Expertise Hours Two: The Evaluation

Some of you might remember when I decided last year to commit to 12 hours of writing time a week, or 624 hours for the year. My hope was to collect expertise hours to the tune of around 6K more before I retire in 2020 to write full time. More details? You betcha!


So, how did it go? Well, the good news is this: I will get my hours in. I was disciplined enough and carved out enough time in my life to meet my obligation to myself. I will be a little short at the end of this super full time week, but I will have a little more time to write on vacation next week, so it will all pan out. Nicely done.

Positive Observations:

1. My output has increased. You wouldn’t know it to look at what’s circulating. This year I wrote two novel rough drafts, planned a series of books, and wrote one new short story. Good.

2. I am improving in patience.

3. There is less pressure to produce a product, and more time to experiment and research.

Other observations:

1. I have exercised LESS this year than I usually do. I will credit most of that to rib damage, although I know there have definitely been nights I have chosen to sit and right over work out. Gonna have to figure that one out.

2. If I have time, but no goals or guidance, I can easily fritter my writer time away on research. I need some research, but I need to make sure I only research what I need to research.

I’d call the experiment a success. As I gear up to do the same thing next year, I will try to move toward setting and reaching goals. I think figuring out how long it takes me to actually do things is the next key step. Like with time dedicated to writing, I can reach goals only if I plan the goals as something that can be done in a reasonable time frame.

I really recommend this approach. It keeps you from feeling that you’ll get to write…some day. In spite of the day job, I’m definitely writing now.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

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