Saturday, January 14, 2017

Gischler's first blog post of 2017


So I'm pulling together some thoughts from a previous blog post and some stuff I was talking about on Facebook ...

I mentioned before that I'd created a lot of stress for myself by not saying NO to offers of work.  I mean, when you pay the bills as a freelance writer, you never know where that next paycheck is coming from, so you take all the work you can get.  The result is that there was a time I was juggling a lot of comic book and novel projects and just simply burning myself out.  I felt pretty frazzled.  I'm at the point now where I'm doing less, balancing things better, and this situation has led me to be more disciplined about sitting down every day and routinely hitting my word-count goals with seeming ease.

The appropriate reaction to the above revelation is "No shit, Sherlock."

I guess hindsight really is 20-20 because I find myself wondering why I haven't been doing this all along.  It's early in 2017 and I have a thriller due in March.  There was a time I might have been worried about that.  No longer.  At a thousand words a day (the minimum goal I've set for myself ... I write more if the flow is good) it's not a problem, and I know it's not a problem because the math is so simple even I can do it.  I've built in a certain number of "life gets in the way" days, but other than that the strategy is ridiculously simple, sit down and write and do not stop until you get those thousand words.  Period.  Well, yes, I can get up to go to the bathroom or make another pot of coffee, but you know what I mean.  In the swirling chaotic vortex my life had become juggling so many deadlines on multiple projects I'd forgotten this simple process: Sit down at computer.  Write.  Wake up the next day and repeat.

The most embarrassing thing, I suppose, is that I'd forgotten the advice I'd given to so many others.  A pal of mine made a spreadsheet to keep track of our words during an informal NaNoWriMo contest.  The simple act of looking at the small word count each day but then seeing how it all added up at the end of the month made me rediscover the cliche but true bumper sticker advice that slow and steady wins the race.

So when I turn in my novel in March, I'll probably give myself a week of beer swilling and TV binge watching and generally not writing.  But then I'll be right back to work, a thousand words a day.  If I can't knock out two more novels in 2017, then I'm not doing it right.