I managed to write one book already, how I will never know. I was working full-time and still managed to write an 80k word manuscript in time for a competition deadline. Since I am hopeless at anything even remotely resembling self-discipline, I ended up finishing the first draft a week before the deadline and then re-writing about 40k of it in two days because, guess what, the first draft slid off the plot somewhat about a quarter of the way through and only found its way back about three quarters of the way through. Don’t worry. I don’t expect it to get anywhere. In fact I am certain it will have been tossed within the first five minutes because I didn’t know how to write a synopsis at that point. Oh well.
The point was, I had to write a book. I figured, worst case scenario I have a completed manuscript and the knowledge that I am capable of completing a manuscript. Best case scenario, I win. Positive all round, really.
Now I am not working. I put my back out on Christmas Day and six weeks later the doctor finally decided that maybe the pills weren’t working and referred me to a special ‘Back Care’ unit. God only knows what will happen next. Fortunately I get sick pay – in case anyone is wondering, no, the money and free time is not an adequate trade-off for being in pain almost every time I move. I would far rather go without the pain and be going to work and writing in the mornings or evenings or whatever.
Anyway, I have managed to get myself into some kind of a schedule. In the morning I wake up when my alarm goes off (I am quite ridiculously proud of the fact that I am getting up to an alarm even though I have nothing to do except write), do all that morning stuff (wash, breakfast, etc) and then write. When I have written a chunk (today I started with about 3k and around the 3,400 mark said to myself, let’s get to 4k – reached it ten minutes later, which was a bit embarrassing) I turn on the internet and obviously writing goes out the window.
Not that my afternoon internet time is wasted. Since I started my blog I have been hooked on making sure I get more hits each day than the last. So now, instead of just flaffing about and playing games on Facebook, I am checking my stats, tweeting and re-tweeting things, and if I don’t think I’m going to make the cut, I write something new.
My original plan was to post twice a week, on Mondays and Thursdays, and post some short fiction (1k or less) on Fridays, for Twitter’s Flash Fiction Friday. Turns out I am so addicted to rising hits that I have ended up posting something every day. Which reminds me, I also promised to post a promo for an acquaintance’s novel over the weekend, so I need to do that today as well.
And of course, this all goes to show that you get out what you put in, whether it’s writing your novel or marketing your brand. When I return to work, I will have to work out another schedule, but I will deal with that when I come to it.
Now here’s the tip I mentioned: Submit every post to StumbleUpon – as the friend who suggested this pointed out, it only takes one person to read a post and submit it to reddit or something like that and your hits could rise a thousand fold over night. Get the toolbar and then click on I like it! – SU will invite you to submit the page. I’m already getting several hits a day from this, which is nice.