It’s been quiet here and there is a bloody good reason for that! I’ve been incredibly busy since February when my two boys went back to school. I’ve been head down, bum up, writing to finish my new rural romance, Water Under The Bridge.
This is the book I started in NaNoWriMo last year (National November Writing Month). In November I got to my personal target of 30,000 words on the book. The vast majority of those (particularly the latter half) were drivel… and have since been dumped. Then it was end of school, Christmas, New Year, school holidays, camping, back to school, and I didn’t do much writing in January.
But the day school started in February, my new work/life balance of working two days in my administration job, and writing Wed-Thurs-Fri, kicked in… and I am so happy to tell you I’ve been very disciplined!
I finished my book on Friday last week. I typed these words with such gusto!
That means I wrote about 53,000 new words (probably more because some of the earlier drivel had to get cut to smithereens), and edited the entire lot, in about 5 weeks. That’s good going. That’s about 10,000 words a week, with edits along the way.
Here’s how I did it (if my tips help any procrastinators out there):
- After I dropped the kids to school on Wed/Thurs & Friday, I set the oven timer for my 1.5 hour sprints, and sat down and wrote. I would have done this at least 3 times in the day, so 4.5 hours of writing, usually with a bit of an edit after school.
- So that I didn’t go too hard and hurt myself (writers/office workers, all types who spend hours at the keyboard will know that neck/back issues can be a problem) when my oven timer ‘timed’ I’d get up and move and do something else. That might be make a coffee and take a walk around the garden; hang out some washing, empty the dishwasher, go for a quick 45minute walk etc. I’d stretch against the door on my way into my writing room and stretch coming out, using an elastic rope of my hubby’s. My great mate and pilates’ instructor neighbour explained that it was important to stretch/release the chest muscles to counteract how tight typing can make my back and shoulders… and so far it’s worked perfectly.
- I made myself accountable for my time – using the adage of “make an appointment with your writing self”… and it worked too.
- I didn’t give in to temptation to do other things, like lunch with mates, coffee, longer walks. See – disciplined!
- I surrounded myself with positive people who were cheering me on! Thanks Louise Allan and the Lollygaggers, my mates, and all the usual suspects!
So now that the book is with beta readers, I have time for other things – like blog posts! I have a few to do. One for the Naughty Ninjas, one for Maureen Eppen’s Shelf Awareness series. I’ve been for a walk this morning down the beach – just beautiful – and tomorrow is my Mum’s birthday so we’re going out for lunch. I’ve been catching up on my reading and I have to share with you how much I’ve just loved a book called SHELTER by the amazing Rhyll Biest. Here’s my review.
When your book is out with beta readers, the waiting is such a killer, so keeping busy is the plan. Then it will be a case of acting on what they come back to me with, then submit, submit, submit.
Then I get to write a new book! And you know what the really cool thing is? I’ve discovered Water Under The Bridge, featuring Jake and Ella, is the first in what will be my Chalk Hill series… and it’s Abe’s story next 🙂
Now that’s really exciting!
7 thoughts on “Words, Words, Words = New Book Done!”
You’re a saint, an inspiration, and all-round wonder woman, Lily Malone! And I take my hat off to you for showing such great commitment to your writing. p.s. love your use of the oven timer for writing sprints. 🙂
Ha! I am definitely not a saint Marlish, but I have managed to sneaky trick you 🙂
Thank you – the Lollygagger group has been great for me. xx
I echo Marlish’s sentiments. I like the idea of the oven-timer—you have to get up to turn it off, and therefore it forces you to stretch the muscles. I might steal this one …
Yes – there is no ignoring an oven timer, and I do not have a door on my writing room to shut and hence block it out. So, yes, one must arise from one’s chair!
What an inspirational (and effective) approach to your writing, Lily. Can’t wait to see your responses to my Shelf Awareness questions… Best of luck with the next writing project. xx
Thanks Maureen, I’m looking forward to checking out your questions 🙂
I’m in awe! An excellent achievement & I like your procrastination tips. My biggest downfalls are not being able to say no to coffee with friends (pre-writing habit that’s hard to break!, and probably spending too much time writing non-ms stuff. But it’s all important, so I’m trying not to be too hard on myself.
The elastic band stretch sounds interesting! I’m tempted to give that one a go!