomorrow.” And then it’s “Maybe next week.” Suddenly you realize it’s been months since you posted, the Mariners are in last place, and the Orioles are challenging the ’62 Mets for ineptitude.
Not that my inherent laziness has anything to do with the Ms and the Os. But you get my drift.
As for juggling multiple tasks, I put that in the same positive column as not needing a specific writing environment. Three to four hours is about as long as I can sustain the creative flow on any one project. After that, I have to switch to something else if I want to make progress.
And for those of you who hang on my every word–and thank you very much–if my situation changes, I’ll be more than happy to post more often again. All it’d take is (in order of probability) one lottery win, one bestseller, or one rich patron of the arts…