This weekend was a match between me & my life and me & my writing. My writing plans were foiled by a getaway with my sisters. I fully intended to write, but a lack of internet access and a wealth of sisterly togetherness took both time and opportunity out of the picture.
The deadline for “T -7” came and went. So, somehow, I need to fix this. The way I look at it, there are two choices. Choice #1: a day with two postings; Choice #2: a skipped number, like the 13th floor of a building. I’m leaning toward Choice #2.
But the plot thickened…or the conflict got worse, however you look at it.
I came home this afternoon and got right to work on all my weekend chores – a little shopping, laundry, dishes, and cooking for the week. Six hours later, I was ready to write. And then there was that primal scream of NO! Where was my laptop? With a sinking heart, I called my sister who confirmed it was still at her house an hour away. 😦
Two hours later…back home with the PC and here I am.
And what’s on my mind right now is finding a way to write, come what may. It synchs up pretty well with Chapter 2 of Baty’s “No Plot? No Problem!” which is entitled, in part, “Time-finding”.
“Writing 50,000 words of fiction really doesn’t take that much time. Slow writers find that they can write about 800 words of a novel per hour; a speedy writer (and good typist) can easily do twice that. Which means that the whole novel, from start to finish, will take an average writer about 55 hours to write.
…between school, jobs, and the host of other daily events that fill our lives, carving 55 hours of quiet time, however small that number looks on paper, ends up being quite a challenge.” (pg. 40)
Baty has a suggestion for pulling time from a daily schedule. It begins with keeping a log he calls a Time Finder. This is a simple, but detailed list of all the activities that comprise one’s day, along with the times they are performed. Keep the list for seven days.
Now break out the highlighters or colored pencils. It’s time to color code and sort each activity into one of three groups: Required, Highly Desired, and Forgo-able. Can you see where this is going?
“Keep as many of your old routines as possible. Being available for a minimum of social activities helps keep your mind fresh for the book, and also forestalls mutiny among your friends and family.” (pg. 44)
As to scheduling this writing, Baty suggests that we write for two hours per night, three or four nights per week, then three two-hour sessions over the weekend. This schedule allows for free time throughout the week. He says this schedule also results in a completed book a day or two prior to the end of the month. And that sounds pretty nice.
So, if you haven’t already, take some time now to really look at your schedule for November and figure out the whens and hows of your NaNo time allotment.
Baty, C. (2004). No Plot? No Problem!. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.