Week 2 of Novel Drafting – Getting into a Routine

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on February 2, 2009 in Ghostwriting / Books
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Last week was a little disappointing in my first draft efforts, and for a moment, I thought this week would be equally so. The plan is to stick to a minimum of 2500 words per week, broken over 5 days. I took my two days off early this past week due to some personal issues (mostly being ill). The problem came later in the week then when I was overloaded with a few client projects, and took a third day away from the novel.

At the time I thought to myself, "no biggie--I'll just write 1000 words tomorrow (Sunday)."

I only had the one day left, so to meet my goal I had no choice but to write those 1000 words. But it was getting late, and honestly all I could think about was getting some sleep. I nearly did.

Fortunately I convinced myself to just get it done, reminding myself that it won't always be "fun" and I won't always want to write on any given day. Because of that, I not only met my goal, but actually had one of my most productive writing days--I got those 1000 words written in less time than my typical daily 500. Normally I check my word count several times in the process to see how much more I have to write that day, like it's a chore.

I think the scene change helped. I just started drafting the third chapter where the pace starts to pick up a bit. The beginning is tough for me. While it starts off shortly after a murder, the real "action" doesn't come until a bit later. It's been difficult knowing what the "good stuff" is, but having to instead think about setting up the characters, settings, and other story elements. I'm hoping that as the pace of the story picks up, things will continue to feel a bit more natural as they did yesterday.

If nothing else, I've learned this week that I need to work harder at treating my writing committment to myself as seriously as I'd treat something like a client deadline or doctor's appointment. When I'm tough on myself it's easier to focus, and in turn I can get into the work a bit better. I don't know exactly why. I also don't expect that I'll suddenly get myself into a stricter routine overnight. But with a little bit of luck, and a lot of work of course, maybe I'll eventually get myself into a better mindframe about it on a more permanent basis.

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, and indie author. She began writing for clients in 1999 and started her first blog in 2004.

She owns 3 Beat Media - a publishing and client services company which operates All Indie Writers as well as several other websites and blogs including The Busy Author's Guide and BizAmmo. Jenn comes from a background in online PR and social media consulting, having owned a small PR firm for several years before choosing to pursue a full-time writing and publishing career.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names in the areas of children's fiction, mysteries, and horror fiction. Jenn is an active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA) and currently serves as the organization's Assistant Coordinator of Promotions and Social Media.


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