The 2012 Writing Routine

At the start of this year, I made the same writing goals most writers make. I planned for a certain number of projects and promised myself that I would write everyday. That means getting at least one novel in the can, do another draft of Holland Bay, submit one crime short story a month and at least one science fiction story every other month. I have to do all that while trying to finish one degree, starting another, working a day job, networking within my chosen career, and of course, doing life in general. Oh, and did I mention I’m taking up running in the spring?

I am nothing if not ambitious.

So I began the year with a routine:

Weekdays are for writing, revising, and submitting short stories. As it is, I’ve subbed two so far and am working on a third.  Weekends are for the novel projects. I just finished one outline, and will revise the outline to another project this weekend. The advantage is that I have more time on the weekends, so why not devote it to longer work? One of the frustrations I had with Holland Bay, and the reason you aren’t downloading it or buying it off the shelf, is time. I frequently tried to write the novel and do homework at the same time. One term, I had four classes. I ended up repeating one of those classes.

Evenings are usually best for short fic. At least with crime, I tend to write under 3000 words. It’s a little harder for science fiction, but to get a short out in a week, week and a half, that’s ideal. The prose is fast and has energy. That’s the way it should be.

Of course, my schedule changes as the year goes on. I’ll have to take two classes in the spring and again starting in the fall. We plan to take a couple of vacations. I may or may not go to Bouchercon this year. (I need to justify the expense, and I just can’t seem to do it anymore.) AJ graduates and will be in drum corps this year before heading to college. I might get sick. Nita might get sick. AJ might get sick. The dog might get sick. The system I work on at ye olde day jobbe might get sick. You never know. When that happens, I’ll have to be able to adapt on the fly.

But I am realistic. I don’t promise myself I’m going to turn out the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy during NaNoWriMo. Not happening. But I’m not going to let production slack off. I’m a writer. Writers write.