Let’s Draft!

Bad Girlz of the world, I have a new plan! I’m going to draft new manuscripts non-stop…forevaaaaaaa.

Now, I know what you’re going to say, “Um, E.Michels, haven’t you tried this before? I seem to recall 2 failed attempts at nanowrimo-like manuscript challenges on this very blog.” Right. You have a point. But, this is different. Sometimes when people talk about dieting, they refer to fad diets versus a lifestyle change. This is a lifestyle change, folks.

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Why this decision to change my lifestyle? Oh, there are reasons…

If you never stop drafting, there’s no painful return to the laptop. Writing really is a lot like exercise. You get rusty when you walk away for a long period of time. Then, it’s like the first week back in the gym after months of eating chips on the sofa—ouch! You’re sore, and miserable. You work all day and only write 500 words. Why put yourself through this agony? (And, I’m talking to myself here too since I took time off last year.)

Bad news is easier to accept when you’re knee deep in a different project. Whether it’s a rejection from your dream agent, a bad review, or disappointing sales, unfortunate news is much more palatable when it’s not your only iron in the fire. Being able to say to yourself, they may not like that one, but the one I’m working on now is awesome, will keep you sane. And, we’re Bad Girlz NOT crazy girlz, so try to stay sane. 😉

More drafts = More books = More readers. (We hope.) I don’t think writing careers are made from the writing of one book, with the exception of Gone with the Wind. Successful writing careers are the result of shelf space whether that shelf is digital or down the road at the Barnes and Noble.

What do we want? Lots of books! What should we avoid? Large gaps between releases! How do we get them? Write more drafts!

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How do you keep drafting new books all the time?

Here are a few hints I’ve accumulated. If you have any other ideas, please add them to the comments, so that we can help one another to write more drafts.

Write first. I’ve heard before that we should drink our recommended (8) 8oz glasses of water for the day before we’re allowed any other drink. Although, this is totally logical, I think I might actually die without my coffee in the morning—for real. But, I do think the same is true for writing. It’s really easy to waste an hour of quality writing time settling into your desk, checking Facebook, replying to emails, etc. Don’t do this. Write first, then reward yourself with social media.

Plot in your free time. I’ve started working on my plot cards for the next book while sitting in the car rider line at the school. So, instead of losing a week or two to plotting the next book between drafts, I’m going to try to have the next story ready to go by the time I type The End on this one. Even if you don’t plot your books, there are still thoughts that go into the next story. So, think about it in your downtime while you’re wrapping up you current manuscript.

Get an accountability partner. Every day, Heather McGovern and I text word count numbers to one another. With these simple little texts, we encourage one another to push forward on the tough days as well as celebrate the good days. It helps. Thanks, McGovy!

Edit like it’s a really bad vacation. I know I shouldn’t even have the words edit and vacation in the same sentence, but bear with me for a minute…At most jobs, the longest you’re allowed to be away from your desk is 2 weeks. Edits happen. We know this. Therefore, give yourself 2 weeks “Off” to have one hell of a vacation with your edits before returning to writing new words.

Celebrate the milestones. Choose goals to celebrate along the way. Personally, I do a little dance around my office every 10,000 words. It sounds silly, but it helps prevent getting writer burn out.

Are you ready to draft all the time? Let’s chat about it.

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