From the bottom of the writing/critiquing well…

I’m watching other writers and their blog posts. Some are regular as clockwork—it’s part of their marketing campaign, their name branding, and they’ve got more time (and definitely more discipline) to keep on that track. I’ll need to do it as well—just not yet, please.

Speaking of discipline, I’ve talked with a whole bunch of writers, but more importantly people who say they “can’t write” because they don’t have the time, or can’t concentrate… Or “the usual” to writers who talk to folks on the other side.

I can easily push through 4,500 words in a day, in one sitting, when I’ve got a clear vision for what the coming scenes will bring. (And as a pantser those are visions constantly changing as the characters and situations bend the reality I’d “decreed” for the novel.)

I’ve got little sticktoitiveness when I’m not sure where the scene or characters are going. That’s when I do things like dishes, laundry, shopping—and writing posts on my blog.

That little screen grab is how I keep myself at least heading in the right direction. When I’m writing I’ve got non-spoken music (or, at least, not music with English lyrics) playing. If I’m blasting through, it’s a thirty-minute timer, with the option to just hit the reset and do another. But if I’m flagging a bit, I hit the five or ten minute timer to check the news, facebook, or a little game.

When thirty minutes seems an eternity and my characters seem embedded in tree resin, well on their way to amber, I use the ten-minute timer. Hammering hard is easy when I know there’s a break in a reasonably small number of minutes.

I also use the ten minute timer for when I need to do some online research and want to make sure I don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of “just another link.”

That’s how I’m at 72,295 words on Angels, my current novel, and how I wrote over 173,000 words on Last Run in six months of steady, non-stressed, work. And why my blogging has been sporadic. And I’m sticking to that story.