Theoretically, it’s possible to write either before or after working your day job. In reality, I find it incredibly hard to switch between the two different mind sets within the same day if I’m rough drafting. Editing is another matter, but rough drafts are HARD. The truth is, I get my best, most fulfilling writing done when I have big chunks of time to immerse myself in it, but Saturdays tend to get eaten up with catching up on sleep, and “life,” and chores, and finding my writing mind set. By Sunday I gain writing momentum… and then the weekend is over. I consistently feel that one more weekend day would make all the difference.
So I’m trying out a new strategy: four three-day weekends, using “paid time off” hours to take either a Friday or Monday off from work to write. Chores and planning and outlining to be done during the week. The four long weekends will be for writing. ONLY writing. My goal is 20k words (80 pages) per weekend, ending with a 320 page draft in four weekends. First weekend: Act One, 2nd weekend: Act 2 part one, 3rd weekend: Act 2 part two, 4th weekend: Act 3.
The 4-Weekend Novel!
Just one extra day tacked on to four weekends gives me 12 writing days, with breathing space to adjust my writing plan during the weekdays between writing sessions. Do the math – four days off in a row wouldn’t provide as much actual writing time. Oh, and here’s the other thing – if you can’t get four long weekends off in a row it really doesn’t matter. You can use the time between weekend writing sprints to creatively refuel and address any plot holes so you are ready to rock and roll when you have your next 3-day weekend.
What you’ll end up with is a rough draft. It’s not going to be perfect. But it’ll be DONE.
Read more: Check out Kameron Hurley’s post on rediscovering the joy of writing by throwing out conventional advice to “write every day” in favor of binge-writing.
Audiobook to listen to during your weekday commute: 2K to 10K: Writing Faster, Writing Better, and Writing More of What You Love
Website to kickstart your writing habit: 750 words It worked for me! Bonus: private, no fees, terrific for motivating you without pressure.
How those weekends are going to look:
Come back and visit to see how I actually do in practice – I’ll be posting my progress after each weekend.
Photo credit: Negative Space