I wrote that title thinking about blogging, about how I’d promised myself I was going to keep to a regular schedule of posts this year. Maybe not as frequent as I’d tried for last year, but consistent. Being so far out of the habit of blogging regularly, I don’t have a pattern of posts or topics to fall back on. If this was a straight-forward book blog, I could fill the space with reviews, but since I’m trying to make it more of a balance between my reading and writing selves, I’m not keen to go down that route.
And then it occurred to me, the title applies just as well to my writing. I’ve got 3 WIPs at various stages, plus the snippets of ideas I’m storing away for future use, and a couple of short stories I’d like to have a go at. I wanted to make a habit of writing exercises to work on the craft side and help keep me from getting blocked so badly again. I’ve been doing a little bit of journalling and free writing for the same reason. But then of course I have the problem of where to spend my limited time and energy.
Pick a priority
Well, yes, that’s the obvious answer. But HOW? How do people do it, when so many things are competing for attention? And I’ve only listed the writing part up there, not the books I want to read or the day job I actually get paid for, or the various projects around the house, or the time I should be spending with the kids…
If anything, you’d think that makes it more important to prioritise. If I can only devote 10% of my time to writing in any given week, I need to be extra careful not to spread myself too thin. So it makes sense to focus on one of my proper WIPs, the ones which are supposed to end up as an actual book one of these days. And then to narrow it down to the one that’s nearest to being done, so I can skip ahead to the next stage and clear it off my desk to make room for the rest.
Except, the one that’s closest to being done is the one that seems least sale-able, for a debut author with no reputation. A too-long, adult/crossover fantasy that’s the start of a series of indeterminate length (four or five books. Probably).
The one that’s closest after that is a no-go. A second draft of a YA fantasy. I’m completely and utterly stuck on it and I need to give myself a good long break to come at it fresh and hopefully figure out what the problem is and if I’m lucky, how to fix it.
So then there’s the one I am actually working on, theoretically. Another YA fantasy, but at early first draft stage. Oh, and writing by hand, because why would I make my life easy? It is very good for suppressing the inner editor though; no going back and rewriting a clunky paragraph when it’s like this!
I broke 17K words last week (woo!) but I’m really not closing in on the first quarter yet. Yes, I’m an overwriter, so that’s to be expected. But if I pick this as the most realistic project to work on, I’m pushing all my long-term goals back by however long it takes me to get the first draft done and ready to revise.
So, any advice for a floundering writer? How do you pick what project to prioritise?
And the floundering blogger wouldn’t mind some help either! What sort of posts do you want to see on here? Do you want to see rough (very rough) extracts of what I’m working on? Life and thoughts rambles like this one? More bookish stuff or weekly memes? Let me know!