In today’s Journal
* Quote of the Day
* Topic: More Boredom with Time Management
* Of Interest
* The Numbers
Quote of the Day
“I write high-standard, quality fiction, not slop. Why the hell would I spend even one hour writing slop? I wouldn’t do that even to ‘just get it on the page’ so I could rewrite it later.” Harvey Stanbrough
Topic: More Boredom with Time Management
Yep, I screwed up big time so here I am again to try to fix it. A 30-day month has 720 hours (not 1800). Duh. I had a senior moment there.
Rather than reposting the whole long thing I wrote a few days ago on time managementhttps://hestanbrough.com/the-journal-whom-should-i-trust/, I’ll just give you an example with my own real numbers here. Your results, based on your life, will vary:
There are 720 hours in an average 30-day month. I automatically subtract 180 hours for sleeping 6 hours per night. That leaves me with 540 hours.
I don’t have a day job. Been there, done that, got the olive-drab t-shirt. My day job now is keeping up with this Journal and all that goes into that, plus PWW, mentoring, and my other blogs. So let’s call that an average of 5 hours per day. That’s 150 hours gone, so that leaves me with 390 hours.
I typically spend 5 hours per day with family (an hour broken into bits during the day plus 4 straight hours in the late afternoon and early evening). So that knocks another 150 hours off, leaving me with 240 hours.
Those 240 hours depend purely on my priorities, which often change in the moment (not including emergencies).
My number one priority overall is writing fiction. Therefore, in my own life, I balance everything else against WIBBOW: Would I be better off writing. Just the way I roll. But I’m a fiction writer, so duh.
But if my wife wants to go to Sierra Vista etc. I most often will take time off to go with her. And I spend some of that time improving my craft or learning about Licensing or Shared Worlds. So things like that, doing chores, etc. all come out of my 240 hours.
So this is where I lose track of my specific numbers because sometimes things just “come up” (or I choose to just “screw off”). So to get the numbers back on some kind of track, I’ll be generous.
Let’s say I lose another 4 hours per day (average) of “whatever” time. That sucks another 120 hours out of the month, leaving me with only 120 hours.
Well so what? I write 1000 words per hour on average. That’s only 17 very slow words per minute. It leaves plenty of time for staring off into space, cycling back while in creative mind to let the characters revise what I’ve written on their behalf, a brief break once per hour, etc.
So a 40,000 word novel takes no more than 40 hours of time in the chair to write (1.5 hours per day). A 60,000 word novel takes 60 hours (2 hours per day). A 120,000 word novel takes 120 hours. (That’s still only “working” 4 hours per day at my chosen profession.)
So there’s no logical reason I can’t write a 120,000 word novel every month. Or two 60,000 word novels per month. Or three 40,000 word novels per month. Just sayin’.
(Just in case any detractors are looking in, please note that I said “I,” not “you.” And these are high-standard, quality stories, not slop. Why the hell would I spend even one hour writing slop? That’s reserved for those who “just get it on paper so I can revise and rewrite later.” Silly. But hey, whatever works for you.)
Oh, and during the little bit of extra time I have left over while writing those novels, I write a short story per week too.
But I realize none of this probably matters to most of you. If it doesn, I suggest you run your own numbers if you haven’t already. In fact, I recommend keeping a “time diary” of sorts in 15-minute or half-hour increments to figure out where all your time’s going.
Cliché or not, Time really is the most important commodity we have. My advice is to spend it wisely. And only you can define “wisely” for you.
Today I rolled out yesterday actually, a few minutes before midnight. (grin) I spent the first three hours writing the inconsequential gibberish above, responding to a mentoring student, and with Facebook and email and finding items for “Of Interest.”
One email told me there are five new videos in the Shared Worlds class. Normally I’d listen to those now, but I decided to go back to my WIP early (3 a.m.) and listen to the vids sometime later today.
About 1200 words in the first hour and a half(included some cycling). Then I remembered I have a short story due today. I’ll go eat breakfast a little early, get the babies all set, then come back and write the short story, then return to the novel.
It’s exciting, knowing a few hours from now I’ll have another brand-new short story finished. And the novel’s still racing along, so I think it’s going to be a great day. (Such is the power and freedom of writing into the dark. Just sayin’.)
Well, I knuckled under to curiosity to watch the Shared World videos. Then I decided to continue with the novel for awhile. In fact, I decided to reach my daily word count goal with the novel, then take a break and worry about the story story later.
The story is due tonight at midnight, but my brain shuts down after about 3 p.m. (today that’ll be 15 hours after I started work) so I need to get it done by then.
So today my short streak of writing a short story every week will end or I’ll have a really great day of fiction writing. (grin)
By 9:30 I’d added 3051 words to the novel. Now for a long break. Then I’ll either write a short story for this week or (if nothing occurs to me) I’ll add more to the novel later.
I got the short story done in just over 2600 words. (grin)
Talk with you again soon.
See PG’s take on “Exploring the Factors Leading to the Decline of the Writing Profession” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/exploring-the-factors-leading-to-the-decline-of-the-writing-profession/.
See “Out Now! Audio For Authors: Audiobooks, Podcasting, And Voice Technologies” at https://www.thecreativepenn.com/2020/03/06/audio-for-authors-out-now/.
See “Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” at https://www.thepassivevoice.com/sir-arthur-conan-doyle/.
See “Cave Creek Funded!” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/cave-creek-funded/.
For wonderful fun, see “The Weight | Featuring Robbie Robertson and Ringo Starr| Playing For Change | Song Around The World” at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ph1GU1qQ1zQ&fbclid=IwAR1pKmRFNO7ndyVavlObJ3xkXKQADkrMS9ZfU4Q7U5ZqUnJ0vDtWR3k5C-Y. Not about writing, but wonderful.
Fiction words today…………………… 5662
Nonfiction words today…………… 1090 (Journal)
Writing of “A Very Short Story” (short story)
Day 1…… 2611 words. Total words to date…… 2611 (done)
Writing of The Othgygnrkthers (tentative title, novel)
Day 1…… 3863 words. Total words to date…… 3863
Day 2…… 2408 words. Total words to date…… 6261
Day 3…… 3116 words. Total words to date…… 9377
Day 4…… 3051 words. Total words to date…… 12428
Total fiction words for the month……… 18059
Total fiction words for the year………… 154754
Total nonfiction words for the month… 9320
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 63800
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 218554
Calendar Year 2020 Novels to Date…………………… 3
Calendar Year 2020 Novellas to Date……………… X
Calendar Year 2020 Short Stories to Date… 6
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)…………………………………… 48
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)………………………………… 8
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)………………… 202
Short story collections……………………………………………… 31