I have set a goal for myself of writing two books a year. This after taking about a year to write "The Lady's Secret" (which will be published in a few months, two years to write "Lord Worthing's Wallflower," and probably just as long for "The Lady Ordinary."
So what makes me think I can crank out a book in six months? Two things, really. First, I did the math and if I write just four pages a day, I should be able to write an 80,000 word book in just over four months, then edit, give it a rest, come back and edit again with some editors doing the same. Four pages a day seems easy enough, right? (Oh, and keep in mind, this is just handwritten pages which is really only like three typed pages.)
Here's the thing, though. It's really not about the pages, its about the consistency. Making yourself write every day (and to be honest, though I am a very goal-oriented person, I don't check all that often to count how many pages I actually wrote on a given day) sets your brain up for success. I know an author who wrote an immense book only on Fridays at her favorite coffee shop. Some writers only write on weekends. For my brain, I find I forget too much, lose track of too many ideas I had, and frankly, find easy excuses to avoid the occasional writing appointment.
But when I am consistently writing, my head stays in the game and I find I am constantly thinking of my characters and the plot and what's going to happen next. In fact, I don't just write once a day, but several times a day. One of those times might be simply entering my handwritten pages into the computer, but that serves as a basic first edit and reminds me of details I might otherwise forget. Sometimes I only have time for a paragraph as I wait for an appointment or eat my lunch at the day job. Doesn't matter. What does matter is the productive effect it has on my brain.
Don't get me wrong: writing can still be a bear and I am approaching a large section of my current book that is only loosely blocked out and I may have quite a bit of staring off into space in the next few weeks, but this new writing "technique" experiment has thus far proven quite successful.
Great, all I need is one more reason to procrastinate! As if Instagram wasn't enough...