What’s Up Wednesday: Boosting Productivity

Hey guys, Happy What’s Up Wednesday. First off, you probably noticed that I didn’t post on Monday. That’s mainly due to the fact that while I made some progress, I’m still working on the same two books. Again, it’s not because I’m not enjoying them, but I’m still trying to get my schedule organized to fit in regular reading time.

As for writing, Daughters of the Flame is coming along, albeit slowly. I’ve really got to learn to outline so I don’t hit a wall on a daily basis so I’m not sure where to go next. I’ve been looking at different outline styles, but have yet to find one that works for me. My biggest problem is, unless I have every single plot detail planned out ahead of time, I’m still going to hit those walls where my character refuses to do what I tell him to do. When this happens, it’s because what I’ve planned is totally out of character and I didn’t even realize it until I got to that point. Okay, I’m rambling. Here’s an example.

Without giving too much detail, in the current book, Reymir and Terek find themselves in an already sketchy situation when they are asked to give up their weapons. For various reasons, Reymir is agreeable. I had planned for Terek to follow suit, but when I got to that point, I realized he would never let himself be disarmed when he’s already suspicious.

Anyway, I’m still trying to boost my productivity by learning to outline, but in the meantime, I have an idea that’s a bit unorthodox. Unorthodox? Me? Never.

I’ve always been one of those strange types who can read multiple books at once. I typically have one in the bathroom, on by the bed, etc. With the advent of e-readers, it’s gotten worse. It’s not uncommon for me to have a book on my phone, one on my tablet, one on my kindle… You get the idea. I don’t have a problem with mixing up the stories. I can go for weeks without reading one and pick up where I left off without a problem.

So my harebrained idea is this. If I can read multiple books without a problem, why not try writing multiple books at the same time? That way, when I hit that inevitable wall with one, I can start working on the next one, and then the next one, etc… I’ll probably write in different genres just to make sure I don’t have an issue with mixing them up. Although, it might be interesting to do a crossover book at some point.

So have any of my fellow writers out there tried this approach? How did it go? I’d really like to know.

The other thing I wanted to mention really quick is, I’ve been doing the math, and if you average my monthly paycheck over thirty days, is ridiculous how little I make a day. I’m not going to talk actual numbers, but by my figuring, it can’t be hard to squeeze that much out of the internet. So I’m going to really start pursuing online entrepreneurship. I know it won’t be easy, but I’ve got to do something to get out of this soul-sucking job I’m stuck with right now.

Anyway, sorry for the short post this week, I’m about to get off and I don’t want to stay here one moment more than I have to.

I would love to answer any questions you might have for me about writing. Hit me up either here or on my socials.

www.justinmkelly.com

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1 Comment

Filed under Career, Uncategorized, What's Up Wednesday, Writing

One response to “What’s Up Wednesday: Boosting Productivity

  1. I think the idea of working on multiple books at the same time can be great, mainly because writing anything is better than being stuck or unable to write at all (I know the feeling, it is no fun). That said, I haven’t had much luck when doing this myself because I’ll end up permanently shelving the works that I abandon. I’ve got at least 10 unfinished books I’ve written over the last few years, several with 20k+ words or more, where I just gave up on them completely when I got stuck (usually around the soggy middle).
    This could just be my personality type though, as I’m a bit of a perfectionist who also really enjoys instant gratification, ie: I tend to give up too easily because I’m trying to make things super perfect. Combine that with just desperately wanting to have something done, to feel like I have something to show for all my hard work, and you have a writer who rarely finishes a thing = me. This year, I’ve tried changing that – decided to force myself to finish what I start, one way or another.
    I’ve realized my problem may be stemming from plotting. Like you mentioned here, I too have difficulties with my own stories changing from my original outline due to the characters taking control while I write. Sometimes it works, to allow the characters to just do their own thing, and sometimes it does not. I know from past experience that I cannot just totally ‘pants’ my way through writing a book, Stephen King style, because I’ll get just as lost and stumped as when rigidly outlining.
    With the last novella I wrote, (and to be quite honest, the first book in two years that I managed to force myself to finish) I created a pretty structured outline for the plot initially, but also allowed my characters to take the reigns. This really messed up my original outline almost every day, so I decided to re-write my outline daily also– to adapt to the changes my characters made on the previous day of writing. It was super tedious because, on top of daily writing toward my story, I was also having to seemingly “waste” thousands of words by re-writing and adjusting my outline/plot daily– but somehow, it worked.
    I eventually found myself at the end, surprisingly satisfied with the story. I think I learned a valuable lesson with that book, that I have to re-outline constantly, at least if I expect to finish a book in decent time. As the chapter of my book progressed and I got past the half-way point, my heavy outline eventually just became a quick paragraph or two to summarize what major things needed to happen for each remaining scene or chapter for the book – and even those paragraphs kept changing day by day.
    Finding a strange balance – at least with this last book – worked well for me. Telling myself at the very start, that I would allow my outline to become very fluid, to adapt it daily to what the characters wanted, chapter by chapter, finally led me to the end. It took a lot of work, trying desperately to just cling to ONLY the big, important chunks of my outline while altering everything else accordingly, bit by bit until finally finishing.
    To be honest, I’m still not sure if what I did was just a one-time fluke. I do plan to try it again with my next novella in the series I’m currently writing. Change the outline daily, if needed, and see how it goes, chapter by chapter. I really hope you find what works best for you, and it sounds like trying to write several books at once might be a good idea – it seems to be so different for everyone. A lot of trial and error, this writing stuff is! Best of luck and looking forward to more of your writing.

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