Hello folks! Mark here.
I spent the last three months "off" from the blog revising and re-writing book three of the Pevanese Mosaic: King's Gambit. Terri has it now, and while I wait to see her response I get to start up again here. Book four, and what I expect to be the final volume, is taking shape both on the page and in my head. I started a short, related project for HRB that also takes place in the Pevanese world. Those tasks, hopefully, will make for a productive fall and winter.
And speaking of productivity, that is my subject today. Since I sent the file for Path of the Poet-king off to Terri, I've been feeling on the edge of words almost all the time, but my productivity is almost nil. I know they are there, waiting for me. Vivid dreams that include heretofore unexplored territory, colors, whispered dialogue from as yet unnamed characters populate my waking and sleeping hours. I find such experiences fascinating yet perplexing.
You see, I have to start assigning and grading papers. My motivation is not the highest. Send coffee and a few red pens. Better yet, send me a nice quiet three day weekend with no lightning and storm clouds How about a cup of concentration and a pile of active verbs? Anybody? Beuhler?
So, here I sit tantalizingly close to a bunch of real meaningful words, and I'm feeling less than productive. I'm not used to such paucity. When I composed Poets of Pevana, I averaged 1500-2000 words almost every session. When King's Gambit came together, I think I actually averaged a bit more. During the re-write for Path of the Poet-king, I think I had a number of 3000+ word days, especially during those bits that were new additions to the story. I was rocking the productivity and felt like an honest to goodness 'author'. Heady stuff. I know I'm on the edge of another all encompassing plunge into words and warrant. As big Bill had Hamlet say, "The readiness is all."
What is your barometer for writing, artistic success or productivity? Does the word count matter to you? Could you actually be satisfied with adding just one word? Do you find it easier to write for long swathes of time where just about every other portion of your body numbs down, goes to sleep or stiffens from lack of use? Or do you cram your search for words into those moments you manage to carve out of an otherwise over-busy schedule? Do you write better in the morning or during the quiet of the night? This summer, I recrafted Path of the Poet-king mostly during the early morning hours, sipping good coffee and hanging out with the cat and summer sunshine. I figured out that I needed to limit myself to three cups or I would get too jittery and balloon the typo ratio.
So, how do you define your own productivity?