I now have way more time to write, but it’s easy to squander all of this extra time by saying, “Hey, I think I’ll run for president of a writers’ organization!” or “I think I’ll edit an anthology!” (TRIVIA: Two things I will never do again are run for office in a writers’ organization or edit an anthology. To those who do, I salute your insanity.)
I’m often asked about my writing schedule, and I always have to admit that there is no real schedule to it, except that I write faster as the deadline gets closer, culminating in a marathon panic-filled writing frenzy. Now that my day job is Writer, that’s not gonna cut it. Nope, we need a good old fashioned Minimum Daily Word Count. 3000 words a day, six days a week, unless I’m at Necon or Scares That Care, both of which I’ll be at this point, and should you.
Only novels, novellas, and short stories count toward that quota. I’m working on a stage musical comedy called Clown Car. That doesn’t count, even though it’s going to be awesome. Screenplays don’t count. Comic scripts don’t count. Oh, I’m going to work on all of that stuff, but AFTER the fiction quota is complete.
[DISCLAIMER: If somebody says, “Hello, Jeff, we’d like to pay you to write a comic book script!” then it would be cheerfully recategorized. Right now, though, anything except books and stories are spec projects.]
But there’s other stuff that needs to get done. My website needs a lot of updating. I’m restarting and revamping my newsletter. I control the audio rights to many of my books but haven’t done anything with them. All of this falls into the category of Productive Writing-Related Stuff That Isn’t Actually Writing a Novel. 90 minutes a day, those same six days a week.
“Woo-hoo!” part of my brain says. “An hour and a half of Facebook a day!”
“Back in your corner!” another part of my brain says with a snarl. “We need to set up some rules.”
Social media doesn’t count. E-mail doesn’t count. Blog posts (unless they’re guest posts for somebody else’s site) don’t count. Reading books because authors have asked for blurbs doesn’t count.
Tomorrow’s Update: What I’ll Be Working On.