Friday, March 8, 2013

Time for Change (Process, Goal, and Schedule Review)

In the last few months, to increase my writing productivity, I have experimented with several writing schedules, such as:
  1. Drafting and revision by writing first draft material in the morning and revising in the afternoon,
  2. Revising in the morning and first drafting in the afternoon,
  3. Setting aside three or four days for first drafting and three or four days for revision, and
  4. Alternating weeks of first drafting and revision, while during revision weeks, attempting to first draft for 15 minutes each day to maintain some sort of drafting momentum.
Currently, I am approximately 60% complete with the revision of Book #1, Series #1, while the first draft of Book #2 is complete, and the first draft of Book #3 is 26% complete.

Most of what I consider my low productivity has been due to switching back and forth from drafting one book and revising another; therefore, in order to eliminate the struggle and the slowed progress, for the next six weeks, I will focus on first drafting, while the next six weeks will be dedicated entirely to revising.

If the process ain't working, it's time for change.

I've been attempting to follow the advice of a well-known writing blogger and fiction author. Write fresh first draft material every day, in addition to revising, business activities, etc. While this everything but the kitchen sink process works for this author, the attempt to write and revise at the same time is not working for me.

Should I continue on in an attempt to do both, I will undoubtedly draft several of books, while revising or editing very few of the manuscripts. In experimenting with different time-frames, I have discovered that the blogging author's way is not a path that works for me.

Although task-oriented and able to multitask, I tend to be singularly focused; therefore, either I need to draft one book at a time, then revise and edit that most recently written book before moving on to the next, or draft several books and edit several books, such as those in a series like this one.

Since I'm approximately half way through the current five-book series, I will finish the drafts, then revise and edit, in two distinct phases.

In changing the writing process, I have drilled down the scheduling into daily writing and revision goals to move toward my mid-year series completion goal. Because of my struggle in maintaining a consistent productive pace, I am behind schedule, yet have updated and increased daily writing goals in order to meet the overall goal.

Process reviewed and updated: Check. Goals reviewed and updated: Check. Schedule reviewed and updated: Check. Time for a change: Triple Check!

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