Back during World War I, a British man named 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). But with twice as much time, I’m not getting twice as much written.
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.
Jilly, who has read the first fifty pages of The Demon’s in the Detail, says 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.
Any suggestions on how to do that?