For short stories, I have two finished drafts due by the 15th. Just under two weeks to go, and the first draft of one is finished, while the first draft of the other is about 1/3 done. The deadline for those stories doesn’t seem as daunting as it did a week ago. More importantly, the first draft I got off to my key reader is a story that I’m really happy with. I know it will need some tightening down: more sensory details, a smoother flow between sections, etc. But for a gritty little bit of noir set on a space station, it came out about as good as I had hoped it would in concept. The other story, a little piece for the Cobalt City Neighborhoods project, is clicking along. I have the feel for the character, I have the supporting parts, the conflict and resolution in mind, and I know the Quayside neighborhood better than most, so finishing is just a matter of finding time and knuckling down.
That’s actually a lie.
As an author, we don’t “find” time; we make it.
To that end, I’ve made the decision to restrict my weeknights to a single social event during the week, maximum. The other four nights will be spent with writing, editing, and submitting. I will be rewarding myself with a bit of television on the weekends as time permits, or over dinner, but that’s it. And online distractions are being cut to a minimum. That’s the hardest part by the way…that downward spiral of checking Twitter, Facebook, the news, email, secondary email, then all over again. I can lose an entire evening that way. So from now on, I’m closing down Twitter while I’m writing, and only checking the others twice – once when I get home, once before I go to bed. That should give me plenty of time to get stuff done.
Because, let’s face it, my writing schedule is filling up.
I’m still doing the bulk of the Neighborhoods stories. I have a new audio drama podcast to have finished by July. I have three books to re-write, proof, polish, and get off to markets. I have one novel to write, one RPG sourcebook to finish (by June, no less), and the stories for Dark Carnival are starting to come in. On top of that, I have been talking to a friend and game publisher about a tie-in RPG with one of the aforementioned novels, and a novella to be written as a tie-in to the RPG I’m doing the sourcebook for.
I know. You’re not surprised. I’m a busy camper. I’m always a busy camper. But the reason for that is simple. I love what I do.
And will you look at the time? I have to get out the door in under half an hour for a signing over in the U-District.