Strange things come to mind when I’m sitting before the computer. Like . . . what should I write next?
Yesterday I was commenting to someone about how my new writing seemed to have slowed up of late. Why is that? Could it be because I’m tired? It’s possible: I’ve been getting a lot more sleep these days, and it’s probably due to my body telling me, “You’re tired, lame-o!” It could be that I’ve got the normal holiday stress that everyone else gets this time of year.
Or maybe I’m getting distracted by too many things.
I came up with this idea: try writing new things before I did my edits. Why is that? Because, to me, editing and writing are different mindsets.
The edits on my novel require having to read what I’ve already written, reading it carefully, and not only correcting the stuff that I messed up, but to rewrite things that don’t make a hell of a lot of sense. You have to forget about what you wrote the first time, and go about making it better.
Now, maybe you won’t do a lot. Maybe your first draft is so good your edits are trivial. Even so, you’re in that mind set to make change–not to create.
And if you shift right into a new story . . . I believe I was carrying that mind set of “Don’t create, revise” over to my work in progress, and it seemed like I was taking way too much time building a new story.
So I tried mixing things up today. I worked on my work in progress first–well, I should say, that’s all I’ve done so far. Research for the work in progress, and then writing. I wanted to see how it went.
Now, I had a few distractions. I had someone contact me on IM. I had someone start emailing me with drawings for a story of mine that’s being published. But I wrote through that. And when it was over, I had a little over 750 words of new content.
Now, that doesn’t seem like a lot, but it was done over the course of maybe an hour total, and when I considered I was struggling to get out 600 words the other night, it kind of confirmed my idea that new should come in the morning, and edits should come later in the day.
New hotness first, old stuff later.
I’m going to try this for a few days to see if there’s an improvement, see if my work in progress times improve. I still need to see how my edits are going to go, but I’m probably not going to start on that until this afternoon.
After all, now I might look at the first draft of my novel and want to start over.