I think it may be time to get myself one of those progress bars to put in posts to show everyone (and myself) where I’m at on the new novel. I did a word count (not manually, I just clicked the little word count tab – didn’t mean to make it sound like there was some effort to it!) last night and I’m sitting at just under 15,000 words.

Not bad at all.

I’m very pleased with that.

While I’m only finding little scraps of time to write, I’m really knocking it out in those short sessions. Generally I grab my laptop and head for a coffee shop, library or restaurant for my lunch hour and write as much as I can. While I complain that I want more time, this is actually ideal.

By the time I get to my chosen location and get set up, I’ve really got about forty minutes to write maximum. Depending on the day I can get out 350-750 words in that time. That’s a good start or ending to a scene right there. It then gives me the rest of the afternoon (when I’m at work or in the car) to decide where that scene is going or how it will connect to the next chapter. So, when its time to write again, I have enough of the next part in my head to fill the time I have, without having to sit and think about it too much. It feels good to sit down and write constantly for that short amount of time. I feel like I’ve accomplished something.

I’ve been listening to advice from writers, agents and editors at conferences and in articles for years. Lately, I’ve found myself putting their ideas into practice without really realizing it at first. Somewhere along the line, someone said you should always leave something for your next writing session (Sorry I don’t remember who gave that advice, maybe you do.). Never keep on writing until you don’t know what’s next, because it’ll give you a headache when you start your next session. My little arrangement is a lot like that, but with only 40 minutes to write, there’s little chance of me running out of material in one sitting.

With the last book, I would sometimes right well into the night when I was on a roll – and I kept writing until I had no idea where the book was going next. I’d then leave it untouched for days or weeks because I had no idea what was going to happen.

Another piece of advice I’m finally listening to is not to edit as I go along. Right now I know several fairly minor things that need to be changed way back at the beginning. It’s killing me, but I’m leaving them. I’m making notes about them, but I’m leaving them until I’m done. This is one thing that really hampered the last book: I kept going back and making changes. And one change necessitated another and another. It ended up being a form of procrastination, making changes to avoid writing the rest of the book. I ended up missing some things that I hadn’t considered would be affected, which led to another edit later and another draft later (and another and another).

So… I’m letting it go. I know I’ll have a rewrite, a second draft and I’ll deal with those things then.

See? I really was listening and taking notes. All those cons and workshops were worth it!