Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Work habits for writing

My last post laid out the writing and publishing tasks I need to complete this year. These were more than goals, they're things that I've committed to make happen - with the exception of finishing The Beechwood Flute, which doesn't yet have a home. With so many concrete commitments, I was going to stay away from New Year's resolutions about writing. But then I read that making resolutions gives us a warm glow - just thinking about them, even if we never carry them out. So what's the harm in that?

I have to say that 2011 was a productive year for me despite pretty lousy writing habits. I didn't succeed in setting aside undistracted time. I didn't write at a certain time every day or reach a certain word count daily. Deadlines squirmed away from me. I frittered away a lot of time looking at online news and commentary.

So it's time for some resolutions.

First, I'm going to cut back on the time I spend surfing online news. For now, I'll get it down below half an hour a day, and none after 10 pm - I'll go to bed with a good book instead.

Second, I'll really try to write a little every day. Two major projects need work right now: my father's biography and the third Lexicon book. The first is midstream, and the second is only in the dreaming it all up stage. I ought to be able to do a couple of pages of one or some scribbled notes for the other every day. And once the bio is done I'll let myself turn back to the joy of editing Beechwood Flute.

I don't think I met my goal of reading 100 new books in 2011. I'm not sure, because I didn't keep a good count. This year I'll aim for 70 and better record-keeping. Moreover, I'll try to learn something as a writer from each book.

There, those seem manageable. No doubt I'll add more later, but for now these will be enough to work on. I'll let you know how it goes.

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