Friday, January 12, 2018

Fiction Friday: Writing at the Speed of Snail

Back during World War I, a British man naned C. Northcote Parkinson did some research into work and bureaucracy. From the research, he created Parkinson's Law, which states "Work expands so as to fill the amount of time available to complete it."

I'm running into that exact same problem with my writing.

When I was still working, I wrote 10-20 hours a week. Now it's more like 20-25 (no, not 40, because other tasks also expand to fill the amount of time available for them). Even with twice as much time, I'm not getting as much more written as I'd hoped.

When I first retired, and people asked me how I liked it, I'd say, "My favorite part is not having to go 100 miles an hour all the time." And it was.

The problem is, that more leisurely pace doesn't accomplish the things I want to accomplish--namely, releasing three books this fall.

A writing friend who has read the first fifty pages of The Demon's in the Detail say it is much better written than the first book in the series. The characters are more well-developed and the relationship between them is more believable and compelling. Part of that's because I'm learning and growing as I write (yes--even in our sixties, the learning process continues!), but part of it is because I'm writing more thoughtfully and deliberately.

That improved quality is great, but I also don't want to die of old age before I get the books to market.

I need to figure out how to discipline myself to write like my writing time is as limited as it was back when I was working, but to do it for a lot more hours a day.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to do that?


  1. Maybe one of the writers you interview will give you a magic formula. I know it's true that now that I don't have any deadlines I do everything more slowly and have trouble maintaining focus.

  2. You need to write more in your head before it goes on paper. AND you can do that all the time. Sleep is overrated for the retired:)


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