Tuesday, December 28, 2004

What's Your Batting Average?

To keep himself inspired and working on his first novel, Kerouac developed this convoluted system to equate how much he wrote each day to a baseball batting average. His "formula" has something to do with how much of his daily goal he completed. A good day of 3000 words would give him a batting average of .380. The less the number of words written, obviously, the lower the average. Most days he hovered around .320, or 2000+ words.

About the only thing that works for me is setting deadlines for myself; I often get the most done when I find a mag or contest is closing to submissions in a couple of weeks. But I'm wondering what other methods people have developed to keep themselves motivated. It's probably my big weak spot, so I'm always curious how others keep themselves going when the work drags and real life interests persist in interfering.



Maktaaq said...

Deadlines work for me too. In fact I've got one today. On which I should be working at this very moment.

Often, though, I discover contests and their deadlines at the worst posible last minute. My friend and I were just talking about this in relation to my deadline today. How I need to start writing more without deadlines hanging over my head. Perhaps having a ready arsenal that I could edit, instead of starting from scratch, when a deadline looms.

One thing I once did to treat my procrastination, was to keep a calendar in which I never wrote things that will take place, but things I did. If I didn't accomplish anything for days or weeks, the calendar would be pretty austere and shame me in productivity.

LadyLitBlitzin said...

Deadlines work for me too. For work, I have 2 deadlines Mon-Wed, 1 deadline on Thursday (for short 400 word pieces), and a deadline every Friday (which is a little looser because it's turning into every other Friday, for a longer piece).

It's weird, all these deadlines seem to be making me better about writing fiction instead of burnt out on writing. Maybe the dam just broke sometime within the last year and a half, but I'm not complaining..

Hebdomeros said...

I can see that, though. I tend to write better not only under deadlines, but when I have a few projects going at the same time. I don't know why.

I'm thinking for the new year about creating a more defined schedule for my writing. We'll see if I can stick with it.