Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Doing Two Types of Writing At the Same Time

Welcome everyone!

Today I'm going to talk about how I'm able to get so much accomplished with my writing while at the same time holding down a full time job and being active with my family and community.

One of the interesting things I've discovered about writing is that different aspects of it use different parts of my brain. Essentially, I can divide the tasks into logical tasks and creative tasks. Not that creativity doesn't require a certain amount of logic and logic doesn't require creativity, but for the most part, the things I have to do primarily use one or the other.

Creative tasks include brainstorming, plotting, writing, and revision. Logical tasks include proofreading, editing, coordinating with artists, and marketing.

The cool thing is, I've managed to figure out how to do one set of creative tasks at the same time I'm doing one set of logical tasks. So for instance, while I'm correcting mistakes found by my proofreader, I can be brainstorming ideas for the next book. While I'm writing first-draft chapters, I can commission art and layout.

I've developed a handy chart that helps me break down what I'm doing and stay organized:

You might notice that Revising is on their twice. There are really two types of revision I do. The first type, under Writing, is the type where I'm re-reading my first drafts. That type of revision still requires a great deal of creativity because it often involves me writing newly original sentences and paragraphs. Whole chapters may need to be rebuilt from the ground up. In those instances, I've found I can't concentrate on making new content for two different books at the same time. I just get confused and stressed out.

The second type of Revising is where I get feedback from my Beta Readers and my Editor. Those kinds of corrections require much less creativity because the work I have to do is laid out for me. I just have to do what they said to do. Simple. Logical.

So, just like I can't make a Beat Sheet for one book while Drafting another book, I also can't work on my proofreads and edits while trying to make the audio book or work on my marketing plan. When I'm editing, all I see is the mistakes I've made. It's daunting, and the last thing I'm able to think about is why anyone would want to read this trash. And of course, how could I record audio of a book full of grammatical and spelling errors? I'd be tripping up every third sentence. That sort of thing has to wait until the final draft is ready to go.

Now, it would be possible to mix Pre-Writing with Publication or Writing with Production, but I have found that doesn't go well together either. For one thing, I have to move from left to right along that chart for each book. I begin with brainstorming, then listing characters, then outlining, then drafting, then revising, then editing, then proofreading, then cover-layout-audio and marketing.

As a result, I can't do something like Drafting before I make the Beat Sheet. I also can't do my own revisions while at the same time asking an editor to give me her revisions. Thus, I've found Pre-Writing goes well with Production, and Writing goes well with Publication.

Ok, so why am I bringing all this up you might wonder. Well, Book 2 is in the Publication phase. I'll let you infer what that might mean for what else I'm working on right now ;-D



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