I’m in the throes of a deadline again. When I turned in the last book, I took a month off. I wrote for a month. Then my editor sent my revisions on the book I just turned in. Once I finished revisions, I had to supply cover details and artwork. I finished that just in time for another round of revisions and then the proofs. By the time I finished all that, I had two months left to finish the book I’d barely gotten started.
I put off friends, family, and events. I do only what I absolutely have to do in real life until I finish the first draft. Last month I didn’t go anywhere with my husband just for fun except for weekends, which were mostly taken up with sermon preparation for him and church on Sunday. Monday through Friday, I wrote from 8 until at least 3 and sometimes later. Period. Since he’s a pastor, he ends up going on hospital visits and church errands without me. I do make sure we have time together in the evening and if any church stuff can be put off until them, I’m in. Our son works after school now, but when he’s home, we have time in the evening also.
But everybody and everything else gets put off. My friends call and want me to have lunch or go shopping. But I can’t. My mom calls and asks if I want to come have breakfast with her and my dad, but I can’t. My aunt and cousin want to spend a day together. But I can’t. If I do, I linger and don’t get my word count for the day. I have another month of this and then life can get back to normal. For a month and then it starts over again.
Most of the time, the only time I’ve left the house lately is to go to church. A few weeks ago, we had a revival, so I escaped a lot for that. This past week, I had a sinus infection. My head was pounding, but I wrote anyway. I’d get a thousand words in, then go lay down for a while, then get another thousand in. Friday, I absolutely needed to go on a church errand trip with my husband. I took off, but I wrote on Saturday. Usually the weekends are my break, but sometimes I end up using them to make up for a lost day of production.
The weather is finally cooling off in Arkansas. The humidity is dying. Fall is my favorite season. I plan to move to my outdoor office this week, a screened in porch off of my indoor office. Maybe the change of scenery and fresh air will make me more productive. Since I’m past the halfway mark, that will help too. Past the first three chapters until the middle is always the hardest for me to write. Once I’m past halfway, it begins to flow and the words come faster. I have a month to finish the first draft and still have time to polish it up before I turn it in. But if I could finish it in two or three weeks, I’d have more time for polishing.
Once I finish the first draft, I’ll take off at least a week. I’ll run errands with my husband, eat breakfast with my parents, eat lunch or go shopping with my friends, and spend a day with my aunt and cousin. They all understand my deadlines and know when my break is coming.
I found the dice in a Christian bookstore on our church errand jaunt the other day and I had to have it. I love all things gold. My office has lots of word art sitting on the shelf above my window. Love and Kiss since I write Romance. Seashore, Beach, and Relax since my office has beachy decor. Dream and Inspire to inspire me. But I didn’t have anything about work.
I’ve heard of writers using an egg timer to keep them writing. I’ve never tried it because I think the ticking would distract me. I bought the dice and it has been so helpful. It sits beside my computer screen and I turn it according to what I need to do: Stay Focused or Work Hard most of the time. Be Awesome when I’m struggling. When I’ve not made my word count for the day, but feel drained – Do Not Quit fits. When I need a break, I literally turn it to Coffee Break or Lunch Time.
Do you have something that helps your productivity? Answer for a chance to win my two in one title, Sweatheart Reunion. Deadline: Oct 17th. I promise I’ll have new titles to give away next year. I’m staying focused to get them finished.