Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Sorting Ideas

Prioritizing writing projects is never easy.

Next week, life returns to normal - at least a working sort of normal (if "normal" is something that ever happens around here). One of the good things about returning to the "normal", however, is the fact that my schedule will be structured enough for me to return to a regular writing schedule.

Back to work - so now I get more creative writing done? Yes. This is the paradoxical dilemma of how I operate when it comes to my creative writing: I write best - and I write far more - when I have other responsibilities demanding my time. When I have the leisure to spend time as I please, I do it on almost anything and everything - except writing. When I have other pressures, or things I would rather procrastinate, writing becomes my escape hatch.

And, because I know I can only afford so much procrastination, I make that writing time count.

I promise - I wasn't a Writing Slug during Christmas break. As I reported last week, I recently finished a first hard edit on a manuscript that I began at about this time last year. I also:
     * completed a rather detailed interview for another blog
     * made an initial pass at a query rough draft
     * began an edit of my 2010 NaNoWriMo manuscript
     * sifted blog topics for my new "agent tweets" series
     * made a "tour" of my current working projects - where they are, where they're going, etc
     * made the painful decision to break one project into two smaller ones
     * prioritized said working projects: revising, editing, original writing, which is top of the stack

A paper whirlwind - usually trapped inside my brain. :)

So I haven't written but about 500+ original words on any manuscript since I crossed the NaNoWriMo finish line on November 28th. But I've still had plenty to occupy my time - and structure my writing future.

2010 and 2011 were the years of knuckling down and getting the stories out of my head. 2012 appears to be the year of editing and querying while not losing my grip on my new-found confidence in "writing to completion."

Anyone else find this daunting, or is it just me?

For any unpublished writer getting down to the serious business of the Writer's Life, learning all the aspects of writing in its various permutations is daunting. It is, moreover, a learning process that never ends - not even when that long-awaited book contract finally comes.

Which means I'll be taking many more "sorting days" over the coming months, to stay ahead of the new lessons the Writing Empire has to throw at me.

What's your plan of attack to make your writing dreams work?
Are you stuck in one part of the process? Juggling it all?
Any secrets or tips to share?


  1. I'm always inspired when I have something else to procrastinate on too. It's ridiculously hard to balance the teaching life with the writing life, though. Around here anyway, mpre and more they want sixty hours worth of work for their 38 hours worth of pay!

    Good luck!

  2. It's not just you. I've literally shed tears over editing my manuscript. Somehow it went from being a precious darling to a demonic hellspawn I want to chuck over the railing.

  3. Not just you at all! It's a scary, scary world--but you've got the right outlook :) Keep going!

  4. My plan is to write as much as I can before I am forced to edit all the manuscripts that I've finished this past year. Eeek. Never enough hours in a day to finish everything.

  5. I am not alone!?! You guys are awesome. Angie and Dan ~ I am totally with you on the not-enough-time and discouragement issues...

    Rowenna: Thanks for your comments! Scary is right...but we will overcome!

    Joe: As a veteran public school teacher for 14 years, I COMPLETELY know what you mean about the writing vs teaching life. One will eat your soul, the other will feed it. Such a paradoxical existence.... *le sigh*