Last year, things were a really wild road in terms of writing. Not only for myself, but for others from what I could see. It either felt like we had all the time in the world or couldn’t get a second to ourselves. I managed to write the last 4 volumes of War of Nytefall last year while doing remote working. It wasn’t as easy as one would think in lockdown since I also had to work, help my son with school, and avoid going mad from either being cooped up or watching the news for more than 15 minutes. Again, I’m not the only one who experienced this. It was exhausting and oddly exhilarating, which resulted in me learning a few things about writing in the future. (Okay, I knew them already, but this experience renewed the memory.)
- Notes are incredibly valuable. You never know exactly how long a writing period will last even when things are slowing down. Sickness, family time, waking up with no author mojo, or simple fatigue can push you back in the midst of a roll. If you maintain some notes about where you are, you will need less time to get back into the story once you return. It doesn’t have to be detailed. It can even be about how you were feeling or where you think they story is going. Whatever works for you to get back into the swing of things.
- Just because you have all this free time, doesn’t mean you need to put it all into writing. Of course, this comes from the guy who would do a section in the morning, another after lunch, and a third after dinner if he had a free day. I did make sure to give myself some resting time between those and I’d stop if friends or family wanted me to make an appearance. Now, this can be frustrating in the moment because you may feel like you’ve been gifted this writing time. That’s very true if it’s usually hard to come by. Still, you need to step back from time-to-time to avoid going stale as well as recharging. (I am talking about a little time though instead of getting routinely yanked off projects for months.)
- Savor the writing experience because you don’t know how long it will last. Once I got back to work, things slowed down again. It was a little jarring since I’d been creating at a rate that I hadn’t felt for years. This made me realize that I really should have enjoyed the previous moments a lot more instead of whizzing by them. I mean, I loved what I was writing as you’ll see throughout this year, but I certainly didn’t savor every moment.
- Doesn’t hurt to sleep in every now and again. You don’t even have to sleep. Just stay in bed with a book or listening to music. Having one day that’s a slow or non-starter can help give you the right amount of energy for the other six.
- Decide who you’re really writing for. This is something that I’m going to make a post about, but I wanted to mention it here. Many believe authors write solely for their audience while many authors feel that write for themselves first. Last year, I sat back and tried to figure out where I fell on this spectrum. Who was I really trying to entertain, especially since sales were abysmal? Definitely helped a little when I thought about it. Still cried about the lack of sales . . . Hey, I’m still human.
- Editing can wait. You don’t have to jump into this stage right away and there’s no perfect period to wait. Get to it when you get to it. Give another story some time to earn a first draft. Maybe outline a few others. Read more. Aside from you getting to go back fresh, you don’t stress yourself out about deadlines.
- Writing can be as big a stress reliever as TV, reading, video games, and movies. I could argue more so since this is all in your head. There’s no risk of reality really treading on what you’re doing with an advertisement or somebody else trying to make a personal statement. If you want escape from reality for a bit then plunge into your own fictional world instead that of another person. (If you are going to go to another person’s world though, I highly recommend War of Nytefall.)