on productivity, novels, and realizations

Hey all! Things are going pretty well out in my neck of the woods, though I guess it’s been awhile since I worked on this post as, well, I started it in February. I had laryngitis around then, really nasty case, I sounded great. Now though? Depression is kind of kicking my ass.

But I’ve been hard at work these past few months! In fact, despite having fewer days, February has had more words written during it than January did. So I think that means I’m getting back into the swing of things. March was really great in terms of productivity as well – I even published Opus Crescendo! April has been a bit rockier because of conventions, depression, and various other things.

Productivity, novels, and realizations though. That’s the topic today. It’s pretty broad, and I’m pretty sure that I had other things in mind when I started writing this. Unfortunately, my short term memory is crappy and I didn’t write down what I intended to go through. So now you guys get today’s interpretation of this blog.

Productivity

I always feel like I’m lazy. Or that I don’t write enough. Part of that comes from ADHD and the executive dysfunction that comes with it. It can be really, really hard for me to get things rolling because I can’t always figure out how to do the thing. Like, I know how, but my brain can’t comprehend how. It’s weird and difficult to explain to people who haven’t experienced it. Part of it comes from hearing that I’m lazy because of said things associated with ADHD (and sometimes I am genuinely lazy, but I stand by my point of laziness being a choice). The last part comes from me being ridiculously hard on myself.

What defines productivity anyway? What is a productive writing day? Do I settle with “I wrote today, so I win” or do I go for a set word goal? Or what about the days that I’m doing writing related work, but not actually getting any writing done? After all, I have to promote myself, work on the interiors and formatting, etc, etc, etc.

Sometimes I feel like I hate the word productivity. I’m pretty sure its because no matter how much I do, I feel like I haven’t done enough. I have written 8000 words in a day and gone “haha, haven’t written much, gotta keep going.”

Keep in mind I have joint issues and marathon writing sessions like that kill my hands.

Maybe productivity is just an illusion.

Novels

There are times that I’m an insanely fast writer – note the example of 8000 words in a day. There was a point that I speculated I was hitting 10k some days between writing projects and RP posts with friends.

But I feel slow at producing novels.

but LL, novels are long, of course they take longer to produce!

I’ve written a complete first draft in less than a month before, but then sometimes it takes months and months to find the right words. I know in the back of my head that not all scenes are created equal and that some scenes are going to be difficult to write. That’s just how it works.

But as of now, I have more novels outlined and ready to go than I ever have before. Which is really weird. So maybe I’m getting better at this writing thing? Or this planning thing? One or the other.

So maybe I’ll actually be able to apply that insane writing pace to novel writing soon. Here’s to hoping, right?

Realizations

I am incredible critical of my work and myself. I am downright mean to myself at times. That probably isn’t helping my perception of slowness in writing novels or lack of productivity. And it certainly isn’t making the ADHD that exacerbates everything any better.

I am 100% capable of outlining a novel in a single day if I put my mind to it and am super excited about the project. I am 100% capable of pounding out 7000-9000 words in a day when I’m feeling really inspired. It’s magic, the words just keep coming and it feels natural.

I am productive. I just have trouble perceiving myself as such.

Self-perception and comparing my pace/work/everything to others really, really hinders everything. Maybe that’s why productivity has started feeling like an illusion to me; because everyone’s productive is different.

So like most things dealing with creative ventures…comparing what you do to others is probably not the best choice. I guess I’ll have to start working on breaking that habit.

Does anyone else feel like they’re incredible unproductive when they have been productive? Does it all feel like an illusion?

Happy writing!
~LL

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