Thursday, 11 April 2013

Knowing My Limits

Hey all,

I’m going to jump right into the title of this week’s post because it ties in pretty tightly with my doing, or lack thereof, of stuff this week. I normally have tidbits of cool whatnots to link, or show, or talk about at least once a week during my bloggings—but if you’ve noticed, I haven’t for the past few posts. This is mostly because I’ve been editing rather than writing.

Now, I’ve mentioned it a number of times before, where I have a 2000(ish) word limit on how much writing I like to get done in a day. If I go over by too much I’ll feel a bit burned out, but it’s solid enough that it keeps the work moving along in a pretty timely fashion. Of course, if something crazy comes along and I’m busy from morning ‘til night, then I might not finish my word count; but I do so about 95% of the time. I don’t have any rule like this for editing, and I think I might need to start figuring one out.

I believe that the biggest issue for me, in this regard, is that I edit so much less of the time than I write. It takes a few months to get my book written, but the editing gets done in weird little sporadic bursts over a period of a few weeks. I never really have had the time to sit down and analyze a constant workflow to figure out what I want to do with it all. Editing, for me, is the final sprint in a very long run. This isn’t to say that I rush the process, it’s terribly important that I don’t—but I do end up working for ten hours a day on it.

Working for ten hours a day on edits might be fine for some people, but in doing so, I’m falling way behind on my other work related work. I’ve pretty much just stopped posting on forums, I’m taking longer than I like to respond to work emails, and I’ve fallen behind on getting in touch with more blogs and libraries. I still need to call the Vancouver Library Acquisition Department to figure out exactly what I need to send them so that they can assess if they want to buy my books or not; which also means I need to figure out if I have to register for a GST tax number or not to make the sales. Anyways, my point is that I’ve begun to fall a bit behind on everything else that I’m doing because I’ve taken on an unlimited editing role.

This is how I used to do my writing as well. I’d get up in the morning and write until I’d gone mad, and after a while, I really started to hate it. It’s that feeling of knowing you have an unlimited amount of work ahead of you, and oftentimes, I found, I’d never get all that far when trying to reach an unreachable goal. I needed to break my workload down and deal with it piece by piece. Not only did this free up my afternoons and evenings to do other work and fun stuff, but it meant that I could feel secure in what I’d accomplished for the day. I’m nearly done with From Ash, and so I might just muscle through it, but when it comes time for me to do Dreamstate II, I’ll need to have a new method planned out. If I have set goals, I can generally accomplish more, and not feel nearly as crazy when I get done.

Oh, also, on a completely unrelated note, but something that has made me very excited to have some free time again; Microsoft has released a redone HD version of Age of Empires II on Steam. Hopefully this is what I will be playing for most of the weekend.

-Trevor

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