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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Thirty Minutes a Day...and then Some

It's IWSG Day.  The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of Alex Cavanaugh, our brilliant ninja leader. Co-hosts this month: Tyrean Martinson, The Cynical Sailor, Megan Morgan, Rachna Chhabria, and Jennifer Lane.

To read posts from all other members, click here

IWSG question for January: What steps have you taken to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

This could be the shortest IWSG post on record as I answer, nothing new. So as not to waste your valuable, IWSG-perusing time though, I’ll elaborate.

Many moons ago, I read a successful author (Sorry. I can’t remember which one.) who suggested a novel could be completed by writing 500 words a day. Do the math. Even taking weekends off, over the course of a year that’s 130,000 words—far more than enough for a novel. I’ve also read of writers who’ve completed books by writing half-an-hour a day. Another author (This one I remember: Claire Cook.) wrote a novel in the car while waiting for her daughter to finish swim practice. A combination of the three works for me. 

Those who read me regularly know I get up an hour early five days a week to write before work. Factoring in social media distractions and days it takes longer for my brain to click in, that ends up being about a half hour of dedicated writing/editing time. Sometimes, I get more in after work. On the weekend I write as inspiration dictates—for ten minutes or three hours or not at all. Along the way, when time has allowed, I’ve written in the library, in coffee shops and on the beach, as well as on trains, ferries, and planes. I’ve even edited a manuscript during an 18-hour car ride from Massachusetts to Charleston, South Carolina while crammed in the back seat with our daughter’s belongings. Following that kind of schedule since 2011, I’ve completed countless blog posts, a handful of poems, two hide-in-the-drawer novels, a novel I’m currently querying and a fourth that’s in decent shape, though it still needs tweaking. Add in a couple of thousand words on my flash drive that may or may not be another novel. Clearly, other writers have accomplished more than I have in the same amount of time, but at minimum, I’m proof to two theories. Taking Baby Steps and Finding a Way, work.

As for a publishing schedule, well, my aim is to be traditionally published. I have faith in the book I’m currently pitching and I’ll continue querying as I have for the last few months…a letter out for every rejection received. 

In addition, I’ll join the IWSG Twitter Pitch on January 18. I’ve never done anything like that before. Aha. There IS something new for me in 2018. Writing it here makes it a goal.
Bonus: If you've made it to the bottom of this post without clicking off in boredom, here's a reward. Check out this article from Writers Digest: 15 Motivational Tips to Help You Achieve Your Writing Resolutions in 2018.

Wishing you happiness and writing success in 2018.