This challenge is nothing new for me, but since I did this challenge the first time, I have felt that I have slowly lost control of my time in general and writing time in particular. And I can’t think of a better way to snap back into controlling my time and my sense of time than a writing challenge. Not challenging anyone else or suggesting any of you even try this. Just doing this for myself.
My challenge is to write four novels in July.
Pretty simple. I write 40,000 word novels, so about 160,000 words of fiction. (Pulp Speed 4, but with also doing these blogs to form a book, I will end up over Pulp Speed 5 for a month.)
As I said, I have done this exact challenge before and hit it. Actually wrote a fifth novel the first week of August. I remember it was a blast. Hit and stayed in ground effect the entire time with my writing. I also did a challenge of writing a short story a day for the month of July another year. Hit that as well with 32 stories and you can find all that including the stories in the book STORIES FROM JULY.
With a different opening, todays blog will be part of the prolog to the book WRITING FOUR NOVELS IN A MONTH. And through this month I will talk a great deal here about the ups and downs, and writer thinking. Each day will be one short chapter. Not so much about my day, but focused on how I found the time each day to write for five hours.
WHAT AM I DOING FIRST?
Besides questioning my sanity, which is my critical voice trying to stop me, I am breaking down my day. In classes over the years I have told writers to do this exact same thing. If you can’t find the time to write, just break your day into 15 minute segments and trust me, you will find time.
I started with looking at the big stuff and giving each an average segment of time in my normal day.
— Sleep, eating, things like that takes up about half my day in one way or another. Give or take.
— I have regular email and workshop stuff to do. Varies by the day of the week.
— And Kris and I just moved, so we have two other condos to finish moving out of and get cleaned and ready to depart by the end of July. That will take a couple hours a day for the entire month, but also be good exercise. Good stuff to do on a break from the screen
— I also have exercise to ramp up slowly to get ready for runs this fall, but my focus in July is ramping down food and weight, so the exercise will take some time, but not as much as August and September.
So when I got done with looking at the big stuff, I looked for other distractions during the month. All are just a few hours here and a few hours there. A movie, a show, fun things, and dinners with friends and such. Nothing that would get in the way since I have flex time in some of the other big areas.
And Kris is planning on being very, very busy this month as well, so all good there. This will keep me out of her way.
LOOKING AT THE WRITING…
I don’t plan my books at all, but got some fun series I would like to write in, and I am excited about writing in those series once again. So feeling very excited to write. No idea what, but ready to roll in this new office.
After I get through openings of each book, I tend to write at a speed of about 1,300 to 1,500 words per hour with a five minute break. Less than a thousand words per hour on openings. Depth cycling.
So on average, a 40,000 word book should take me about 30 hours to write. About 4.5 hours per day doing a novel a week. About 6,000 words a day on average.
All those numbers will be goalposts along the way. Mostly I’ll try to hit the 6,000 words. A nice easy number to figure as I go along.
I will do 15 minute segments as well as numbers of hours segments each day, depending on the day. No set time, just when I have 15 minutes to spare.
SO ON FIRST LOOK…
Do I have enough hours in my day to do this for a month? Some days will be a little harder, but if I stop whining and take back control of my own time just a little, I will have more than enough time each day to do this.
And it will be so much fun writing that controlling the time will get easier after a very short ramp up.
Back tomorrow with the rest of this prolog chapter before I ramp up the challenge on July 1st.