Saturday, September 7, 2013

Non-Monogamous Writing

Scott D. Parker

I celebrated a big accomplishment this past Wednesday: the Consecutive Writing Streak reached 100! I have written every single day since Memorial Day (27 May), amounting to 177,000 words. I think we can all do the mental math to arrive at an average of 1,770 words a day. I don't consider that a bad thing since the bulk of June (24 days) was spent writing less than 1,000 a day, but the bulk of July (28 days) and all of August were spent writing more than 1,000. I'm proud of myself, which is kinda funny. I mean, think about it: a writer is proud that he's written. Big whoop, huh? But I've spent so many years *not* writing that  actual writing seems so joyous.

What had characterized my writing this summer has been the monogamy. When I pick up a project, I write on it until I'm done. It's been a great single-minded approach. It's likely been one of the reasons why the word count was able to flow as easily as it did: I was thinking only of one story.

In the closing days of August, I had to do double duty. I'm firmly in the middle of this second book, but I needed to write and submit a short story for an anthology to be named later. Now, this might have been relatively easy for some folks, but it's a challenge that I've never experienced. Add to that my desire to maintain the novel-writing streak through August and I ended up forcing myself to work on both the novel and the short story on the same days. Novel in the morning, short story in the evening. It worked well enough, and I was able to switch gears with relatively ease. I spent Sunday polishing the short story so much so that I didn't get to the novel. That streak was momentarily broken, but I got back on the wagon the next day.

For you writers out there who work on multiple projects, do y'all have any challenges you must overcome? Or is it merely a job and you just do it? I assume it's the latter, as it was for me, but I'm just asking around. I found that I enjoyed working on more than one thing at a time, tiring as it ended up being.


Toko Sepatu Grosir said...

i agree with you. awesome analitycs.

RK said...

Congratulations on 100 non-stop days! Thanks for inspiring the rest of us.

As a copywriter I work on numerous projects continuously. It's simply a way of life. As a fiction writer, I haven't yet worked non-monogamous. Perhaps it's another step establishing the mindset of a pro.

Brian said...

A truly great achievement. You are inspiring me to write to a daily total. Five days 5236. Only a beginning, but everything has to begin somewhere.

Often I use a short story as break from the novel. I still count the words, and I find the temporary change of topic to be refreshing when I get back to the main WIP.

Brian said...

PS. I have a short story in Steve Weddle's current issue of Needle Magazine.

Scott D. Parker said...

RK - Thanks for the praise. I'm a tech writer by day and I juggled multiple projects so I'm familiar with that, but it doesn't take a lot of imaginative power to do those. With the fiction, it does. I didn't find it too difficult. One of the things I'm hoping to do with my new success is share what worked for me and help others. I've gotten lots of help from others. I want to pay it forward.

Brian - Congrats on your 5-day total. Excellent work. I like the idea of working on and off with projects but maintaining the word count. There's a part of me that likes the idea of working on one of two, three projects everyday. However, I also like the idea of laser focus on one thing until it's complete. Taking a cue from RK, perhaps having to work multiple projects will be a sign of being a pro. And I did find getting back to the novel after a day's break was nice. Most of the stuff I wrote this week was admittedly weak, but the story moved forward. The material I wrote this morning has turned a corner in the novel. And I'm going to have to check out Needle and read your story. Congrats on that placement.

David Cranmer said...

Congrats on keeping count, Scott. There are the two schools of thought on the counting game and I favor not keeping weekly or monthly tracks. At the end of a work day I may add 'em up and see where I stand. Otherwise I hate to depress myself.