A Writer’s Log – Post 7: Sticking with it

Number of words today: 0

Number of lifetime words: 2195000

Published Volume 15 of 2002 Lesser Known Tales. Spent the day proofreading it and designing a cover for it. The book is now under review with Amazon; should be available for purchase in a few hours.

I’ve been thinking about yesterday’s post. Had a chat with Aditi as well whether I should stick with the Mahabharata project or abandon it and write something else. Until about afternoon today I was ready to throw in the towel, but as the temperature cooled and a pleasant evening breeze filled our living room, I found myself reconsidering.

Look, my mind told me, no project is ever going to remain frothy and light from start to end. Unless you plan to spend the rest of your life writing flash fiction, every last thing you write in the future will have slow periods in the middle. Is that reason enough to sock it?

The answer, I have come to realize over the course of the evening, is no. Things that I could be writing do seem like they might be more fun, but that is always the case. A project always looks nice and shiny on the outside; only after you live with it for a few months do you get to see its warts.

So I am going to do the professional thing and stick with it. As for the flagging passion and energy levels, I have come to think of some ways to revive them.

What I have discovered (not for the first time) is that social media takes up too much of my emotional energy. Blogging is not an exception. Now, this log has helped me figure out a few things over the last week, so I’m grateful to it. I’m going to use it every now and then, especially when I am stuck. But I am not going to feel compelled to post every day from now on.

For writing, I am toying with the idea of a five day on, two day off schedule until I finish the Mahabharata books. Roughly, this is how it is going to go:

Day 1 – 12 stories

Day 2 – 12 stories

Day 3 – 12 stories

Day 4 – 12 stories

Day 5 – 2 stories + proofread + cover + publication

Day 6 and Day 7: rest, read, jot down ideas, prepare for the next volume.

During the five-day writing period, I am going to block myself off all social media, and have limited access to email. Yes, that means no blogging either. Nothing personal; I just have to focus my limited energies on writing during these five days.

During Days 6 and 7 I might show up here with a little progress report for the week. Can’t promise, though. If you don’t hear from me, assume I am doing all right. I seem to use my blog mainly as a tool to untie psychological knots that stop me from writing; if I’m not here, it likely means that it’s going well.

So that’s the plan. Fingers crossed that it will see me through to October and beyond. Thank you once again for hearing me out over the last week.

Comments

  1. Is anyone interested in Mahabharata stories? Isn’t there a lot of it going around? There was a time when Indian Mytho fiction was popular, but now there is nothing in bookstores but re-tellings or re-imaginings.
    There is merit in your argument that no project remains frothy from beginning to end, but try seeing it from two angles.
    1) Do you care?
    2) Do others care?
    If the answer to any one is yes, then ask why.
    As a writer you must know when to stop sinking good words (and time) over bad words, just as a businessman knows when to stop spending good money over bad.
    But then I might be totally wrong. You are a 2 million words word-war veteran. I’ve not even done 10% of that.
    All the best.

    Like

    • Hi Amit. Judging by my Kindle sales dashboard, there are a lot of people interested in the Mahabharata stories. The fifteen volumes I’ve published so far manage to get significant daily sales and page-reads on their own, and with zero promotion.

      (I think the per unit sales figure will go up once I finish the entire series of forty volumes, after which I will put together an ongoing promotion plan.)

      So from a rupees and paise perspective, this is a good idea. Sticking with it.

      As for good words versus bad words, I’ve long come to believe all words are created equal 🙂 You never know while in the middle of a project whether you’re using your time wisely or foolishly – or even if those descriptors are valid. The best you can do is trust the voice that inspired you to begin the project in the first place, and see it through to the end.

      A word-war veteran. I like that. Thank you!

      Like

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: