WIP: Optimal Production


It has been a struggle to put together a system where my production is trackable so that I have an idea of what I’m doing and where I am in the process, measurable so that I can have a sense of how well I’m doing, flexible so that I can keep data with the tasks if I want to, portable so that I’m not locked into any platform or machine, and simple so that I don’t burn a lot of energy setting it up or maintaining it. Today I made progress on that.

Writing: Spring Rains

I made decent progress on Spring Rains today. I figured out a good way to both include some extraneous fun material that previously had no home, while simultaneously improving the classroom scenes. I found and placed two snippets I had created in the development phase, and that was fun. And I also worked on a part where Victor relays part of his backstory.

Unfortunately, I also did some restructuring of my file, and something either mucked or unmucked my word count. In the end, I’m not sure exactly how many words were added, but I don’t think it’s important enough to track down. It’s not close to pulp speed yet, and that’s all that matters.

Planning and Promotion

Today I pushed out the notices for next week’s promotions. I’m getting back into the rhythm of my weekly promotions. After exploring and validating my ideas at the end of last year, I’m ready to make them my permanent schedule.

That brings me back to the problem I’ve been unable to find a satisfactory solution for: task planning and scheduling. Long-time listeners may remember that until recently I was using Org mode in Emacs to track and schedule and plan my tasks, and everything else. In the last year or so, however, I’ve tried to move away from that to some other system that both simplifies my book files and makes my tasks and schedule available on my phone and tablets.

Unfortunately, despite trying a lot of things, I have found no solutions to either of those goals that are anywhere near as good as Org mode.

For book production, only Org mode lets me plan and track my work at all, and it does so with a great flexibility in the granularity of the tracking. If I want to track words per hour, it’s easy. If I want to track the progress of every scene and chapter and part, that’s easy. If I want to get an overview of how many words are devoted to each character, that’s easy. I know of no other solution, paid or otherwise, that provides anything near the flexibility of Org mode.

For the business of writing, I know of no solution for planning, scheduling, and tracking better than Org mode. Org is not overwhelmingly complicated, but its features provide incredible flexibility for keeping track of things to do, making a work schedule, and tracking production.

So, again, I’m back to using Org for my production. Yes, I know that changing systems is horribly inefficient. However, I feel like until now I haven’t known what I had to do to make “writing” work. And now that I do, only one tool lets me do that work with maximum efficiency. I’d be a fool not to adopt it. Anyway, it was still a difficult decision, even though nothing else comes close.

  • Fiction new words: 750
  • Weblog new words: 575
  • Covers designed: 0

Things are picking up.