December off to a slow start but today is an opportunity

I haven’t had the most promising start to December.

Where I am: 1,334 words

Where I’m supposed to be: 4,000 words.

I don’t want to say I’m going to try to catch up today and even get ahead, because I’m not that good at meeting goals like this, but that’s what I’m going to do. :D

My fingernails are annoying me on the keyboard today, but they’re too short to trim. The house is cold and my coffee has gotten cold fast. I’m going to heat it, then start writing.

I’ll probably do some 50 minute sessions. I like those. Enough time to really focus and short enough so that I can move often enough not to get stiff.

Either way, as I said before, I’m not tracking time or speed, just using the timers to focus me on the writing.

On another topic, I’ve decided to change my main writing goal.

I’m upping my daily word count goal from 2,000 to 2,200. I’m also going back to trying to reach and maintain that as a daily average instead of a daily minimum. The minimum just isn’t working for me, but I can see myself reaching that as a daily average and maintaining it.

I know I haven’t done it before, long-term, but I can. I really believe that.

Thankful yesterday wasn’t a zero word day :-)

I sat down yesterday morning on day six of my (re)start of the 2,000 words a day plan and wrote 401 words.

I’m glad I did, because I thought I’d feel like writing later and maybe get a chance to actually write my 2,000 words yesterday.

HAHAHAHAHA!

Yesterday was also day 115 of my effort to have no more zero word days. My record of consecutive days of writing is 122, as you can see in the screenshot of the sidebar below. I’m so close to surpassing that record!

Screen shot of the sidebar on 11-29-2019

(Screen shot for posterity. I’m always trying to improve these stats. Maybe by the time you read this, the numbers will have changed in the real sidebar.) :-)

Today I’ve hunkered down in my house and will start writing as soon as I publish this blog post.

(I don’t shop, except when I do, and when I do, it’s usually last minute and in a hurry—and I’m betting you could have guessed that. I am an expert procrastinator, after all.)

I need 7,827 words to end today caught up. I am not in any way saying I will get all those words today, but I do want to cut that number down by far more than the 2,000 words today if at all possible. :D

I’m going to use 15 minute timers today.

Probably won’t track any metrics, because that’s not why I’m using timers. I don’t care how fast or slow I write. I just want to stay focused and get in more time. My math bent does mean that sometimes focusing on the math is the easiest way to keep my conscious mind busy so my subconscious can have free rein of the writing itself, so we shall see. :D

Falling falling falling…

Should never had bragged about my two day streak of 1,000+ words. ;) Of course I broke it yesterday. I just had too much to do in the afternoon and I had too many interruptions in the morning.

I wrote 863 words on day five of my (re)started 2,000 words a day plan.

This morning, yes, Thanksgiving Morning, I’m going to try to get 1,000 before I have family things that are going to take all my time today. If I’m lucky, I’ll get to write this evening and get to 2,000.

It really would have helped if I’d had a few words in the bank into the holidays! I’ll just have to do my best not to fall too far behind in the next few days.

 

Another slip but a two day streak I’d like to keep alive despite the holidays

I only wrote 1,007 words yesterday. My accept-no-excuses attitude obviously needs work. I had a raging headache yesterday and never really got moving on my words until it got late, and then couldn’t stick it out when I got sleepy.

On the other hand, I wrote 1,007 words and that means I have a two day streak of 1,000+ word counts and I’m going to try to hang onto it with all I’ve got despite the upcoming holidays and my packed calendar.

I’d like 2,000 today, but I’m not sure it’s going to be possible. I should have had all morning for writing, but I’ve completed four 15 minute sprints (more about that later, because yes, I gave in and I’ve started using my timers again as of the day before yesterday*). Out of those four 15 minute blocks, I haven’t gotten through one of them without having to stop the timer at least three times.

*The timers thing: I’ve decided I had to come up with a new way of thinking about the timers. They’re my inoculation against perfectionism. They keep me aware of the passage of time. They don’t interfere with flow. They enhance it.

I don’t even think about it on a conscious level when I have one running. But somehow, someway, the timer keeps me aware of what I’m doing and keeps me from falling into a circular thinking pattern that ends with me redoing the same sentence twenty times for no good reason. I’m serious. The timers aren’t about pressure, they’re about awareness. And I need them. I’m ready to accept that. I need the timers to stay aware of time and that’s just not going to change no matter how much I want it to.

Another fail but I’m not giving up

So yesterday, day two of my no-excuses-accepted plan to write 2,000 words a day, was a fail. Stuff happened, but I can in all honesty say that I still should have gotten those words written, and that’s not me being too hard on myself. That’s me being honest. I wrote a mere 538 words of fiction.

However—

Today I’m starting early, and I’m going to get in today’s 2,000 words, and then I’m going to catch up and get ahead. I know I can do it. :D

That said, I’m not going to waste any more time on this post, and I’ll see you back here later, when I have a report to make. Accountability is probably going to be essential to this plan ever getting off the ground! :-)

No words in the bank and a few behind

Day one did not go great for the 2,000 words a day plan. I spent most of the day reading a novel I’d been waiting on from the library.

I have mentioned that I love reading fiction, haven’t I? It’s like the obsession that will never end.

When life gets tough, I read a book. When I need a break, I read a book. When I’m sad, I read a book. When I’m excited, I read a book. I read a lot of books.

I finally gave up on keeping track this year. I’m at about six pages of titles in my 2019 reading log and I haven’t added anything in a couple of months. During those months, I had at least one period where I read 11 novels in a week.

I’m already 705 words behind my plan to write 2,000 words every day. On the other hand, I’m only 705 words behind at this point and I can make that up today.

Starting today, I’m just not going to allow myself any excuses—but first and foremost, I’m going to start getting these words done far earlier in the day every day that I can.

Sometimes I say writing is hard. But that’s not exactly true. Writing isn’t the hard part—it’s the fun part. What’s hard—and I’m talking super hard, so hard sometimes I think I want to crack open my skull with a hammer and rearrange things—is starting to write and sticking with it when it gets challenging. I mean, I love a challenge, but I have this uncontrollable desire to look away just when I get most excited. I don’t know if it’s an inability to process those feelings (a brain thing) or if it’s something else, but I have a feeling it’s a brain thing.

What that all means is that slow and steady puttering away at a story all day long is about the only way I can work steadily. It’s far more productive for me than sitting down and letting myself get into a frenzy. The frenzy causes me to start looking away until I finally just can’t deal at all. I end up jumping up and running around the house looking for something to burn off the energy I can’t process any other way.

New focus on a daily quota

It’s getting late in November now and this year is almost over. I’ve taken a look at the year, and although I’m very happy to report that my writing slowdown of 2017 and 2018 is behind me now, I haven’t reached my goal to have my best year ever. ;D

By a lot, to be frank.

But it’s still possible!

My best year’s word count is 268,191 from 2013. To beat that, I need to write 51,800 more words this year.

Technically, my best year-end average daily word count is 798 words from 2012, but that was the year I started tracking (and started writing to sell), and I only wrote for half the year. If I want to beat 798 words per day, I need to write 74,879 more words this year.

Counting today, I’ve got 39 days to do it.

That’s 1,323 words a day—or 1,915 words a day. Since both of those fall below the magic 2,000 words a day I’ve been aiming to hit for what feels like forever, I’ll take the high end, thanks. :D

So here goes. Starting today, I’m going to get myself to a 2,000 words a day average and then I’m going to keep it. Whatever it takes.

I wanted to do it this year, but I didn’t, so I’m going to start it now, and I’m going to do it!

With all those holidays coming up, I think I’d better get a few words in the bank, too. :D

Maybe by next year, it’ll be such an ingrained habit, I’ll be able to keep it going all year.

October 2019 progress

I forgot to post my October progress post. :) That shouldn’t be a surprise. I also forgot I was going to post about NANO. That update is out of the way and now I’m going to do the October progress post. :D

October words: 19,168.

That’s far under where I wanted to be for the month, but it did continue a streak of months in the five digit word counts.

There’s not a lot else to say. I continued writing on whatever interested me, and that has been a nice change of pace. I also have stayed away from timers and schedules and I’m not feeling the pressure to go back to using them.

On the other hand, I’ve now finished two stories that I haven’t yet published and I don’t like that. I much prefer finishing one at a time, getting it published, and then getting back to writing. That’s been a side-effect of writing on more than one thing at a time. I now have a lot of stuff that if I continue with that, will end up finished in lumps. Not really a fan of that, now that it’s actually happened to me.

So that’s something I won’t be doing in the future. I’m about to drop the multiple stories thing again, but only sort of, and with a purpose.

Here’s what I mean by that. I like moving between stories, but I also need to maintain a high interest in each story and finish it as quickly as possible. So… on days when I just cannot seem to get moving, I plan to allow myself to change stories. But as a general rule, I think I’m going to have to try to keep myself working on one book, no matter what, and finish it as quickly as I can so that my interest doesn’t wane and I don’t lose a lot of time to trying to get back into the story after an extended break.

I really don’t think those extended breaks do anything good for me. I lose a lot of love for my stories when I take them, and getting restarted is a bear. Seriously, it’s the worst.

I’m now at day 99 of my writing every day streak. I can’t count today because I actually haven’t written anything yet. But as soon as I do, it’ll be 100 days long. The number to beat is 122 (in the sidebar over there somewhere if you want to see it).

The changes to my sleep habits have also been helpful, maybe. I actually can’t say. I do know I’m doing better than I did during my massive downturn, so there’s that. I don’t really know how I can quantify this in the long-term, except to continue to adhere to better sleep habits and see where things stand many months from now. If I can make it through the holidays writing, that’ll be a win. It’ll be a tough proposition once the school breaks start, so I’ll have to stay vigilant about the earlier bed times! :D

So that’s where things are.

November has been (so far) about trying to do what needs to be done to get those finished stories out, and move on. And pick my next focus and really hone in on it and plan to get it done ASAP. And stop all this dilly dallying around. It feels less like fun than you’d think. It feels more like puttering, and there’s no sense of accomplishment at all. My ability to self-motivate depends on how I feel about what I’ve done.

And finally, I’ve set a challenge for myself to make November my first 60,000 words month. I’m behind at the moment (of course), but I’m still hopeful that I’ll be able to do it.

:D

I forgot I was going to post about NANO

I forgot I was going to post about NANO this year. It doesn’t really matter now, because I’ve pretty much bailed on the NANO website. I never log my writing (except for the last day) on the day I write my words, and the new site only just now started even showing the tally of daily word counts (I think it’s sessions really, not even by day). I can’t edit my word counts by day and so it has me with all kinds of weird lumps on the progress graph.

Here’s a comparison shot of what we had to work with on the old site and what we have now.

Screen shot of old nanowrimo stats Screen shot from new nanowrimo stats page

As for the other changes, the NaNoWriMo stats page is a cluttered mess. I don’t like it and I’m not feeling the love for NANO this year, for sure.

Overall, in almost all ways, I do not like the new site, to the point that I finally realized I just don’t want to go back to it. I can do better charts and graphs on my own spreadsheet anyway.

So this is my last NANO post of 2019. I’ve decided I’m not going to participate this year after all.

On that note, I’ve adjusted my November goal to writing 60,000 words of fiction this month.

I’ve never had a 60k month. Probably ever, even before I started tracking in 2012. I know my NANO win in 2011 was just a 53k month and that was the best month I think I’d ever had up to that point with writing fiction.

Kicking off NANO 2019

Today is the first day of National Novel Writing Month and I’m getting a little bit of a late start on my first day’s words. I’m not going to make a bunch of excuses for that—I’ll just say I’m here and I’m going to try to get them done. I need 1,667 if I don’t want to end day one already behind.

I don’t. :D

I’m doing the rebel thing this year. My project is all my current novels in progress. I have six going at the moment. :D I want to make this a 50k word month and I want to finish at least one of those novels. Those are my NANO 2019 goals.

I’m currently trying to finish some short fiction I started a while back but the novels are the only thing I’m counting words for so that’s going to be an extra bit of a challenge.

Good luck to anyone reading who is also participating in NANO this year. :D

And good luck self. Because why not? ;-)

Once I have numbers for today, I’ll link up a Day 1 of NANO 2019 post.

 

A lot of rambling about writing and a second challenge

Decided to give the “no timers” challenge a shot again after looking at my current run of daily word counts and comparing them to the run I had in April and May in which I didn’t use timers. The numbers so far are promising even after what I thought was a bad start but really didn’t end up being that at all.

The challenge runs for a week. I’ll update at the end of that time. (Updated below!)

As for now, today, I’m just trying to pep up my mood. Writing at my desk is getting me down. The weather went from HOT to COLD and didn’t stop for a break between them, so I’m kind of bummed, and my weird back pain isn’t helped by anything it seems. Standing sucks, sitting sucks, lying on the bed sucks.

After months of this, I’m starting to get annoyed. So I moved back to the desk, because the couch writing was hurting my leg.

I’m really short, and couch writing means sitting with my legs crossed under my laptop to support it. Lately, I’ve been dealing with what feels like a nerve pain in my thigh and knee, brought on by a switch in couches about a year ago. Biggest mistake I’ve made in a while. The current couch is a nightmare for my writing. I really miss my old one, but remember the mention of basement mold several months ago? Yeah. I would have switched it out by now, but the mold got the old one. :-(

All this to say that finding a comfortable writing spot lately has been really hard. I don’t do well writing when I’m not comfortable.

I had to go back to my dining room chair, too. It does hurt my back a lot less, but I’ll be honest, I have no idea why, because there’s no support at all. I have to sit completely weird on the hard chair to keep my legs from going numb (short, remember? and my feet can’t rest flat on the floor when I’m sitting back in the seat).

When I say hard, this chair is just a hard wood chair with spindles for a back and bars under the seat to support the chair legs. I use them to support my legs. :D I also prop my legs up on the window sill under the back of my desk.

My desk is in front of my windows and they’re nice, tall windows that let in a lot of light and have a relatively low window sill that seems to be at the perfect ottoman height when I’m in my chair at the desk. :D It’s not super comfortable, because it’s wood with an edge, but it gives me something to rest my feet against and gives me one more position I can switch to when the last one starts to bug me.

Anyway, I’m totally rambling this morning. I think I made my coffee too strong. ;-)

One thing I’ve kept up is the daily writing. The “no more zero word days” challenge is going well. I’ve had a few days where I’m not exactly proud of how much I wrote to keep the streak alive, but it counts, and that’s okay. I’ll get better if I keep going.

It started on 8/6 and yesterday was day 74.

How am I staying on task without the timers that I’ve said again and again give me a way to focus and stay on task? Numbers.

Remember the numbers I mentioned in this post (Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 6)) and this one (Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 4))? I haven’t forgotten those numbers. They’re still the numbers I’m chasing. Except sort of not.

Look, I’ve had to take a hard look at how I decide what to write next, and it always comes down to the need to write what I’m most interested in writing next. So I took my 3,200 words goal and said to myself: Hey self, if I write 3,200 words a day every day, then what needs to get written will eventually get written. That’s just the way it is.

So I took that to heart. But then I realized that sometimes I don’t know that I’m in the mood to write something until I start writing it, so I changed it up. Just a little.

I decided that if I want to write 3,200 words a day, the easiest way to do that for me is to write a little each on every story I’m interested in writing, and when something catches my interest hard, I can just keep going.

It’s working.

I finally got back to the stalled novel yesterday. Wrote nearly 1,900 words on it. And it all started because I wanted to write 525 words per story yesterday, on 8 stories.

Every story I’m working on is one that needs finished, the sooner the better, so no words are wasted following this method.

And it frees me in a way that my creative muse seems to really like.

So here’s the math.

3,200 words ÷ 8 stories = 400 words per story.

If I want a 1,000 words a day streak, which I’m really trying to get off the ground, I need 125 words per story on the 8 stories.

It’s an effortless number, really, so the 1,000 words a day streak is something I’m really pushing for at the moment. Yesterday was day three of that. I’m going to give it a week before I start calling it a streak, but I definitely have my sights set on sticking that out.

Anyway, more rambling, and it’s really time for me to turn my focus to writing. :D I’m feeling strangely talkative today and have no one around, so I might start another post in which I detail out my effort to get that first 125 words on each story, and then go for the 400.

Then move on to trying to fix some big issues I think I have in my stalled (but not stalled anymore) novel. It needs some work. More than usual, and I’m not sure what to make of that.

Maybe I really should scrap the biggest portion of what I have and start over. I don’t know. I hope I figure that out soon.

Later. :D

Update for the “no timers” challenge. It ran a week. I decided to extend it, indefinitely.

I was wrong about the numbers, but even after running them again and seeing that I definitely wrote more words on the days I used timers over the long-term (all time), I gave it some additional thought and decided that the thing is skewed in favor of timers because whenever I felt focused enough to write, I was using them. I need a lot more time of no timers to decide if there really is a long-term difference.

 

 

September 2019 progress

September passed much too quickly. I wanted to finish more projects in September and it didn’t happen.

September words: 24,609.

I did keep my “no more zero word days” streak alive. Yesterday marked 62 days of daily writing. But there were a few days there when I’m not sure I like how I did it. I didn’t cheat, because my only rule is that I write something but I still don’t like the way I went about it.

On the other hand, I really don’t want to set a minimum, because it messes with my head when I know I need to delete stuff and don’t want to because it’ll leave me with a negative word count and I need a positive word count for some streak or other (like the 1,000 words before sweets rule I had for a while).

Maybe I’m going to have to set a minimum of some sort whether I like it or not. If that happens, I’m sure I’ll go with a time based minimum, because the word count is pretty much out of my control. Some days are productive and good and some days I struggle to move forward in my stories no matter how much time I devote to it. Time is a good compromise. In fact, as I type this, I’m becoming convinced I need to set that minimum time.

I stopped editing my work every day. I think mostly because I kept getting far ahead of my writing and there’s no point reading something twenty times! I just need to read for errors or things to fix, because I edit as I go when I write, and that meant I was often rereading stuff I’d read the very day before for the third or fourth time.

That said, I might pick it up again, because there were some benefits to it (it kept my stories very alive in my mind).

October is already passing quickly, so I’m hoping today to regain some momentum I lost at the beginning of the month because my refrigerator died on me and I had to deal with that and get it replaced when the repairs didn’t fix it. :)

It’s just been one thing after another lately but I am determined to get back on track and have a 50,000 word month! I want to make October–December all 50,000 word months. April and May were my last two 50,000 word months and I was disappointed when I didn’t make June another one. But it did set a new personal best for me, because I’d never had two 50,000 word months back to back.

Now it’s time to set another personal best and have three 50,000 word months back to back. :D

Changing sleep habits—an experiment in productivity

A couple of days ago I decided to try to figure out what was going on in my life at the time of some of my most productive writing streaks—what types of schedules or timed sessions or just overall attitude I had—so I can try a few things to help me make the rest of this year as productive as I need it to be.

This time, I was looking at both my daily log, my entries in my journal, and my calendar entries.

And something came to my attention.

Back in 2016 during the time I can clearly see where my productivity dipped and I fell into a funk that lasted far too long, my sleep habits also changed dramatically.

I have a tendency to track my sleep in my calendar. I put in the times I want to sleep and then adjust the entry the next day to keep a record of the times I actually slept.

Until the middle of 2016, I’d been getting up at 6:30 most days, and even though some days I definitely didn’t get enough sleep, as a general rule I tried to go to sleep by 10:30. Meaning I got enough sleep most of the time, in the earlier part of the night. I’ve always though I slept better in the early part of the night, and fight to sleep once the sun is shining outside, so this stood out for me.

I haven’t ever really considered that my sleep patterns themselves might have led to a lot of my problems during the last few years. And now I’m considering it.

So I started an experiment night before last, wherein I get into bed and go to sleep hours earlier than I’ve been doing, and I make it a priority to get a full night’s sleep.

Yesterday I felt great, all day, all the way up until I went to bed. I never had a dip in energy and I didn’t feel that afternoon dragging feeling I’ve been dealing with a lot lately. I wrote 1,817 words yesterday, pretty effortlessly.

So I went to bed early again last night, and although I don’t know how today is going to work out yet, I feel good. So we shall see if this turns out to be the thing that changed and sent me into a downward spiral of a lack of motivation and energy that has persisted far too long. (Even though it is better now than it was.) :D

I plan to run this experiment for a week at minimum, meaning I can’t let myself slip up and stay up late during that time. I’m hopeful it will show me something useful. :)

Day 51 of no more zero word days

Yesterday was day 51 of my challenge not to have another zero word day. :)

I wrote 1,873 words.

Right now, I’m trying to get to a comfortable 3,200 words a day. Which I know sounds like a lot, but even for me, with an average pace of 500 words an hour, that’s not a ridiculous amount of daily writing, especially when distributed between multiple stories (giving me plenty of time to refuel the muse per story).

Here’s the math, again, just for show.

3,200 ÷ 5 hours = 640 words an hour

Five hours of focused work is a lot. Most research shows that people working an 8 hour job typically do between 3 and 5.3 hours of productive work. There’s nothing more productive for a fiction writer than writing fiction. :-)

But I’m happy to give writing 5 hours of my focused time each day if I can manage it. :)

That’s the biggie for me. I tend to be able to get 2-3 focused hours of timed writing and that’s where it all kind of falls apart. Long breaks, distractions, and the desire to read all end up keeping me from getting more time in. I’m working on it! :D

Also, I ran across a little something this morning that has me convinced that I shouldn’t bother experimenting with timer lengths any longer. I use 20 minute timers most of the time, although I do try longer and shorter ones sometimes, but according to this: “Attention span begins to decay significantly after just 20 minutes. Therefore, after 20 minutes of intensive study, stop.”

I didn’t follow up with the sources, but I’m willing to take it at face value because of my personal experience and experiments with timers of varying lengths.

I am apparently fully within the group of people this applies to. I’ve been using 20 minutes as my preferred timed writing sessions for years now, ever since I discovered that they don’t cause me to feel so interrupted as a 15 minute timer does and that I don’t find myself glancing at the time left before the timer dings.

(Confirmation bias, I know. If you know of a source that reputably disputes this, feel free to drop it in a comment, otherwise, I’m perfectly happy to accept this as true.)

:D

Day 50 of no more zero word days

Today is day 50 of my challenge not to have any more zero word days. During that time I’ve written 41,200 words, and today isn’t over, so that number could get better, although admittedly not by huge amounts. It’s only one day after all. :)

But I really don’t see this streak ending, as long as I’m able to write, because there’s something about knowing that if I have a zero word day (two to be exact), I’ll cross that line from 998 zero word days to 1,000 of them. I really don’t want to cross that line.

That’s what you call intrinsic motivation, and it’s pretty strong in this case!

Just as a reminder, this is fiction only. I could write tons of stuff every day and not keep my streak alive, because fiction (fiction I intend to publish one day, at that) is the only thing I count for this streak.

The other big thing I have going for me this time is that I’m not limiting myself to working on what I need to work on. I work on whatever story I want to work on each time I sit down to write, as long as I suspect it will be something publishable.

That’s a hard limit for me. Even though I love reading fan fiction, I don’t love writing it any more than I love writing wholly original stories, so there’s no point to even thinking about going back to writing fan fiction now that I can publish and earn a living. :D There are story ideas I come up with for my favorite shows, but I pretty much just let them write themselves in my head and move on. I don’t bother trying to make them into cohesive stories.

Now, if I could ever crack the egg that is my slow pace and start writing enough every day that I don’t feel behind on my stories all the time, I might be tempted to write fan fiction again. Who knows? But as of right now, there’s just no way to ever find the time. I have so many stories I want to write and I take far too long to finish them.

Anyway, that’s the update for the active streaks. I’m reading fiction every day too, still, but I’m not tracking it, even though I am unfortunately still reading far, far too much fiction! :D As someone who loves reading more than writing, this is a thing I have to keep a close eye on!

 

 

Today’s goal (day 11)

Oh, dear. I was all set to post my goal today and realized I was suffering from goal creep again. I was going to post a crazy high goal and had a rationalization for it all written out. I deleted it.

Time to reset.

I face a constant push and pull situation with goals. Too small and I don’t do enough, too big and I do more but get overwhelmed.

Today’s goal: blank.

:D Yes, BLANK.

I’m just not in the mood to set a goal.

I do, however, have a hard minimum I want to hit today.

And for the foreseeable future.

On the other hand, I’m already tired of having a daily goal to deal with. Changing the nomenclature doesn’t help. Target, aim, blah blah blah. It’s all the same and I know it and I can’t hide that fact from myself.

Don’t get me wrong, I still want to get to 3,200 a day and that number is stuck in my head, in a good way, I think. I won’t go into all the calculations that led me to that number, because I’ve done some of that in prior posts. Suffice to say, I used highly conservative numbers so I had the absolutely best chance of far exceeding my financial goals if I can ever reach a consistent 3,200 words a day.

BUT, I also calculated a fairly loose minimum word count that I need if things go well, and it’s 962 words a day, which gave me the idea to set a hard minimum of 1,000 words a day. If I can’t reach that and maintain it, I really do need to go find a different job. That’s just reality. It’s no different than setting a hard minimum to actually, you know, go to work every day. Money’s got to come from somewhere!

The hard minimum of 1,000 words a day is my go to work every day number of words. And dear God, it’s embarrassing in the extreme to say this, but if I can’t manage the 1-3 hours a day of writing that this requires, I’m not in the right career. If it’s that hard to make myself write, I need to move on and be done with it, and putter with writing only when I want to.

Wow. I guess I’m in a mood. ;) Maybe I should channel this into today’s writing.

The good news is that yesterday I did write more than 1,000 words of fiction, so I’m already off to a good start even though I didn’t know then that I was going to do this. :-)

Tomorrow, I don’t think I’ll be doing another goal post. However, I think I will do a simple summary post. See you then.

What I ended up with: 430 words.

What did I tell you about me and goals? Apparently a hard limit is pretty much the same thing. Ugh.

Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 10)

Today’s goal: 3,200 words.

The hourly goals are killing me. Just can’t seem to crack them. The harder I push, the more I rebel. Therefore, it’s back to the flat word count goal for this post.

I would have said “for today,” but the fact is, I’ve already been writing today and I actually started the day with a five hour goal (again) but immediately ran into issues with that plan. I couldn’t stick the first 50 minutes (I was trying for six 50 minute sessions). So I recorded 9, 16, 25. Then did 10 on my next 50 minute session and realized I just wasn’t going to be able to do the long sessions today. But, my pace is good today, and the writing is going well, so I’m just going to focus on the words.

What I ended up with: 1,414 words, on one story.

Today’s goal: 5 hours of timed writing (day 9)

I enjoy the challenge of working on multiple stories so I’m going to spread those hours out over the seven stories I have in progress. They’re all growing at a satisfactory clip and I’m pretty doggone happy with how it’s going.

The biggest complaint I have is that I really need to read some of my older books in the series and I’m not making a lot of progress with that. I got halfway through another yesterday, and that was awesome. I can’t believe how awesome and fun it was to read. :D Ego, ego, I know, but I write these stories to please myself first, so if I’ve done that in a way that gives me many rereads of pleasure, I can’t help but feel like I’ve actually accomplished something awesome! :D

I tried yesterday to spend more time on one story so I could get closer to finishing something this week, but that really didn’t pan out in the end. Today I’m going back to letting my muse direct me.

The one thing I will say is that I’m confident I can finish all my books. I’m not of the type to work on lots of things and never finish any of them, and I would never recommend working on multiple stories at a time to a writer who hasn’t nailed the ability to finish a book yet.

You gotta learn how to finish and that should be the first thing you focus on learning. It’s that important.

Let me say it again: Don’t try working on lots of different books at one time if you aren’t confident in your ability to finish! You’ll flit from one project to another and use them all to keep you from having to do the hard work of getting to the end on any one of them.

What I ended up with: 488 words, 20 minutes.

Well, it was my best 20 minute session ever. That’s gotta count for something.

Today’s goal: 7 hours of timed writing (day 8)

I totally failed at 5.5 hours yesterday, so why not set today’s goal for 7 hours?

Yep. I know.

But I have a plan. So I have to keep this short.

Today’s goal is 7 hours of writing. I’m not setting a word count goal because I’m pretty sure as long as things go okay, I’ll totally make the 3,200 daily goal I keep trying for right now.

The plan is work on whatever I want to keep the writing flowing, so no goals broken down by story today.

See ya!

What I actually ended up with: 1,434 words and 1.78 hours.

Yes, more words, fewer hours. It’s like a curse. Set a goal and move backwards toward it. ;) Since my daily word count was larger than my average and yesterday’s word count, I’m going to call it one of those sort of wins. :D