Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Writer Wednesday: Editing While Writing?

On this week's Monday Mishmash, Mirka Breen asked me how I manage my time to be able to edit for others while still working on my own writing. Quite honestly, I'm terrible at it. ;)

I binge write. Whenever I have a small gap in my editing schedule, I fast draft a book. The reason is that I can't (I've tried, but I can't!) write and edit at the same time. I can, however, revise one of my books will also editing for clients. So, sometimes I split my day between those two tasks. 

I find writing to be all-consuming though. When I'm drafting, my brain can only focus on getting that story down on screen. I become somewhat obsessed with the characters and world I've created. They dictate my life few a couple weeks, and only when I'm finished drafting do they release me back to the real world. This is why I write so quickly! 

I wouldn't recommend this method of time management to anyone else, though. I'm the first to admit it's completely insane, but this is how my brain works and what works for my schedule, so here I am. ;)

*If you have a question you'd like me to answer from the other side of the editor's desk, feel free to leave it in the comments and I'll schedule it for a future post.

26 comments:

  1. I'm the same way! If I'm writing a first draft, and I stop to edit, I lose all my mojo! Gotta keep going!

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  2. This is why it can be hard to manage my ghostwriting versus writing for myself. Especially when customers don't follow the schedule. Oh you randomly dropped an order a month after you were supposed to without checking first? Thanks a lot. Doesn't happen too often, but can be really annoying. I have my own writing life to wrangle! Sigh. But a job is a job is a job. :)

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    1. It can be very difficult to juggle the two. I have clients contact me last minute and sometimes I just can't squeeze them in.

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  3. Working on the first draft of my second novel, I'm finding it hard to just get the words down and not worry about polished it is. Grrr. Excellent post.

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    1. I used to revise while I was drafting. I got out of that habit. It wasn't easy though.

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  4. Whenever I sit down for a writing session, the first thing I do is go over what I wrote in the previous writing session. It gets my juices flowing, but I also do minor edits to the previous work--so my first draft comes out looking fairly clean. Some writers can't edit in moderation, so for them that would bring the whole process to a screeching halt, but it works well for me.

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    1. That's exactly what I used to do. I don't anymore because I try to get my word count down as fast as possible and in as few days as possible. I find my flow is better that way. But it was nice to have a first draft that was very clean the old way. ;)

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  5. I also cannot fathom how you do it. :)

    I need to learn how you can write so fast. Maybe if I wrote faster I wouldn't lose interest in my story before I can finish! lol

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    1. Lol Writing quickly does keep interest up.

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  6. Mine is freelance writing, but what I do is "star" any email assignment that comes in. I also have my agent's last email starred. So as I go through my starred folder in Gmail, I just go up the list of projects and do one thing for each client (many of my clients assign multiple things at once). When I finish one, I unstar it. But because my agent's email is mixed in there, I also work in two pages on my current manuscript (or four if I'm on deadline) with each go-round. My goal is to get to everyone once a day, but sometimes it slips into two days, especially if I have personal stuff going on that pulls me away from work.

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  7. Writing quickly does allow you to get those ideas down.

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  8. I tend to worry about how unpolish my drafts are as I'm writing them. Trying my best to get out of the habit by using parenthesis/brackets to write in notes or things/descriptions/scenes I want to insert and develope more later.

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    1. I use parentheses for that reason sometimes too.

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  9. In the past few years, I've become more disciplined and I can fast draft. I can take 2 weeks if I'm on vacation or if it's a middle grade book and 5 weeks if I'm on a work schedule, and I usually only focus on the draft.

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  10. Every writer has to write the best way for him or her. I'm slow. I've tried to fast draft, but just can't stop revising as I go along. That's why it take forever for me to finish a story. Someday maybe I'll learn to speed up.

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    1. Are used to revise as I wrote. I can't even remember how I got over that. I think it was being on deadline.

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  11. I try to set time chunks for my own work (recently it's a website revamp) and for my clients'stories. Still trying to get the hang of it!

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  12. You are far more productive than most, me included. But I find that the way you work is not dissimilar to mine, though you get a lot more done during the first draft "binge-writing." My first draft periods are stressful in other ways also, in that I don't allow myself to even read the same genre books (age group, format) that I am creating.
    Revising is a different animal, just like you described. Thank you for addressing this here, Kelly. You are a marvel.

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    1. Thanks for asking about my process. :)

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