Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Writing targets

So March is nearly over? That means it's about a year since I started working on my latest novel. There's no hard and fast rule about how long it should take to write a book - some writers take years whilst others like James Patterson and Stephen King are prolific (oh how I envy them!). Some writers can produce more than one book a year but having read many articles across a wide range of genres, the average time from initial planning to last word, seems to be about a year. I certainly didn't take that long on any of my previous four books. Clearly I need to up my game.

After a long long period of writing I am at least churning out a few words here and there, but the heady days of producing 3000-5000 words a day seem a long way off. For now at least.

I think part of the problem is remaining focused - I've recently rediscovered the joy of writing short stories for competitions and days when I should be churning out the next chapter in my novel are getting hijacked into competition re-writes. But at least I'm writing.

I've tried setting myself some targets before during this long barren period and they didn't work out so well for me - in fact they just added to my melancholy - so I'm not going to set myself any hard and fast ones, but I have got a date knocking around in my head for when I'd like the first draft completed by. If I don't make it (and let's face it - I don't have a good track record lately) that'll be okay, but it would certainly be a step in the right direction. Once you achieve your first target the subsequent ones are always easier in my experience.

I've also just been over and visited Horrified Press' website and they've got a lot of very interesting open submission calls and I'm tempted by at least two of them. There's no target date on these - it's a first come first served basis until the word count is achieved (provided that the writing quality is good enough) so whilst I haven't got a deadline as such, I can't afford to let it simmer if I want to be considered for any of these book calls.

So, hopefully, the next few weeks are going to be full of writing, both novel and short stories - I've run out of excuses...

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