I mentioned that I was adopting some new writing habits based on suggestions in Rachel Aaron’s book (2,000 to 10,000…). Well, I’ve been using it off and on for about a week now and I have to admit, it seems to be working. I’ll know more once I’ve fully adapted to the new habits, but so far I’m pretty impressed. While I’m not writing 10k per day, I have noticed a gradual increase in my output. My normal writing day usually consists of sitting in front of the laptop and letting the story “come to me”. It sounds all Zen and existential, but that’s basically the way a “pantser” writes. The thrill of writing is in the discovery of the story as it happens in your head. It’s fun, but for me at least, it’s also slow and unsure.
Now, I start out the day with a pen and paper in a binder that I’ve put together… or sometimes typing notes on the laptop that I print out & put in the binder. The point is, I spend anywhere from fifteen minutes to an hour writing basic beat points for what I want to accomplish in my writing for the day, and then I sit down to actually write it. Adopting this single habit has changed my daily average from a bit under two thousand words per day, to about four thousand words a day.
Needless to say, I’m a believer.
Since most of Year 12 is already written, I won’t have a true test of the new process until I begin a new story. After all, much of my work with Y12 is going to be cleaning up the manuscript that’s already been written using my old method… or lack thereof.
I suppose this has been a lesson for me, not just in writing, but in life. Actually, I suppose it’s not so much a new lesson as it is a “Gibbs slap” to the back of the head – a reminder of something I was supposed to already know. Never stop learning. Never stop looking for a new way.
After all, “because it’s how I’ve always done it” is just another way of saying, “I’ve plateaued”. And I don’t plan on plateauing for a long, long time.
Stay safe, everyone.