I once wrote about where I find the time to write. I said I didn’t look through my pockets to find loose time. I said it had to be stolen, pilfered, and sacrificed to the god of words.
I’m clearly not making the right sacrifices lately. My word counts have been REALLY low this year. I finally drew a line in the sand and said “enough.” I went to a retreat and pounded out 11,000 words to finish a book I started in 2014, (a small miracle as far as I can tell), but since that retreat, I haven’t been able to just sit down and make the magic.
I worry that I’m broken.
I worry that the magic is gone.
I listen to podcasts and they talk about writing exercises and I despair at ever having enough time to write those exercises to try things on. How would I find the time?
And that’s when I realize I’ve caught myself in a trap. Doing a writing exercise is a literal act of improving the craft for the sake of improving my craft. If I can’t improve my craft prior to writing a book (or the second draft of said book) then how will I write a better book? Yes, all writing moves a writer in the direction of better writing, but sometimes, you need to spend a couple dozen pages of words figuring out a character. It’s worth the time to hone the craft before diving into the words, as the choice is really write it better the first time, or rewrite it, it seems more efficient to take the time out of my writing schedule to work on the elements of craft.
But my writing schedule has been insanely tight with edits and proofs, and marketing plans.
So, I’m insecure about the fact that I’ve been writing and publishing and I feel like there is SO MUCH to learn, and I’ve been blithely sending books off into the world without these elements. Which isn’t true, they were just there without me having to think about them because my betas stuck them in, or my editors pushed me to write those things in. But it’s time to level up.
What about you, dear reader? Do you feel like you have the time to work on craft as well as piling on the word count?