Monday, June 04, 2007

Five Pages a Day

I was reading in the June issue of RWR about writing for multiple publishers and in one section of the article it mentioned how one particular author writes 5 pages a day and is able to produce multiple books a year.

Hmm, I thought.

I've been trying for the past year to figure out a way to increase my writing in the 1.5 hours I have each morning before work. I want to up my production of more than one book a year. I want to have several manuscripts finished, a ready supply should a publisher ask for more than one. Or buy one and then come back and say, 'what else have you got?'. Or even reject one because it doesn't fit but be interested in looking for something else. There are so many different reasons a ready stack of manuscripts would be useful.

I'm a fast writer, which helps, but my time is limited. Still, I figured if I could just figure out a system. So I got to thinking - 5 pages a day. Definitely doable. But I prefer to take the weekend off from writing. Gives me a chance to refresh my brain. This knocked 365 days a year of writing to 260 days. At 5 pages a day, that meant I could produce a 400 page first draft in 80 days, or roughly 3 months.

Wow! If that's the case, then I could pump out 4 books a year!

Then reality sunk in. I need time to plot the book out beforehand. And time to do revisions afterwards. And then more time to finish up the final draft. Oh. Sigh...

But - and this is where the time management skills came into play - If I were to spend two weeks plotting, 12 weeks writing the first draft, then I could take a 2 week break. And during this 2 week break be plotting out the next book. Then I could go back to the first book and spend 6 weeks on revisions. Take another month off from book one and spend this time plotting out another book. Then go back and spend 4 weeks doing the final draft. Which totaled means 24 weeks working on the book and 30 weeks including the breaks where I'd be working on something else.

That should allow me to write two books a year, and possibly plot out 4. Which is still more than the one I'm doing now.

So that is my plan. Now, let's see how close theory comes to reality...

13 comments:

annette said...

LOL My brain is hurting from all that math, but I do think you're onto something. Five pages a day is definitely doable, especially if you're a fast writer.

I'm going to shoot for 5 pages/day too because I also want to up my productivity. Just got my RWR magazine, so I'll check out that article.

Melissa Marsh said...

Hey, you've got a goal set for yourself and that's the first step!

Tess said...

You HAVE your RWR? Grrr. I'm still waiting.

Anyway - sounds like a great plan. I HAVE to try something like this soon. Every other time I've set page limits it's worked, but then I fall into procrastination mode again. Hmmm.

Thanks for the inspiration :)

Toni Anderson said...

Gosh--I love planning, sticking to it is different. However you just reminded me I haven't given myself a deadline for this book--good reminder!

Annie Mac said...

I know I don't use my time wisely. I like Susan Mallory's advice to increase your writing each week by 10%.

Could you use the morning hours for fresh writing and maybe a few hours during the week for plotting and brainstorming?

Kelly said...

I thought I might use some time on the weekend for plotting. Although I think if I stick to the 5 pgs a day that will help up my input. Although, I normally get 5 or more pgs a day anyway, so I'm not quite sure where I"m falling down on the job. Must be during the revision process. The 2nd draft always seems to take me twice as long as the first draft.

julia said...

Taking the weekend off from writing sounds good until one realizes you might run a marathon in your off time. That could frighten some people...

Christine said...

Okay I need to go read that article. I know I can do five pages a day, as long as I get up early in the morning. I may have to start getting back to this, this summer. The sun will get me out of bed. :)

Bailey Stewart said...

I'm with Annette - my head hurts. But it does sound like a good plan. I hope it works out.

Michelle Willingham said...

Good luck! I'm still figuring out how many pages I can crank out without going insane. :) My problem is I haven't yet figured out how to wrap my brain around revisions AND writing new stuff.

Annie Mac said...

I'm taking longer with revisions than I did with the first draft. This is actually the first time I've done revisions. All my previous MSs were so bad, I couldn't bare to look at them again after I finally finished.

Rene said...

Heavens to Betsy, that is a lot of figuring. So it should take you about 2.5 months to write a book based on 5 pages/day, you could easily do 3 books a year. Sounds simple LOL. Good luck.

Are you going to do NaNo this year?

Kelly said...

I was originally planning on doing Nano this year, but because of where I'll be in terms of my latest WIP at the time, it won't work for me. If all goes well I should have already started Book 2 in the series by then and I don't want to stop working on that to do Nano.