I always imagined being a writer would be a Hemingway like adventure where I’d drink, chase pretty girls, shoot guns, and occasionally, when I deigned to find the time, put words on paper.
Sadly, it doesn’t work that way. Not for me. There are some writers that always seem to pour magic from their fingers. I know a few of them. I envy their innate sense of the craft.
I have to go the slow and steady route. I have to keep at it and work for every sentence. I run an Interactive Writing Workshop because I like to share what little bits of wisdom I know. There are two things that always seem to surprise folks:
- How much you can do in a short amount of time.
- How much planning it takes to find that time and to hit deadlines.
I was asked how I planned out my time to manage to get so much done and rather than answer one person in private, I decided that I’d share my thought process.
My biggest project this year has been working as Developer on MET: Vampire The Masquerade from By Night Studios. This project is with the Designer and mostly my tasks involves capturing bugs until the files are returned to us.
I know that in the future I will have other time consuming projects with By Night Studios. Time is more precious than money or power to a writer. Time gives you the opportunity to move your world.
My biggest project is editing the upcoming anthology The Future Embodied with my friend and colleague Mae Empson. We have a number of small tasks to do and then the big one of actually editing the anthology. We knew I would have a dead month in October of this year and planned way back in March to work together to edit the anthology now. We’re meeting this week to consult on plans and see what needs to be done.
I have two contracted / requested stories that need to be done by the end of the year. I’m working on the first one now as it has a deadline relatively soon. The second one isn’t due until January 1st, 2014.
Some of these I have stories that fit the guidelines. Some tickle my muse. Some are from known and respected people in the field.
I sent off a query for one of them asking if my already written story would work for their vision of the project.
Eventually, I’ll eliminate some of these markets due to a lack of time or interest. However, I have a map of what is available and interesting on my plate now. I will find myself on a lonely Sunday afternoon bored and look at this list and then then sometime will spark. My first professional sale was made in this fashion.
I have other projects that I want to complete as well. I’m going to convert one of my novels, The Highway West, into a print-on-demand project and see how it does. This will take time.
I want to start my new novel by the end of the year. I know that the anthology market is typically dead after the 1st of the year until summertime. I try to use that time to write longer forms of fiction. However, I also know that I’ll have another big project then. Can I do both? Yes, if I plan ahead and work very hard.
Time is the only true enemy and the urge to waste it needlessly must always be fought. Once you have the list of what you want to do, you have to decide your priorities and let your ambition be your master.