For the first time ever, I’m on deadline, so I’m putting everything I’ve learned about writing fast and writing a lot to the test. In June 2017, I wrote 22 days out of the month and added 62,298 words to the Project Roommates manuscript before hitting “The End” on June 30th. Since a few people have commented on my word counts, rather than blaming it on “desperation” and discounting all the research and work I’ve put into learning how to increase my output, I made a list of tools, suggestions, and resources to share.
As with all writing advice, take what works for you and junk the rest.
Know your best writing time
For me, that’s early mornings. It’s quiet. No emails. Noisy kids upstairs aren’t up yet. By hitting my word count first thing in the morning, I approach it fresh and rested, and it’s out of the way so I’m not worried about it for the rest of the day. Know what works for you and stick to that time. If early mornings are your thing, check out #5amwritersclub on Twitter. Bonus tip: Make sure you’re getting enough sleep!
July was Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m usually less successful with the July session than April, due to vacations and such, but this year I stayed off airplanes and focused on writing. (I still managed some long weekends out of town, but I brought the laptop.) All in all, it was a highly productive month, and I even scheduled in a few days of downtime, to catch up on beta reading and not burn out.
The last two months were pretty eventful, writing-wise, which is why this blog is overdue for an update!
In order to track my progress, I like to do a writing recap at the end of every month. Here’s how I did in April.
Last month I undertook two writing challenges, Camp NaNoWriMo and the A to Z blog challenge. One of my goals this year is to blog more often. While I knew 26 posts in one month would be a stretch, I decided to see how far I got. By the end of April, I’d done 18 of the 26 letters and was pretty happy with my posts. I also found a number of other bloggers I liked interacting with, both on Twitter and in blog comments. I plan to write and post the remaining letters (P through W) in May.
Camp NaNoWriMo presented a bigger problem. I couldn’t figure out what to work on. I usually do really well with writing during the April Camp NaNo session, but this year, it was one thing too many. I barely checked in with my cabin, and ended up counting 1,000 words for every day, to mark that I’d done something writing-related. So, in addition, to the blog posts, here are the projects I worked on:
The A to Z Challenge involves 26 posts during the month of April. I usually max out at 4 posts a month, but I’m taking this on in an effort to blog more often and learn the art of writing short, quick posts. The theme of Creative Staycation is writing/creativity, so you can expect the A to Z posts to follow along those lines.
My name begins with A, so I thought this would be an easy post. A is for Alexis, right? Nope. The post I ended up writing is more about my intentions for this month, so A is for April instead. Continue reading