It's March and I'm a couple of months behind on editing the current dark fiction novel. The book needs much more work than I anticipated, and it's been a slog, because I'm disappointed by the overhaul required, and I've been busy elsewhere too.
As a content writer, I've just written hundreds of words of advice on time management for writers. As I did so, I was aware that I wasn't following my advice of doing a bit every day. Even if it's just reading through what has already been written, staying engaged with a story keeps up some momentum.
There's a lot of talk about how to write a novel fast at the moment. Writing consistently is worth focusing on too.
Adjusting the schedule of my Pacemaker planner to give me more time, I saw that I hardly edited my novel at all during January and February. I did, however, write and edit more than 100,000 words of web content. While my novels and short stories are very important to me - and I hope you'll like them when they're done - I have been prioritising the stuff that makes money now, the words that help keep the gas bottles coming in, wood on the fire, the lights on, and the kids fed.
I think it's time to make a change, though.
It's time to prioritise my writing, as my wife does and is always encouraging me to do. Not prioritising it mentally. There are few things as prominent in my mind as these characters and what they do. Prioritising it as in genuinely moving it up the list of things to do every day.
I've rarely put my fiction over the writing I do for money. Joanna Penn recommends saving 6 months' wages before quitting your day job to write. I'm not talking about quitting my day job, just finding a way to make that day come more quickly. At the current rate, I'll be able to quit my day job when I'm 684.
There are a lot of things that people recommend doing for half an hour a day. If you did them all, you'd never sleep. If I'd spent half an hour a day working on the book, however, I wonder how that would have affected my day job as a content writer/editor and ghostwriter, and all the other stuff I do over the course of the month.
If I'm ever to make the shift from content writing and ghostwriting to writing for myself more of the time, I need to take a risk and make it happen.
So, my Pacemaker planners should be looking more healthy from now on. If not, I shall report why on the blog.
I'll also take this opportunity to commit to blogging at least once a week. There, I've said it.
I'm Dean Clayton Edwards, author of dark fiction stories, novellas and novels.