Over the years I often feel like a failure for not keeping up with my blog, or maybe taking longer than usual to write a book or kicking out a new Vaquel story the week it is due to be posted instead of having a buffer. This alien sex gladiator book is so big that it has created this illusion in my mind that I am not getting anything done. I have been working on it since last December and by my math, I am 89% done with the first draft. Once that is done, then I have to figure out how to properly proofread a 500K word project. With a book this big and so much more to do, spending time on any other writing project feels like procrastinating.
To combat that, I have set a schedule for myself, complete with target goals of writing time and an Excel sheet that breaks down my progress. Now I have blocked out my time into Primary Time, which is for writing my current book, and Secondary Time, which is for blogging and doing whatever nonsense is needed to get other books ready for Kindle. right now the ratio of Primary Time to Secondary Time is 3:1.
During my lunch time, I have been watching Ken Burns’ documentary on the Vietnam War. It is a heart-wrenching story but one of the bits that cracked me up was the Secretary of Defense’s need for metrics during the early sixties. He wanted every point of data, from weapons, to number of fights, to enemy killed, turned into a universal metric so he could look at a place and say “This village is 35.4% pacified.” His demand for data was so great that one point, base command was generating something like 9,000 pages of data per week. This 9,00 pages were never actually used for anything because no one had time to read 9,000 pages of data.
That got me wondering if my Excel sheet with my Primary Writing times and my Secondary Writing times might turn into something equally silly. I don’t know. For now it has helped me take weekends off from writing when I hit my goals. It also lets me look back on the week when I am particularly discouraged and see that no, I actually did do something this week. Heck, i had time to write this blog post because I hit my goal for the day with my Primary Writing.