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

Today’s goal: 5.5 hours of timed writing (day 7)

One week in on my effort to post daily goals and I’m not disliking it. :) As long as I keep it to the point I think this is the kind of accountability post best suited to me, of all the kinds I’ve tried over the years.

Today’s goal is a little different. I’ve set a time goal in addition to my usual 3,200 words, but I’m not putting the 3,200 words goal into words. (Even though it is here, it’s not, so don’t get any ideas. :D)

I’m doing this because I want to start practicing writing more and just setting the word count goal isn’t getting me past my biggest obstacle to writing more: the number of hours of writing I manage to focus on each day.

The only thing I can think of to fix that is practice.

So, same set up, different goals.

Today’s goal: 5.5 hours of timed writing.

3 stories = ½ hour each
4 stories = 1 hour each

Or, to compare to prior day goals:

½ hour (192 words) x 1
½ hour (296 words) x 1
½ hour (301 words) x 1
1 hour (603 words) x the other 4

Swapping out stories might be just the thing that makes this attempt different from the last time I tried setting hour goals. There’s a bit of challenge and excitement in the chase to get to all the stories in one day that I really like.

Plus, as the numbers above show, this won’t interfere at all with my 3,200 words goal, because 5.5 hours is just about the right number of hours most days to get me to 3,200 words. :)

3,200 / 5.5 = about 582 words

That won’t interfere with my 3200 a day goal at all, because that actually fits right in the time range I need to get those words. 5.5 hours. I can’t think about that though because it messes with my head. So I’m just going to think about the 1 hr (and .5 hour) of writing I want to get for each of my stories.

Anyway, if I find I don’t like it, I can always go right back to chasing the word count goals (which I’ll probably be doing anyway even with the hour goals, but the truth is, this is just me trying to find a way to practice focusing for longer periods and actually getting in all the time I need so I can reach those word count goals!

What I actually ended up with: 1,109 words and 1.92 hours.

It was better than my current September daily average of 692 so it was a sort of win. It helped push my September average up above 700. :)

Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 6)

Day 5 is missing. I know. :) I’m just not even going to bother going back and correcting it. Day 5 I wrote 130 words.

Today’s goal is identical to the day 4 goal, even though I’d like to write more. I just don’t see how that’s even going to happen. The evening of day 4 (Saturday night) I realized I’m going to have to go back and read all my books again. Some of the details are getting fuzzy and it’s time for me to refresh my brain. I’m struggling too much with my current stories because I can’t remember things I need to remember. That’s 28 books I need to reread.

I’ve read a few recently. 28 is the number I still need to reread. 18 or so of those are novels and the rest are shorter than that, thank God. :D

So, today, the goal is 3,200 words, broken down by story. :)

192 words x 1
296 words x 1
301 words x 1
603 words x the other 4

What I actually ended up with: 2,355 words.

192 words x 1 (done)
296 words x 1 (done)
301 words x 1 (done)
603 words x the other 4 (got 1 done, didn’t touch the other 3)

Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 4)

I have afternoon plans today so I’m going to try to get my words done early today. I had planned to start at 9 AM but the power went out early and a few other things happened and my plans didn’t pan out. :)

I’m a little shocked that it’s already 11:02 am to be honest.

I have 8 stories on the go right now and I’ve been working on each of them this last week. My goal is based around that fact.

Today’s goal: 3,200 words, broken down by story. :)

192 words x 1
296 words x 1
301 words x 1
603 words x the other 4

Rounding makes it 3,201, but I don’t have to round. The silly numbers total up to exactly 3,200 based on how many months I want between the series releases. It’s both ridiculous and amazing that the number worked out so perfectly, but I took it as a sign. :D

3,200 is the perfect number.

Someday my abilities will catch up with that fact. :D

What I actually ended up with: 1,073 words.

192 words x 1 (done)
296 words x 1 (done)
301 words x 1 (done)
603 words x the other 4 (barely got started)

Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 3)

A late start today, due to a morning obligation. I have several hours of time I’d like to spend writing, so I’m going to use the timers and see what I can get done.

I’m sticking with the 3,200 word goal today because despite everything, it should be possible, especially if I can get on a roll and keep my words per hour up where it’s been the last few days.

What I actually ended up with: 643 words.

I suspected that getting a delayed start was going to hurt me. :-o

Ah well. 643 is better than my 638 daily average for 2019, so it’s still a win in a certain light. :)

Today’s goal: 3,600 words (day 2)

Most of my daily goals are probably going to be 3,200 words for a while, because that’s the number of words I’ve decided I can write each day by the math, and, therefore, should be writing each day. :) As usual, I don’t know how long this frame of mind will last, but I’m hopeful it will last a long time.

3,200 / 5 = 640 wph

Now, as usual, my struggle actually lies with getting the stupid hours I spend writing up. That’s always where I struggle. I can’t stay on one task for too long before I get antsy and have to get up and move around and the moment I do that… three hours gone!

I’ve been writing in 20 minute blocks because writing in anything longer makes it too hard to get started right now, and anything shorter means I spent way too much time on breaks. (It’s like the timer is a break trigger. I find it nearly impossible to ignore and simply restart it for another session. I have to take that break.)

All that said, today’s goal is actually 3,600 words, for reasons too convoluted to get into. :D

Anyway, I’ve dragged this out and I meant to just post a quick goal, so there. :)

What I actually ended up with: 569, working on one story.

Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 1)

I’m thinking about starting a series of daily posts where I post my goal for the day in the morning (ish) and then try to meet it.

I have a tendency to set big goals that are hard for me to meet, but I’m thinking that’s a feature, not a flaw, of my process, because I also tend to stop the moment I reach a goal and lose all my interest in doing more. I can tell myself a hundred times that the goal is a minimum, but it doesn’t matter when I get there, I see it as goal accomplished and disengage.

This is my test run of this so we’ll see how I feel about it at the end of the day (and tomorrow, when I have to remember to do it again). :D

Today’s goal: 3,200 words.

What I actually ended up with: 2,088.

That’s a decent word count for me!

An opportunity to learn from an experienced writer for cheap :D

I pledged on a Kickstarter today, for the first time, but I couldn’t pass it up.

I’ve listened to some of the lectures from Dean Wesley Smith in the past and found them of value, and the stretch goal rewards (that they’ve already activated) are just too good to pass up.

When I saw the latest post about it and realized time was running out and that there were some seriously good reasons to go ahead, I went for it.

As I’m kinda (very) broke-ish at the moment, I did the $5 pledge. The financial consequences of my bad year finally hit hard and I’m scraping by until I can reap the rewards of finally getting better and writing (and publishing) enough to get the money flowing again.

Things are improving, but man, I really wish I could write faster. :D

 

August 2019 progress

I had a nice recovery in August. Not a fantastic word count for the month by any means, but a vast improvement over June and July. In fact, in August, I wrote more words than in June and July combined.

I finally finished a short story I started a few months back, and started another one. I’m still not working on the novel I set aside for the short stories, but I’m going to try to get back to it soon.

I still just don’t know what it is about that story that has me stumped, but it’s clear to me that I’m suffering from project block of some sort on it. It might be that the only way through it is to dig in again and just keep pushing until something gives.

That worked for the short story. I restarted it something like five times before I finally wrote something I wanted to be writing.

August words: 24,113.

My August word count was nothing to be unhappy about, even if I wanted to accomplish a bit more.

  • My writing daily streak is alive and well. I haven’t had a zero word day since 8/5.
  • My editing daily streak is alive. I’ve read and edited a little something every single day since I started that on 8/7.

On the other hand, I’m not sure the daily editing is serving the purpose I want it to serve.

I’m still going to read the entire story I just finished writing, despite having read through it a number of times now as I went. In the end, I don’t trust myself not to have missed something, and I can’t let go of the need to read it through from the start right before publishing. It’s just how I have to do things to feel comfortable letting it go.

We’ll see if I continue to find the daily editing a useful habit. I don’t think it hurts anything, but I just can’t see where it’s really helping either. As I become more prolific, it might pay off. We’ll see.

Onward to September.

Active streaks update

Active streaks:

  • Day 20 of writing fiction every day
  • Day 19 of editing my in progress fiction every day (typo hunts and continuity checks that aim to make finishing my books easier and the last read through more likely to go quickly). I really do prefer to do this away from my computer, so I’m more likely to notice missing words and other embarrassing mistakes. :D (A clock and a cock are very different things, and yet spell check doesn’t care about that at all. :D)

A follow up on the inactive stuff at this point:

I’m going to stop reading every day. I’m a binge reader and I started to notice after 3 weeks of daily reading, my reading breaks were getting longer and longer. Eight hours of reading a day is not what I had in mind when I started this streak!

I do think the regular little doses of fiction reading have helped me tame my perfectionist streak but sacrifices must be made. I have to do what I can to limit the things in my life that stop me from writing. I love reading. I would read all day every day if I could.

If I fall into a binge reading cycle now, I’ll be lucky to write a page a day for however long it lasts. In fact, these reading binges are usually what lead to my long zero word day streaks. I’m crying a little inside about that but it is what it is.

I have to start the 1,000 words a day streak over, so it’s not a streak at all yet, because I had two days where I barely wrote a thing. I don’t know that I’m going to try to get any other streaks going at this point. I think two is enough for now.

The 24 minute sprint every day before noon is dead, if only because I’ve decided I need longer sessions if I want to get into flow. And I do. And if I want to get in more writing time every day, I have to do longer sessions, because for some reason a 10 minute break for me usually ends up being more like an hour (or 6 hours of reading (told you it was a problem)) and I can’t have that either.

So, longer sessions, fewer breaks, more flow.

That’s where I’m at right now, and it’s time to get back to writing. I’ve used this to put off my second 50 minute session long enough. :)