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Five Pages A Day


Okay, now that I’ve got that out of the way, I want to talk about the question that’s been keeping you up at night since the last New Year: “How many pages a day does Emily write, anyway?”

Well, if I’m in between projects (which has been months during the past crazy two years of my life), I don’t write any pages a day. Obviously. There were even a couple of times when I WAS NEVER GOING TO BLOG EVER AGAIN!

But let’s go back to when I was writing my first novel series, “Texas Hearts.” I tried to write ten pages a day. Now, this would be an easy goal if I didn’t have any children. Or, if I had a child who could sit down and read and play with dolls all day. In other words, demand little to none of my attention. But I do have one child, who equals three in his vivacity and zest for life (translation: he’s very noisy and active and demanding of my attention).

So writing ten pages a day meant that I would crab at B and J off and on all day. “Leave me alone! Can’t you see I’m writing?” You know, like a godly writer of inspirational novels should behave.

It also meant that I would get frustrated when I had to move to a new scene and had no idea what was going to happen next. Because, you see, I HAD to write ten pages a day, because that was my plan, and if my plans get sucked into a black hole I get irritated. So feeling the pressure of trying to come up with a next scene made me even crabbier.

I got smart this time around (and I think for my “Choices and Chances” series, as well). I’m sticking to five pages a day. I may write a little more if I’m really rocking with a scene, but I try not to.

Five pages a day suits me perfectly. Here’s why:

1) I can finish five pages by early afternoon – often, by late morning – and have the rest of the day for my subconscious to percolate the next five pages.

2) If I’m having an off day, well, it’s a whole lot easier to knock out five pages on an off day than it is to knock of ten pages.

3) I’m not stressed to get my chores done/do things with B, as I would be with a larger daily quota.

4) Writing a moderate amount of fiction is a lot easier on my whole-brain-leaning-toward-the-left. This is a right brain activity, and I have to work more than right-brained people to create a good story. So keeping the quota down to five pages keeps me sane.

5) When I stick to five pages, I have time to work on a bit of non-fiction later in the day. That’s more left-brained, so I don’t have output the same amount of creative or mental energy to get it done.

So. I write five pages a day. And I am not crabby. And everybody in our house is the happier for it.

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