Tuesday, May 15, 2012
Forge Ahead: Ways to be a More Productive Writer, Part 4
The urge to fiddle is strong with a lot writers. Even once the book is published we want to go back and edit. But tweaking first draft pages can often hold us back, especially if we're looking at writing we've just done when we want to write something new.
I started off with finding the right time and place to write, then it was all about preparation, and last time, it was stopping in the middle. Today in my "Be a More Productive Writer" series, it's all about forging ahead.
Tip number four on being a more productive writer:
Don't read what you wrote the day before. Or at least not all of it.
I always started my writing session by reading what I'd done the session before. Re-familiarizing myself with the story and the voices. But then I noticed that I was spending a lot of time editing those "quick re-reads" and by the time I got to the writing, a big chunk of my writing time was gone.
So I started just reading the last page or two, if anything at all, and moving forward.
I noticed I got to the actual writing part a lot faster, so I got more done in my allotted time.
This is much easier if you've left yourself a "in the middle" paragraph so you can just pick up where you left off. Even easier if you take those five minutes and plan out your writing session. You can even read the last session's planning summary to remind yourself where you were. (another handy reason to do this)
There will be times when you do need to go back for a specific reason and double check something, but most of the time you can forge ahead and get to work.
This tip's challenge:
Don't re-read more than two pages of your last writing session's work. Dive right in and see how much more you can get done.
As for last tip's challenge... Where did you leave off? Did mid-sentence work better for you or mid-paragraph?
The whole series: finding the right time and place to write, all about preparation, stopping in the middle, not re-reading too much of the previous session, leaving yourself notes, and how to avoid wasting time.