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hot waterI think we, as writers, run hot and cold. At least, I do. Gosh, I hope I’m not the only one who isn’t constantly running at highest productivity.

It’s probably healthy to have ebbs and flows, as much as we’d like to always have more flows than ebbs. Some slower productivity time lets us recharge for the big pushes.

It just sucks when the ebbs and flows, or hots and colds, don’t really coincide with the demands of our schedules.

I have an August deadline for a short story. The first draft took less than an afternoon to write. The idea came to me fully formed. I wrote the outline and banged out around 5,500 words in one fast sitting.

Did I mention the thing isn’t due for months?

Yeah, that will give me a ton of time with my critique partner and plenty of time to revise the crap out of it, but the “writing” is done. In record time. (Keep an eye out for a fall release of AIW Press’s time travel anthology, Quantum Wanderlust, including my story, “Vicious Circle.”)

Then there are my novels. I was writing as fast as I could—or I was supposed to be—to complete Body Armor, Medici Protectorate book 3. I set myself a target of 4,000 words/day, and I planned to exceed it as often as possible.

Peanuts' Teacher TalkBut there were days the words just wouldn’t come. I had an outline, so I knew what I had to write. I could see the scene playing out in my mind like a movie. But all I heard in my head was Charlie Brown’s teacher.

I had no words. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

I don’t know about you, but I think reading a 100,000-word novel consisting of only, “Wa-wa. Wa-wa-wa-wa,” would get old pretty quickly.

ebb and flowI finally finished it a couple of weeks ago (sans Charlie Brown adult speak), and now I’m working on (and apparently, according to my publisher, am behind on) Medici 4, Tortured Soul.

Where’s FLOW when you need him?

I will soon have Body Armor edits back from the publisher, and we’ll be able to put the book into the queue. They’re looking at an August release date. I’ll also have a cover to share soon.

Tortured Soul is tentatively scheduled for December release. Which means (technically) they should have had my draft last December. They’re working with me on the schedule because (1) I’m grandfathered into their old publishing calendar and (2) they know I write fast. I won’t get this same courtesy again. In the meantime, I’m behind the gun. AGAIN.

Pray for me that Flow comes for a visit and Ebb takes a break. I’d hate to think my one big burst was wasted on my short story.