One week from today my kids go back to school!
For someone like me, that means I get to go back to work. I work at home, so when the kids are on vacation, they think I am on vacation as well. It definitely affects the amount of work I get done. Which got me thinking about how much I realistically can produce.
I am a schedule type of woman.
So when I write, I have to sit down and make out a schedule. As of Sept 1st, I will have exactly 6 months to write Trouble in the Tarot which is due March 1st. For me, that requires making a schedule. Normally I write 4 pages an hour. When the kids are in school, I write from 9:30 until 11:30, then take a one hour lunch break, then work again from 12:30 until 2:30. Boys get home at 2:30 unless they have sports.
If all goes perfectly, that's 16 pages a day (sometimes it doesn't if I need to brainstorm, etc.) so all in all I realistically shoot for 10 to 15 pages a day, with evenings and weekends off. That's 50 to 75 pages a week. My books are roughly 320 pages long. That means I can write a book in 1 1/2 to 3 1/2 months...and yes I have written books in as little as 4 weeks, but that's so not pretty or healthy.
Then I build in a couple weeks for polishing, so realistically I can "finish" a book in 2 to 4 months. That is IF I stick to my schedule and not have to resort to the writing marathons I am known for. This time I am determined to "stick to my schedule" no matter what.
Another tip, build in vacations, etc, right on your calendar. I keep my calendar right on my desk and write down the pages I am supposed to hit on that day. I build in doctors apt's, no school days, etc. That way I know exactly what I have to do.
Sept 1st falls on a Thursday, so I am going to use that Thurs and Fri to finish plotting out book three, and then start writing on Monday Sept 5th. That means in a perfect world, even if I take the full 4 months, I should be able to turn in book three on January 2nd. Although with Christmas in there, let's build in two extra weeks and make it January 16th. That's a whole month and a half early, which is what I need, because we all know I just might fall off the writing wagon at some point during that time frame :-) Either way, there will be no excuse not to meet my deadline come March 1st.
Which I need because we all know what comes after March 1st. 3 months of preparation for book two's launch in June! And trust me, people, there is no writing during promotion!
So wish me luck and keep me on track...I need it!