March 16, 2007

How much is enough?

Today is the non day job day of the week. And apart from general joy and happiness caused by not being at work, it's also the day where I'm being a full time writer.

Which means trying different things and learning what works but most of all, trying to figure out what my writing pace is. How much per day and what times work best. Due to the day joy I currently write a lot at night. And I'm a night owl not a morning person but that doesn't mean I want to still be writing mostly at night when I do get to do this full time (postive thinking and all).

I'm a fairly fast writer. I'm not Suzanne Brockmann or Nora Roberts or one of those people who can punch out twenty pages a day regularly (for one thing I think my hands would rebel) but I'm relatively fast. My pace is somewhere between four to five pages an hour when a book is going well. Higher if it's going very well.

This morning I've done 7 pages (with the alphasmart on my bed as I was being distracted by the internets) plus achieved some houseworky chores. So go me. I'll do some more pages this afternoon. Hopefully at least 4.

I think my pace is somewhere around 10 pages a day for a full days work. That's the point where the girls start to whine and lose interest. So I think that would be a good goal for full days. Day job days I aim for four or at least a minimum number per week. Someone (possibly Barbara) said that you should set your bare minimum amount as well as your normal amount. I think on a full day that would be 6 pages. That much I should be able to do standing on my head. Two hours maybe less, maybe more depending on how the book is going. An amount that should be stealable no matter what else is happening. And my stretch goal would be 12-15 pages. That's my pace when a book is flying. But I know that sustained bursts at that pace result in downtime to recover at the end. Which is doable at the moment but probably not what you want if you're rolling from deadline to deadline.

What about everyone else out there? What goals do you set yourself? How do you motivate yourself to keep the pages churning along? Do you rough draft then revise? Or polish as you go so done is done?


Robyn said...

I'm still learning this too :)
I seem to peeter out at the end of scenes, like my brain can't comprehend doing any more than that. My girls don't have stamina yet!
and i work best in the middle of the day at the moment. So lunchtime is writing time and talk to the hand all you people trying to distract me!

Julie said...

Sadly, I'm a serious night owl and am trying to retrain my body clock to write during the day as I've somehow convinced my family to let me try the full-time writer thing for a bit with the promise that I'd also try to sleep at night! It's tough so far, but it's only been about three days. Heh.

I did about two pages in an hour this afternoon, and when I get rolling at night, I can do quite a few more. Hoping the change kicks in soon.

I'm always been a edit as I go type, but am also trying to let go of that a little and allow myself that "crappy first draft."

Going to try to find one of those nifty little word counters you have...