If you’re writing, here’s what to expect in the next four weeks and some of my and Chris Baty’s tips for sticking with it:
Week 1 is highly productive and creative. Take everything that comes. Build up your word count.
TIPS: Don’t delete—highlight or italicize
Start a notes file and keep it open as you write (it’s easy in Scrivener)
Don’t share your story: no feedback.
Don’t allow your inner critic to join the party.
Week 2 you’re tired and the house is dirty. Now your characters need to do something and the writing has gotten hard. Let your characters take the lead. Lean on your writing partners.
TIPS: Don’t try to get it right. Get it written.
Guard your health. This kind of writing takes a lot out of you.
Week 3 you’ve fallen into a groove and the writing is easier. You’ve passed the divide and the plot and momentum have picked up and are moving fast. You may find yourself in writer’s trance and call your husband by the love interest’s name. Catch up if you’re behind. Get ahead by 6,000 words or more.
TIPS: Work in short bursts with rest and exercise in between.
Week 4 you’re going to need your plan and stick to it to get through Thanksgiving, but you’re almost done. Being so close to finishing will give you energy. Hang in there!
TIPS: Coddle your body. You’re going to feel pain.
Take frequent breaks for stretching and massage.
Look away from your computer screen every few minutes (watch the bluejays pluck acorns from the tree outside the window) and keep your eye drops handy. I use Similasan Computer Eyes eye drops #3.