Sunday, October 24, 2010

Working weekends.

As a full time writer, I work the normal week, Monday through Friday. I start my day attending to emails, checking sales ranks, publicity stuff, and other business involved with writing. Then I get to my five pages, which can take anywhere from 90 minutes to many hours, depending on how things flow. Then I spend time reading, because I consider reading to be part of my job as a writer. I never feel I'm wasting time if I'm plunged into a good book, reacquainting myself with modes of story telling that are different from my own approach. Sometimes my best ideas come from other books. This describes my average work day, with room for messy schedule changes. Ever since I became a full time writer, I've taken the weekends off.

But lately I've come to realize that always, my Monday mornings are slow. It takes me forever to get back into my book because over the weekend I lose my fire. And sometimes I don't get it back for several days.

Usually this isn't a serious problem. Until recently I've always been one of those writers who takes as much time as I want to write a book, and then when I feel it's ready, I submit. But having sold my science fiction series, now titled THE SKY CHASERS, suddenly I'm a deadline writer. I've got a year to turn in Book Two when it took me two years to write Book One. When I'm in the midst of a slow Monday morning, I feel as though time is ticking twice as fast, and I just can't type speedily enough. I'm starting to think I need to take a page from On Writing by Mr. King, who advises the new writer to write every day, even on weekends. That's what he's been doing for decades, and clearly it has served him well.

So for the first time since I gave up my day job, I'm a weekend writer. I did my five pages yesterday, a Saturday, and I'm about to settle in for five more today. Surprisingly, I'm finding that working more actually decreases my stress. With my momentum a constant, I feel that this book is writable. I'm willing to give up my days off for the next several months in exchange for the peace of mind. 

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