Monday, 19 February 2018

Writing Strategy

My last writing post was about getting back to writing my novel after taking a break. I said that I wanted to write when I wanted to write. I still do, if I start to feel stressed about the prospect of writing, I will change what I am doing. However, I would like to finish at least a first draft this year if possible so I am going to look at different strategies that I could use, here (inspired by my current read, Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder):

Strategy 1: Counting Words

One method of making writing progress is to create a word count deadline, either daily, weekly, monthly or bimonthly. I have tried daily/weekly and monthly only once when I participated in NaNoWriMo. Daily/ weekly caused too much stress. If I did not reach my word count (which was often), I would feel terrible and I would stress about trying to catch up or having to write a certain amount of words the next day. Monthly did not really work either: I wrote probably more than I would have normally but I was far off the 50,000 word count goal and lost steam after a while. Bimonthly is an option: I know of at least one author who uses this method. It would be less stressful than having a daily goal and it would be quite lenient, especially if I didn’t set it too high. However, the impending goal could be stressful. Then comes another problem, deciding on what the word count should be.

Strategy 2: Time

Another method to track writing progress is to set a time goal, for example, spending an hour a day writing. I have tried this before but I felt as though I could not relax doing anything else until I did my writing and when I did, I spent a lot of the time not actually writing.

Strategy 3: Scenes

I could make goals based on scenes, for example, I could say that I wanted to finish a certain scene in two days. However, each scene could differ in length and as I do not plan everything in detail, I would not know how long each scene would take me. I could just say that I will focus on a certain scene until I finish it. However, sometimes if I’m not very excited about a scene or if I have spent a lot of time on that scene then I can procrastinate writing about it. I don’t like skipping ahead to other scenes because I like my progress to be quite linear. However, perhaps it is something that I should consider.

So, here are three strategies. Which one would you choose? Or do you follow another? Let me know in the comments below. I am still figuring my one out.

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2 comments:

  1. I try and write 2000 words a week. If you write by hand you could have a goal of so many pages. But if I have struggled to write for any reason I try and be lenient with myself as long as I'm trying and still writing I'm happy. You're doing the best thing: finding what works for you.

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  2. Hi Jen! I definitely think that is a good goal and your advice sounds very correct! Thank you, hopefully I'll find something soon. I don't like that anxiety can make it difficult to do things that you love but I will keep trying!

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