Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The daily schedule


What follows really is "A day in the life..."
Some of you have noticed that this blog post is “a week late.” My wife and I were visiting my son and his family (including my adorable granddaughter) in Wisconsin. Besides not having a lot of time, they live in the far north of the state and Internet access is, well, inconsistent.
But, I’m back in San Diego now.
I have three kinds of “days” in my life.
1.             No writing days. While not common, these do exist. The schedule for these days varies and is unimportant to today’s topic.
2.            Some writing days. On these days, my writing time is restricted to either morning or afternoon. This schedule is always based on other activities: doctors, financial planners, family responsibilities.
On some writing days, I either write in the morning or afternoon. Since the times I do write are structured as on my third type of day, read on for specifics.
3.            Writing days. I try to being writing before 8:00 AM. Since I’m always up before 0600, I have time for walking the dogs, devotions, and breakfast/newspaper before I dive into the process. Regardless of which of the two schedules provided below I’m following, I always take a break around noon to exercise and have a light lunch.
A.   If I’m writing new storyline. New stories kind of come out without much urging or control. So, I might write for an extended time, 2-3 hours, without stopping because I want to get as much as I can down and saved before it evaporates. Eventually, by the end of one of these days, I might have put in 8-10 hours of writing. My best production that I’ve documented is 6000 words on one of these days. I almost always stop by 7:00 PM, but do run as late as 9:30 on occasion—a night owl I am not!
B.   If I’m editing. This is my most highly structured type of day. Editing is a laborious process. I wrote about some of that process in an earlier blog, Quick Tip: Be aware of what one word can help you do, and will expand in a future blog, 10 More Editing Ideas to Make Your Revisions Less Revolting. Suffice it to say that I take more frequent breaks when I’m editing.
                          i.       First reason for more breaks. It’s just hard work. After all, you have to cut off part of yourself when you edit. I mean, you wrote what you wrote and thought it was good enough to keep. And, if you’re working on a second or third revision, you’ve already agonized a lot over the prose before. I get up and wander about once an hour, on final edit days.
                        ii.       Last reason for more breaks. They help keep my outlook fresh. Unless I move around and get the blood flowing through my cerebral cortex, I miss items that should have been edited out or corrected. I’ve never published a “perfect” manuscript, and I doubt I ever will. But my goal is no errors in the published manuscript.
So that’s it. May your writing days be productive ones.

Next Blog: Idea farming—growing your plot
Follow me on Twitter: @CRDowningAuthor and Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CRDowningAuthor
My website is: www.crdowning.com

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