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paulchernoch

How will you reach the finish line?

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Summer and vacations are past. Fall means school (made weird by COVID) and a pickup in workload for many. What tricks do y’all have for maintaining focus in your writing going into the Fall?


I feel blessed. I hit a stretch of chapters that required lots of unanticipated extra research, but that was during my vacation, so I was able to keep moving forward. 

 

I just revisited my original outline today. I deleted or merged a few planned chapters and reordered the remaining unwritten ones. Seven chapters to go! I figure that is about a hundred twenty pages yet to write (fewer if I am lucky). I maintained a 3-page per day rate (750 words per day) since the beginning of March, but I won’t be able to sustain that. I would like to finish a first draft by Thanksgiving, which seems doable.

 

What personal deadlines have you set? How is it going? Contemplating any changes to your writing habits?

 

 

Edited by paulchernoch
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Actually, the busier I am, the faster I write and the more I get done.   I keep to a strict 1-3 month deadline for the first draft. Never longer than three months-- that's where I start to lose interest. It also allows for me to write three novels a year (besides editing and other small projects). This works for me, so I don't think I'll be making any changes! 😀

 

 

Edited by Sophie
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I don't really have any personal deadlines.  I do set goals at times, like the last book I wrote (keep it under 95,000 words), but without an agent or a publishing deal, I'm just spinning my wheels.

 

My writing habits haven't changed.  I still have my writing ritual.  I am doing more research on getting stuff published, and that consumes my week.  But the weekends I tend to write.

 

I don't have young'uns any more - they are off to college.  So my schedule is more lax.

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15 hours ago, paulchernoch said:

What personal deadlines have you set? How is it going? Contemplating any changes to your writing habits?

 

sigh1.gif.35c2b574230a21f650a9657e8bc061c1.gif

 

Tough and convicting questions for me.

 

After publishing five books, I feel like I've run five marathons. You'd think that would make marathon number six that much easier. On the contrary, I found it to be much harder. Maybe it's because I took too long of a breather after number five? Life also got in the way.

 

I've got two books in what seems to be perpetual "in-progress." I'm looking to get myself back in marathon training so I can take them to competition. Not sure what that involves, but a renewed writing discipline is sorely needed.

 

 

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I should probably set more deadlines for myself to keep on track. When I have done so, I find I can focus more even if I don’t meet the deadline. I haven’t set deadlines on the planning phase of my writing yet so maybe I’ll try one to see if it helps. 

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I returned to writing seriously last January after long absence (work/family/motivation) Between February 19 - July 20 I wrote 3 books. The 3rd is being beta read so not fully done.

 

I am not sure I can sustain that level of writing. At the moment I am giving myself some time to work on plotting another book series and finishing a book of meditations.  I am not putting myself under pressure of a time limit. I have a vague notion of starting to write the 2nd series once I have completed the research I need to do so probably around December.  However, from mid-Sept onwards until April the following year is when all the christian festivals are so work might be a factor for me to consider.

 

When I do write I work on blocks of scenes/chapters/milestones rather than say I will write X words or pages today.  Think time is important and the prep work on developing new characters, world building and getting the plot outline is important. I wrote my first book more or less plotting sections as I went along, although I wrote the first and last scene at the beginning.

 

Like Jeff said, there is no reason to put myself underpressure as they may never get published, it just what I want to do.  

 

 

 

 

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On 9/5/2020 at 6:06 PM, Sophie said:

three novels a year

Wow! Novels take me at least a year. (Nonfiction goes faster.) What is your secret? (I susect not having a 40+ hour per week software job is part of it...)

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On 9/6/2020 at 12:13 AM, Jeff Potts said:

they are off to college

Yeah, but my three "off to college daughters" all live at home still! At least they help with dishes, vacuuming and laundry...

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On 9/6/2020 at 9:21 AM, Accord64 said:

Not sure what that involves, but a renewed writing discipline is sorely needed.

I am not very disciplined. Only two things keeps me writing: passion and hunger. Times when my passion flags, my writing suffers, even stopping for months at a time. However, research for my books is the backbone of my Bible study. When I am not reading huge amounts of scripture and Christian articles and books as research for a book, my spiritual life falters. I become hungry for the Word. It is literally write or die. It doesn't matter if the books sell, I need to write them because that is how I grow in my knowledge of spiritual things.

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On 9/6/2020 at 11:43 AM, suspensewriter said:

Boy, you did a lot of work on that manuscript, Paul!

Five more pages and I reach the 550 page mark! Wrote another chapter this morning, out on the patio. Beautiful Labor Day weather. Only six chapters to go and first draft is done. (I only quit to recharge my iPad battery.)

 

The chapter I wrote today I could have copied from my last book; it was a summary of one of my findings from studying Job that is relevant to my new book on Ecclesiastes. Lazy as I am, instead I wrote the section from scratch (excet for one table). In the process I found new insight into one passage. Don't short-change yourself when you are writing! God may have something new to teach you from verses you thought you had mastered.

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On 9/6/2020 at 12:39 PM, Shamrock said:

Like Jeff said, there is no reason to put myself underpressure as they may never get published, it just what I want to do.  

I would be that way, except even as I write one book, I have ideas for others that I can't wait to get to! RIght now, the only way I will complete The Loyalty of Trolls, my half-written YAF, is if I finish Peace, Like Solomon Never Knew. I am incapable of working on two at once. The troll book is my dessert, a reward for finishing "Peace". When that is done, I may get to write The Question, which I have been putting off for thirty years until I am ready...

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On 9/6/2020 at 12:39 PM, Shamrock said:

Like Jeff said, there is no reason to put myself underpressure as they may never get published, it just what I want to do.  

 

Not true, Shamrock--they'll get published, believe me.  Have a little faith in yourself.

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