Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Writing schedule -- I'm so behind!

I usually write 2,000 words per day. There are days when I write a little bit more than that, but only if the scene in particular is one I can't quit writing. And, I have two reasons for restricting myself to that word count: 1) It allows me to finish the first draft quickly, without losing steam. 2) If I write more than 2,000 words daily, I notice that on the day after writing too much, the front part of my head (the regions above and behind my eyes) feel achy and I just can't concentrate, and I feel lightheaded, too. I'm not sure why. Maybe, and I'm just speculating here, that's the region in my brain I use the most when I write. Or, maybe, I just have bad eyes and strain them when I spend too many hours squinting at the screen. Or both.

That's a moderately easy writing goal when I don't have to worry about anything else, other than taking care of my husband. I don't have kids, yet. But, since we've moved to Brazil, we've been hosting Christmas and New Year's, which means I write frantically on the first weeks of December, before my mom arrives. And that's... a bit painful. Don't get me wrong, I love my mom, and I love taking her out to see what Porto Alegre has to offer.

BUT, this year I'm really behind on my writing schedule. She'll arrive on the 24th, and I had planned out a writing schedule that allowed me only three days to work on each chapter, so the first draft of COUNTDOWN could be done by the 23rd. Now, if I want to catch up with my writing, I'll have to be done with chapters 5, 6, and 7 by December 12th... only two days from now. I'm almost done with chapter 5, but I still haven't started chapters 6 and 7. I'm doomed. I just can't write fast enough. I wrote a bit more than 6,000 words the other day, and the day after I woke up with an awful headache.

I know it is possible to write that much in two, three days. I saw people winning at NaNo on the very first weekend of November. That's insanely fast and good. But, I'm just not like that. I take my time. I ponder. I write by hand to feel the words, and then I type them up. It's a process that works when I commit to writing only 2,000 words per day. Well, I guess I need to keep trying. It would be great if I could be done before Mom arrives, so I could spend the two weeks she'll be here not worrying about it, and then begin revising it when she leaves. Any words of advice?           

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