If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com

Our October Author Interviews--10/4 Wendy Tyson, 10/11 Marilyn Levinson, 10/18 Earl Javorski, 10/25 Linda Lovely. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


October Saturday Guest Bloggers: 10/7 Mark Bacon, 10/14 Elaine Orr, 10/21 WWK's Margaret S. Hamilton, 10/28 Kait Carson, and E. B. Davis 10/31 to fill out our fifth Tuesday.


WWK’s Carla Damron was one of three finalist for her novel, The Stone Necklace. Go to Carladamron.com for more information. Congratulations, Carla! Look for Carla's blog this month to find out the winner.

Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Warren Bull's new Lincoln mystery, Abraham Lincoln In Court & Campaign has been released. Look for the Kindle version on February 3.

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.

In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Sight Unseen" in Fish Out of Water, Guppie (SinC) anthology, just released, and "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017.

Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Baby Killer" will appear in the 2017 solar eclipse anthology Day of the Dark to be published this summer prior to the eclipse in August.

James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Whatcha Working On?

For quite a while I have not been writing anything new. Early in the year I was putting the finishing touches on my contract bridge book submission. Then I began an edit/rewrite of a fiction WIP Bad Policy based on feedback from two full manuscript swaps and the completion of critiques from my twice-monthly online critique group. I had also taken on writing two blogs: this one and one regarding finance and money. All the while I was doing mental work developing the world of a futuristic novel I planned.

The Jungle Red Writers issued a challenge: before reading email, blogs, Facebook, Twitter, hitting the web for research, put butt in chair and write at least one page of new material. Perfect for jump starting my new novel. That challenge started this past week.

At the beginning of the year I had set a goal of spending at least 1,000 hours in 2010 on writing. I have been meeting and exceeding that goal; but it was time to check how I was spending my time, so for the last two weeks I kept track of time in several categories. Here are the results for the 2,962 minutes (49 hours and 22 minutes):

39% Self-editing -- 1,150 minutes
18% New Writing (Either on the new futuristic novel I just started or on the next bridge book) -- 504 minutes
15% Misc. (Reading Blogs, writing related emails, Yahoo Groups, etc.) -- 486 minutes
12% Critiquing Others’ Work -- 360 minutes
6% Writing Two Cents before Inflation Blog -- 182 minutes
6% Craft Study -- 180 minutes
3% Writing Writers Who Kill Blog -- 102 minutes

Sometime next year I’ll need to add another category—marketing—to recognize time promoting my bridge book, but for now the time falls into the Misc. category. One could argue I should also keep track of time I spend reading, since that is also important craft study. I figure I read enough and I don’t need to measure it.

Some of Misc. could rightly be included in Craft Study, but honestly a lot of it is probably minimally effective time. (How does one measure the positive effect of Yahoo group communities? If I read two weeks of someone’s blog and get one excellent idea, is that a good return on my time, or should I ignore blogs and stick with craft books?)

For now, I’m going to withhold self-evaluation and continue recording my time until I have a month’s worth of data (which will end up including time when family comes to visit.)

I’m curious what you think of my percentages and, for the writers among you, how you spend your time.

~ Jim

3 comments:

Stephen said...

Jim,

1000 hour a year works out to about 19 hours a week or a little under three a day, which is a good goal if you have a life outside of writing.

Having said that, how much time did your actual tabulation of the last two weeks take away from your real writing?

Personally, if my routine alloted less than one-fifth of the time to creating new work, I'd re-think my priorities. Planning and research and revision are vital, but it looks like you can move stuff around and eliminate a few things.

For me, time management trumps everything else.

Ramona said...

Jim, I think your numbers are interesting. 19 or 20 hours a week seems about right for being both productive and staying fresh with your own work.

I have a very simple writing time plan: I do my own writing in the morning for a couple of hours; spend the bulk of the day on editing/business writing; evenings are my own. That's the theory, anyway. I scratch the plan at least one day a week.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

Stephen,

As you say, time management is important, which is why I undertook keeping track of my minutes. (The time I used for that process was minimal and included in Misc.)

I thought of the 1,000 hour goal as twenty hours a week with two weeks off for bad behavior. My actual hours have been running ahead of the goal. (See this link.)

I just finished a major rewrite, so I expect my hours in the next few weeks will tilt toward more new work. I'll let everyone know how that worked out.

~ Jim