Congrats on surviving another week of Summer of All The Words! We're about a third of the way through, and it seems like things are going well for everyone. Remember that the twitter meetups will resume Sunday night at 10pm CST.
I've got a busy week coming up -- a visit to my sister, a week of no camp for the kids (and diminished writing time for me), and preparations for the RWA National Conference in mid-July. I'm also expecting a fresh round of revisions on DISSONANCE. All of these things combined will make it harder for me to hit my beloved daily word count.
The good news is, I knew it was coming. When I filled out my calendar, I looked at late June and knew life would get crazy. The only thing that combats chaos is preparation, at least in my house, so I started building in wiggle room -- not just in writing, but in every aspect of my life.
The benefit of wiggle room is that when things start to slip out of control, you're not immediately plunged into a post-apocalyptic state of despair. You've got time to get things back on track, to catch a breath, to avoid the trap of, "If only I had____."
Wiggle room gives you peace of mind, and a cushion to soften the inevitable blow.
Here are some examples of how I use it:
Boosting my word count: According to Scrivener, I need to write 1,173 words every day to finish my zero draft of Dissonance 2 by my target date. But I've set a daily goal of 1500 words, which gives me an extra 300-ish words each day. Over the course of a week, I end up with an extra 2100 words -- almost two days' worth. Four weeks in, I'm almost 10K further than I need to be, all because I force myself to write a measly 300 extra words each day.
Cooking: We belong to a CSA, and while I love fresh, local, in-season produce, it is expensive. Nothing makes me feel worse than produce going bad, so I tend to do all my prep at once: I sautee the greens (SO MANY GREENS) while I roast the other vegetables, wash and tear the massive quantities of lettuce so it's ready for salads. Aside from keeping produce from going bad, it cuts down on cooking time later in the week, and ensures we have vegetables with every meal.
Buying multiples: Our house is not enormous and I don't like clutter, so I'm not a huge fan of buying things in bulk. BUT. If my kids use it more than once a week, or they need it for camp AND home, we stock up: waterbottles, beach towels, socks, hairbrushes, sunblock, so if we run out (or lose something) we can carry on with mimimal disruption. My big girls are picky about clothes, so when we find something they like -- Old Navy's tank tops for the older one, or Lands' End shorts for the midde one, I buy them in every color. (Big Marshmallow has two sisters' worth of hand-me-downs, so she needs nothing.)
Ready the night before: All three girls are expected to have their bags and lunch for the next day ready before bed, so there's no fussing in the morning. I do the same with my writing: once I've met my wordcount, I take a few minutes to figure out the scenes I'll be writing the next day: which characters are involved, their goals and conflicts, how it will advance the plot. It takes ten minutes while I'm eating a bowl of Moose Tracks (see: reward) but it saves me a ton of time the next day when I'm waiting for the caffeine to kick in.
I am always on the hunt for tricks like this, so chime in: how do you work ahead of the need?
Check-in and Goals!
I'm well ahead on my word count, so my goals for this week are to keep it up while the kids are home all next week. Harder than it sounds, but...that's why I have you guys!
Chime in with your goals in the comments, and then hit Clara's blog for more tips!