Publishing,  Writing

Dedicated Creative Time

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I made a big deal a few days ago at the incredible amount of editing progress I’ve made since being off due to the COVID shutdown in Ontario. The truth of the matter is it could have been a whole lot more.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m thrilled with the amount of progress I’ve made in the last six weeks or so, but most of that progress has been in the “spare time” of a life spent not at work. Once all of the day’s chores and to do list items have been done, I get to spend some writing time, but only after my family members have worked out that they want time to themselves or won’t miss me being around for a half hour or so.

Two weeks ago, I decided to dedicate some specific time for creative pursuits. Tuesday and Thursday each had a four-hour block of time set aside for creative work and the other days of the week had specific editing targets set that would take somewhere between a half hour and an hour, depending on my focus and the detail level needed, to be squeezed in where time allowed.

In that week, and mostly because of the 8 hours of dedicated time, I managed well over half of the third draft pass of A Matter of Honour (which was pretty light, really as I’d done a lot of the work that would have been in that draft earlier in the year while cleaning up the dictation during the second draft pass), the entire revision notes pass of Fallen Heroes, got a start on the third draft of Big Hair Day (just the first chapter), and finished off the plotting on Strewn Across the Stars.

To say I was pleased with the result would be undercutting the emotion.

This week, I expanded the dedicated time idea so that Tuesday and Thursday still have those four-hour blocks, but every other day of the week got a two-hour block. The result: by the time that two hours closes off tomorrow, I just might be finished the third draft of Big Hair Day, as well as having done an ebook for “Natural Order”, the ebook design files for “For Whom the Gnome Tolls”, and the paperback design for the first two books of The Citizen Trilogy.

I’m extremely pleased, so much so that next week Sunday’s block is getting bumped up to 4 hours so that I’ve got a nice round 20 hours dedicated to work on my writing over the week.

This can’t last forever, of course, and it may actually make me a bit sad to go back to work, but sometimes you need to grab the rocket and hold on. If I can actually get the household to-do list short enough, I’m likely to push that 20 hours even higher and try to get all of the planned standard goals for the year checked off and maybe even start on the stretch goals. And the secret ones.

Lots of screen time, but it’s helping keep me on an even keel and not feel bad about not being able to provide my family with the level of financial support that’s become normal (as if I’m the only one weathering that storm).

Which makes it time to press go on this post, I think, and still about fifteen minutes available in today’s block of time.

Stay safe, and be well, everyone.

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