If you are anything like me, the past few weeks have been crazy. Between the holidays and family birthdays (A lot of our family have birthdays in December, I’d say nearly two-thirds). Because of this, I have been drained. One of my biggest goals over the past few months have been writing every day. After all, I’m a writer and that’s what’s writer’s do. After all, I did manage to get the third book in my series published on Black Friday (Halfway there, woot woot!) So what’s going on?
Well, I am pleased to say that I have managed to write every day for the past three months at least five hundred words a day, if not a thousand. That means that I’ve written at least 45,000 words by just consistently writing 500 words a day. Often when I sit down and write, I find it flows well and I average between one and five thousand a day, the hardest part is just finding the time and energy to sit down and write.
However, while a portion of the words have been on my stories, a large portion of them have also been on my play writing. I.e., fanfiction, story snippets that I know will never go anywhere, bits of my main story that have absolutely no bearing on the overall story, just weird quirks about the story that popped into my brain. This is how I cope with stress, but ultimately it is not helpful in helping my share the rest of Aletta and Lirim’s story with you guys.
So how am I going to balance my play writing with my purposeful writing?
First, let me explain a couple of things. When I say purposeful writing, it does not mean that it is not enjoyable for me to write. I love writing, period. I love bringing my characters to life and sharing them with others. However, when I do writing that I intend to share with others, I’m a lot more conscientious of how I write. I pay a lot more attention to what words I use, my spelling and grammar, that all the plot lines make sense and that there are no gaping plot holes or ends left untied up. I want to make sure that people other than me can understand and enjoy the story.
When I say play writing, this is writing that I do for myself, that I really don’t plan on sharing with anyone. It doesn’t bother me if there are typos or grammar errors, although I usually go back after the story is done and smooth it out. There are also gaping plot holes at time because I was eager to get to the next scene and again, I’m the only one that’s going to see it and I can go back and smooth it out later if it really bugs me. It is also rarely linear, as I just around from scene to scene. It’s effortless and fun, but it is rather a mess.
So how can I balance this out, because my goal is to publish 5-6 new books this year?
I’ve decided to treat my writing like a ‘normal’ job. I will write my books Monday through Friday and make good progress on them. However, since my goal is to write everyday (and that’s not really a hardship), I’ll leave my play writing for the weekends and the occasional day when I’m stressed to my eyeballs and just need to escape. Trust me, we all have those days and it’s better just to factor them in instead of feeling guilt and despair when they inevitably happen and spiraling worse than you were before. Fingers crossed that things will go well.
So how do you balance your serious writing and your play writing? I would love to hear how you do it!