Thursday, November 11, 2010

11 things I learned about myself from Kevin J. Anderson

Last night, I got to interview Kevin J. Anderson for the Farland Author's Advisory Conference Calls. Kevin is amazing and sooo nice! We stumbled a bit, trying to decide whose turn it was to talk (really, it was always his turn, but he was nice enough to let me butt in on occasion), but Kevin managed to teach us about his Eleven Tips to Improve Writing Productivity.

The following is what I learned about myself:
1. I need to be better about writing every day. For example, after the call, Kevin said he was going to go write another chapter in his book. I celebrated a successful call by watching some television.

2. I'm doing pretty okay at filling space on the page. If I can't figure out what's supposed to happen next, I just start writing and figure I'll fix it in post. Post is gonna take a while....

3. I rock at writing the "bad first draft"--but I doubt I'll ever be able to write as fast as Kevin. Or even as fast as this guy in my writing group, who just celebrated hitting his NaNoWriMo goal: 50,000 words in 10 days!!! That's just crazy. My head hurts now.

4. I need to start a new project, so I can have something going when I finally finish my current WIP. Or get bored with it. Or want to brag that I have more than one project going at the same time.

5. I need to be better at ignoring the Internet Explorer button at the bottom of the screen. If I run across something I don't know about my setting, I just look it up! Bam! There goes an hour that could have been spent writing 500 more words or so. I don't edit much as I write, but I need to learn to put [look up location of police stations] instead of, well, looking them up right away.

6. #1 notwithstanding, I'm pretty good at snatching what time I have available. I don't need a whole day, just an hour or so in the evening, in between yelling at the kids to go to sleep. I can get a lot done with that. Not NaNo quantity, but pretty decent.

7. I need to consider submitting to Writers of the Future. I've been reluctant because it's a short story contest, but I can win cash and a week-long trip to a writer's conference in Hollywood! (Meanwhile, I still need to meet my goal to finish the WIP, too....)

8. It's a good thing I have hyper-focus, since I have no chance of creating my ideal writing environment. Right now, my kids are watching TV about six feet away from me. But I don't watch. Much.

9. For someone who likes talking so much, I'm awfully intimidated by the thought of walking around with a digital voice recorder.

10. My varied life is a great background for an author, but I still need to learn underwater basketweaving.

11. It's okay to stop editing before your story is perfect. I'm sure this will come in handy when I get really lazy later....

What about you? What writing habits do you have that help/inhibit your productivity?

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