I wrote last week about Nora Roberts’ amazing productivity. Now, through the Passive Voice, I’ve stumbled upon a blog post that gives me (and now you) some concrete suggestions on how to actually do it: write faster and better. I haven’t had a chance to use this yet, but I’m excited about this, so I wanted to share it.
The title of this post, “How I Went From Writing 2000 Words a Day, to 10,000 Words a Day” made me roll my eyes. Ten thousand words a day? Really? That’s forty pages if you calculate 250 words per page. A day! But I decided to read the post anyway–there might be a helpful hint or two amidst the puffery.
But there wasn’t any puffery, and Rachel Aaron’s suggestions are simple and sound easy to implement. They echo something Liz Danforth was telling me just yesterday about how she’s improved her productivity using Laura Vanderkam’s 168 HOURS. And some of Rachel’s advice seemed as though it was directed right at me and the problems I’m currently wrestling with in FIRSTBORN. Rachel says her productivity improved by:
- Having knowledge of what she’s going to write each day in detail, before she begins. Here’s her post on the prep work she does.
- Having enough uninterrupted time to write, and knowing what time of day she’s most productive.
- Writing scenes she has enthusiasm for. If she’s not excited to write a scene she changes it until she is. She reasons that if she’s not excited by what she’s writing, her readers won’t be either.
Even though I’ve written four complete novels (and a couple partials), I still manage to get bogged down, usually in the middle. Then I grind to a halt while I figure out the problem–usually after a couple of weeks (or more) of exscrutiatingly slow progress and procrastination. That’s where I am with FIRSTBORN right now, even though I have a plot outline.
Rachel’s approach sounds simple and straightforward enough to work. I’m going to do what she suggests, implementing her triangle approach one side at a time. I’ll let you know in a couple of weeks how it’s working out for me. If you decide to try it too, or if you have other methods that work for you, please share!