Have I Mentioned That I Procrastinate?

I procrastinate on a lot of things, not just writing.

So, today’s the deadline for the health insurance stuff at Healthcare.gov. I have health insurance, but I’ve been debating the benefits and cost of the different plans in the marketplace. Many offer better benefits than those I currently have, although even for the least expensive plan that has almost no additional benefits over my current high-deductible plan, it’s still more costly.

So basically I’m one of those people who aren’t benefiting from lower premiums in any way. I get the same coverage (nearly) for about twice the price. Yeah. You can see why I’ve been  in a hurry to get this done.

Anyway though, I decided I might want to go ahead and pay up for a plan that meets the requirements or I’ll just have to do this next year when my plan expires. I’ve already been warned that when my renewal date comes up I’ll have to choose another plan. And I’ve just about decided that at my age, it might not be a bad idea to get more coverage.

But of course, today is the last day to sign up, so the website isn’t working. And of course, although I started my enrollment well over a month ago, I did wait until today, the last day, to finish it up because that’s just the way I roll. :D Guess I’ll keep trying as the day goes on…

Revisiting Motivation

I’ve been reading Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us (Daniel H. Pink), and although I’m not very far into the book, there’ve been a few lines that have stood out as particularly relevant to me.

“Rewards can deliver a short-term boost—just as a jolt of caffeine can keep you cranking for a few more hours. But the effect wears off—and, worse, can reduce a person’s longer-term motivation to continue the project.”

Of course, the first thing that happened when I read this was I had a strong desire to go make myself a cup of coffee. Then I pondered on the words and it only took me a few seconds to realize I see this happening in my life, a lot. I push aside intrinsic motivation in favor of extrinsic motivation all the time.

I’m already wondering what else this book is going to suggest about the carrot & stick approach to motivation. It’ll be interesting to see if there’s anything here to change how I try to motivate myself to write more.

I Need To Spend More Time Studying Book Cover Design

I’ve been staring at book covers this morning, trying to decide what it is exactly that have made some of my covers okay versus great, passable versus attractive, and some of them just blah. My covers are all right, don’t get me wrong. No one’s said my covers suck and my books sell so they can’t be that awful.

My bestselling series has a set of covers that are based on setting and tone. No people, no icons, nothing that makes them blend into the books I seem to be selling alongside. But the thing is, my books aren’t quite like the books I’m selling alongside. So there’s that; they look a bit different because they are different. I haven’t decided if this is helpful or hurtful to sales. There’s a lot of action in my books, and these are strictly single viewpoint stories in a narrow genre rife with multiple viewpoint stories. All in all, I think the differences between my covers and the other covers aren’t hurting, but there’s really no way to tell without creating new covers for the series and … I don’t really want to do that. I like the style of covers I’ve created. I just wish they were better, as is. Book 1’s cover is the strongest, or I’ve always thought so, but book 3’s cover has been growing on me a lot and I’m starting to think it might be the strongest after all. The vibrant colors, and the tone just seem so right for the book. Book 2’s cover is weak. Very weak. I’ve never been happy with it and someday, even if I don’t do anything about the others, I do believe I’m going to have to revisit that cover.

My other series has covers that are more traditional. In fact, to my eye, when placed up against current covers, they look at bit dated. More like what I grew up with versus what’s hot now. I’m not sure how to fix that, other than just trying again. I’ll be writing the 4th book in that series this year, so maybe it’ll be time to try again with those covers. I don’t know. Seems like a pain in the ass I’m not ready for. :D

I do a decent job with the technical aspects of book cover design. I make them the right size and use the appropriate resolution. However, it takes me forever to get it set up right, but I do seem to get it done. In fact, I realized after my last cover that I was probably going overboard designing at 600 ppi with the largest stock photo art I could buy. I’ll still probably buy the big art because the incremental cost is tiny once you hit medium size and that’s usually the least you should buy anyway. Bigger art (and by that I mean higher resolution) gives me more options in the long run.

I have the most trouble setting up the covers for Createspace. They feel like torture.

My last cover took me 12 hours to put together and that was for the ebook only. I haven’t even attempted the Createspace version yet and I keep putting it off because I know it’s going to drive me insane getting it set up right. I keep trying to come up with a template, but it hasn’t worked yet.

I’ve collected a lot of links over time where I’ve studied book cover design to make sure I’m doing it right, but the truth is, I need serious help learning the actual art of book cover design. Art isn’t something I’m good with. I know what I like when I see it but I have no vision for it. And to tell the truth, my tastes also run contrary to a lot of what’s popular.

I could enjoy myself if I didn’t find the whole process so stressful and tedious. I’ve corrected and repaired photos before and did a great job of it in my opinion and didn’t find that stressful in the least. I was able to fix a huge tear in an 8×10 taken almost 38 years ago. The fixed version looks fabulous and you can’t even tell the tear was there. Doing that taught me how to use the cloning tools and coloring, and even how to do some minor drawing of my own when zoomed in to the full resolution. My 8×10 corrected copy looks great printed.

I guess I mention this because I want to say that I’m familiar with photo editing and Photoshop and I’ve even created some maps in Illustrator, although that was a long time ago and I use Gimp these days.

But I need a massive amount of additional education and YouTube is overwhelming when I visit with the intent of studying another bunch of tutorials—where to start?

I need to find a better place to study.

And practice more.

Maybe I should write more short stories so I can create more covers? Or allow myself to create more covers for one book, some wildly different concept designs, with the sole intent of just practicing more.

Practice. That’s really what it’s going to come down to, but I need something to base that practice on.

So, back to searching for design resources, I guess.

Plain White Ts, One Direction, and the Story of My Life

Come on. Is there some connection here that I don’t recognize? Because Story of My Life reminds me of a Plain White Ts song so strongly that it actually took me a week to realize the song wasn’t being sung by Plain White Ts—you know, at about the time I bought the mp3 from Amazon.

On another note, I’m not writing. Who the hell knows why. I’m totally in a shitty writing place right now and I don’t know why and even though I’ve spent the last 6 days doing nothing much but reading fiction, I still don’t feel better.

And that’s the story of my life…

Confession. A lot of writers talk about how they’re driven to write. Well, I’m driven to read. I write because I want to and I like it, but I’m not driven. If I could get paid to just sit and read everybody else’s stories, I’d probably write a short story or two a year and that’d be it.

Even writing fan fiction was hard for me. I liked doing it, and I was motivated by my interactions with my friends, but I didn’t feel driven to write those stories. I mean, I don’t think I did. My last big fan fic was for Grimm. I don’t have any Grimm fandom friends, but I only started with a very short piece but because of comments I wrote more, and then more, and more again. As long as the comments kept coming, I’d have probably kept writing, but I turned on to self-publishing just about the time I got most of the way done with my last Grimm fic and I moved on to writing original fiction again.

I wish I was driven. If that were the case, I’d probably be a lot less like I am now: constantly searching for the one true way, the one best system, the ultimate schedule that would make reaching my writing goals effortless. But maybe that’s my problem, having this idea that anything can be effortless. Is it all a myth? A dream? A falsehood propagated by self-help gurus and feel-good enthusiasts?

Sometimes writing does feel effortless. I guess it’s silly of me to think that effortlessness should be the way it feels most of the time. Instead, that feeling of effortlessness is something I’m always striving to attain (and it’s a damn lot of effort I put into that too!) but hardly ever reaching.

I often wonder if the writers who claim to be driven to write or die really are that obsessed or if it’s some kind of self-delusional mind game they play with themselves, or if they just don’t have enough other interests to hold their attention, or if they’re control freaks who love to read but can’t let go of the idea of how a particular story should go.

I’ve heard many times of the writers who started out because they preferred to write their own endings to stories they’d read. Never happened to me. I just started from scratch and wrote my own stuff. I didn’t start writing fan fiction until I’d been writing for nearly 10 years. Even when I first heard of it, I thought it was silly. And then I did it and discovered there was definitely fun to be had playing with characters and situations that had already been set up, and the what-if became my favorite pastime.

It’s a conundrum. Really.

Some days, I really hate writing.

Which is funny, because I really love writing.

And that’s the real story of my life.

OMW: Day 73

I need 3,272 words today. This is the day. The day. I’m going to break through that minimum, even if I have to work on 6 different stories to get there. In fact, I want today to be a 5,000 word day. Or 6,000. I don’t remember ever doing a 6,000 word day so that’d be great to break though that barrier.

So, late start. Kind of deliberate, although that wasn’t the plan when I got up. But I’m setting myself up to write as much as I can today and I don’t think I could’ve started at 7. I feel much peppier now though and I’m ready to go.

I’m starting the morning 352 words in the hole because of my short story. I haven’t actually deleted the words yet though because seeing them on the page will keep me from making the same mistakes (I hope!) and my music’s going. :D (Update: I didn’t have to delete those words after all! Yay!)

First goal? Finish the short story!

11:45 am: DONE! At over 3,000 words longer than planned, my short story is finished. :D Whew!

I’m at 576 words for the day.

Second goal? Finish the novella!

8:57 pm: I’m not done. The additions/fixes to the novella are coming along nicely, and I’m still writing, but I don’t know for how much longer. I had a lot more downtime than I planned when I set out my goals for the day.

I’m at 1,003 words. Way, way short of my goal today. Contemplating a major deletion so I can keep this new development tight in the story. I think it would work better, but I’m going to have to read through what I’ve got, so … good excuse to end here for some reading. :)

OMW: Day 72

Today’s going to be a great day—after my nap. :D

I need 3,261 words today.

7–9: 0*
12–4: 0**
8–9: 0***

I want to put the finishing touches on my short story and work in a great fix for my novella that I think will solve all my problems with that book, and then, maybe even get some of my 2014 novel #1 written today! Lots to do later.

And … later got later and later while I regretted not getting enough sleep last night, again. I’m tired and I just want to go to sleep and start over tomorrow.

But I’m not going to do that because I already know I’m not going to be a better person tomorrow, and I want to at least keep my 7 day streak alive and that means getting some words written today … and I got a few written and now I’m done. ;) Streak’s alive, but honestly, it’s kind of a joke. 40 words. And a note to myself to delete my last 352, so I’m going to start out in a major hole tomorrow morning. Yay! Something to look forward to.****

*Skipped so I could get some dental work done this morn, and now, it’s time for a nap so I can start fresh and energetic at 12.

**Well, that’s embarrassing.

***Ouch.

****Sarcasm abounds. Sorry. :)

OMW: Day 71

I need 3,254 words today. Still going up and I’ve got to get this under control ASAP.

7–9: 445
12–4: 775
8–910:30: 1,151

I didn’t get all my time in, because I stopped around 8:29 to research something and, uh, yeah. Time gets away. :D

Between 12–4 I really couldn’t concentrate and I had a lot of trouble staying focused. It felt very much like muscle fatigue! So, gotta work on those concentration skills—might be time to pull the timer out again just to keep me focused. :D I think I’ll do that for my 8–9 tonight.

OMW: Day 70

I need 3,245 words today.

I’m going to be quick, because I skipped my 7–9 block this morning. I felt guilty for about 5 minutes and then I didn’t. I wanted to read a book today, so I did. I have a lovely job!

Anyway, no time to linger. I’m about 17 minutes late and I want to use as much of my 12–4 block today to finish my short story! I’m sure I can get it done today, and I had a bit of a breakthrough last night on how to fix my novella—and it’ll require nothing but a sentence or two earlier in the book to set things moving in the right direction and then the rest of the scenes I need to get to the end. ;)

2:11 pm: I’m at 406.

Uh, yeah. I need a nap.

So, I don’t think I got enough sleep last night. 6 hours just doesn’t do it for me, and I didn’t nap. I’m taking a break and I’m going to come back a bit early instead of at 8 pm and try to get in another 2–3 hours before I call it quits today.

Or read another book. :D

Nah, just kidding! I need to finish my short story and I’m so close…

OMW: Day 69

I need 3,237 words today.

Plus some. Because I need to stop the upward creep of my goal and knock it down a bit too.

Extra goal today? Try to maintain at least 500 wph today.

Schedule is off because yeah, I’m just eating breakfast now, so no 7–9 session. However, I don’t really want a break already so I think I’ll just try writing from 9:30–11:30, then break, then try to get back on the schedule at 12.

And I discovered something promising this morning. I woke at daybreak, which is about half an hour or so earlier than sunrise. If I can just get up at daybreak, I’ll be a little behind (but not for long because spring’s on the way and daybreak is coming earlier and earlier every day), but maybe this won’t be as hard for the next few weeks as I was imagining. I just need to get in bed earlier so I don’t want to fall back asleep like I did this morning. :D

11:56 pm: I’m at 181.

I know! But the story is going well, I promise, and I’ve been working. :D This probably comes back to the issue I have where when I finish a story I have to actually be done with it. So as I get closer to the end, I start going back and fixing anything that needs fixing as the end ties things together. A lot of Oh, wouldn’t it be great if I had set this up better… or Shouldn’t I delete that reference because it contradicts this… stuff that I then go back and set up properly or delete. :D I really don’t mind. I do wish I was faster but I really enjoy this so I’m just grateful I’m having fun. I’m so close to finishing this one. It’s so exciting! Now, time to get back to work, it’s 12 pm already!

10:13 pm: I’m at 1,005.

I almost quit at 907 but I thought I’d like to at least finish over 1000 so I could start a streak or something so I pushed on through. I’m glad I did. But now I’ve got to go to sleep so I can wake up bright and early and get back to it. I didn’t have the opportunity today to use any of my free time for writing but I did get my evening hour in, getting a little more than 400 words written during that time! I missed an update somewhere in here but I was just under 600 words when I started my evening hour at about 9 (a little late).

Daylight Saving Time Is Ridiculous

Why do we let these people do this to us? Daylight Saving Time is ridiculous. As someone who can only easily get up once the sun’s come up, I think I’d just live on standard time year round and to hell with everyone else. Except I have kids still in school so that’s not exactly feasible. But someday, I tell you! Someday!

OMW: Day 68

I need 3,233 words today.

Still creeping up! I’ve got to start meeting or exceeding this goal—and soon.

9:59 am: I’m at 208.

Could definitely be better, but it’s going to wait until after a nap. I need one, then an early lunch, before I settle in. I need a lot of words today. :D

Sunrise was 7 am this morning, after being at about 6 am yesterday. As you can imagine, even though I went to bed early last night, I barely dragged out of bed at 7:40 am Daylight Saving Time. Ugh.

If it were yesterday, I’d have gotten started 26 minutes late. But since it’s today, I got started 1 hour and 26 minutes late. Sigh.

Good news is that I’m not really planning to stick to the schedule today anyway mostly because I want to get as much writing done as I can. I’m really enjoying this short story and I’m having so much fun that I woke up thinking about my story every time I cracked my eyes open. Those days had disappeared over the last few months and I’m so glad to see them back!

1:25 pm: I’m at 765.

I’m also coming up on the last 1,300 words of my short story and I definitely think I’ll make it to the end today. :D I really like it!

5:08 pm: I’m at 1,181.

If I’m going to make it to 3,233 today, I’m going to have to write a lot faster for the rest of the night than I’ve done so far. I really should’ve skipped the B&J margarita thingy with lunch. Now I just want to go to sleep. Also, this is the dark side of going off-schedule. Too little pressure to get somewhere before the next break. On that note, I’m taking a break until 6 pm and then going to write diligently from 6–9.

9:07 pm: I’m at 1,633.

I’m not all that thrilled about that, although I admit I got started about an hour late partially because of some unexpected interruptions. The other part of partially was entirely my own fault. And I actually stopped at 8:34 for a quick break and to update this post and discovered all my websites were down. Got a message off to support  and got distracted (entirely my own fault again) and then it was 9 pm. Gah.

I’m not fond of quitting when the writing’s still going, so I can’t decide if I should or shouldn’t call it a night…

I think I’ll give it until 9:30 but then it’s definitely over. I need to get to sleep on time tonight because I’d like to be on my schedule tomorrow. Although let’s be honest here, with the Daylight Saving time change still fresh, who knows what will happen in the morning. Until this morning, I’d been waking up without an alarm. I don’t see that happening tomorrow.

10:25 pm: I’m at 1,872.

Yeah. So I didn’t quit when I was supposed to. And I really can’t believe it took me that long to get another 200ish words! What’s crazy is I know I was zoning on this because that hour went by in a blink and I loved every minute of it, but man, if this is my zone speed, I better not plan on being a prolific author unless I want to spend 16 hours a day at the computer.

But I’m calling it now. I’ve got to get to bed. I can tell you now, though, that the schedule is off for the morning 7–9 session. Ain’t no way I’m getting up before 7 am. :D

OMW: Day 67

I need 3,225 words today.

Which, wow, considering that I didn’t maIke my goal last night, isn’t too bad. But 2 separate events today mean I’m going to lose at least 6 hours of potential writing time so I’ve got to be diligent with my time today. Off I go to write!

9:23 am: I’m at 653.

All of those words are on my short story, which is up to 5,749 words. Next goal? 1,500 by 11. Then I gotta do other stuff for a while. :D So I better get cracking.

11:21 am: I’m at 785.

I really wanted to be further along before I had to stop. Ah well. Better than 0!

4:17 pm: Ha. 6 hours of missed writing time was too optimistic. 1 event out of the way and I’ve already lost my entire 12–4 block plus some. I have just about an hour and a half I can use as writing time before the next interruption. I’m off to make good use of my time!

9:29 pm: I’m at 834.

I spent too much time messing around with what I’d already written and barely managed any new words before I had to go. Now that I’m back … I’m giving up! Tired and falling asleep at the keyboard. Just not enough time after getting home from the second event of the day and I was tired before I went.

OMW: Day 66

I need 3,222 words today.

My daily writing quota is still creeping up because I keep failing to make my minimum each day. I’m hoping to get a handle on this soon. But I’ve had to admit my novella was definitely the problem with my lack of motivation to write. The switch to working on the short story yesterday showed me that, and I woke up fired up and ready to write again today. I’m definitely going to have to finish that novella soon but I needed this break!

I’m enjoying writing that short story and since my self-imposed deadline for it was 3/31, I don’t feel that bad going ahead on it while the writing’s going well.

Ah, and I’ve just realized I can’t call this Finish the Book—Day 7 because although I’ve been writing, I haven’t been writing on my novella.

1:24 pm: I’m at 1,126.

Next goal? 3,000 by 4 pm. Let’s see if I can make it. 1 … 2 … 3 … Go!

3:50 pm: I’m at 1,986.

So yeah, not quite 3,000. But I have to pause the writing until about 6 pm at which point I’ll pick it up again because I have time for extra writing time tonight!

Yikes! It’s way past 6 pm because I got caught up in catching up on a forum I participate on. I’ve still got a good hour and a half before I have to hit the sack to get up at 6:15 in the morning so let’s see what I can accomplish. :D

10:41 pm: I’m at 2,414.

Better than yesterday—not anywhere close to where I want to be. It’s a win! :D

Finish the Book—Day 6

I need 3,219 words today. I’m sitting down with my hot cup of tea right now and getting to work.

Dear God, I really hope I can do this without embarrassing myself again. Seriously. I’ve got to break out of this funk before I go broke. :D

Update #1: I wrote til 9:15 am from about 8:13 am. My pace could be a lot better. I didn’t actually feel like I was moving that slow, but I spent way too much time going through my previous two pages trying to solidify where the heck I’m going with this scene. I’m at 194 words.

Update #2: I went back to writing at about 12:15 pm and switched to a short story I have going because I wasn’t happy with my progress on my novella. Then I had to stop because I got a headache and needed an aspirin. I took some time to try to nap away the headache, or at least let the aspirin kick in, and now I’m about to get back to it. I hate that I lost the time, but I don’t get headaches often, so I’m okay with having took the time to rest. My head feels a lot better and I feel refreshed. So that’s great. But I have a looong way to go to get to 3,219. Next goal? Write faster! I’m at 516 words.

Update #3: I wrote from about 3:20 pm to 6 pm. I’m taking a short break for food before digging back in and sticking with it until 8, so there’ll be one more update for sure. But all my writing this time has been on the short story, not my novella, but … I did want this short done before 3/31 so hey, it’s a win, right? :D My pace is still so far off my average that I have to wonder if my creative brain froze during all that unusual cold weather we had! :O I’m at 1,456 words.

Update #4: I forgot to put in my last update last night but here it is now. I made it to 2,319 words.

Not quite as many as I needed but a lot more than I’ve been getting and the most in nearly two weeks. So, I’m calling the day a win. :D

 

Finish the Book—Day 5

I took the original day 5 and 6 off. I’m just skipping them entirely and counting today as day 5, although I’m not sure I should. I mean, it’s already 4:28 pm and I haven’t written a thing other than this and I’m really not in a place where I can start right now so it’ll be at least a few hours before I can. Why do I do this to myself?

This is one of those days that started out with me being determined—determined, I tell you—to get things off to a great start and then … just not doing it. I have absolutely no explanation for why, other than that I just didn’t want to sit down and write.* I feel really bad about that now.

I need a better way to handle these setbacks. I’m sure not getting anywhere when I let them derail me for the entire day—or days, as the case may be! :o I’d rather not waste any more energy on guilt. So.

Here’s an idea. I think I’m going to have to accept that some days I’m just not going to stick to the schedule and that it’s okay to work outside my schedule on those days without that meaning my entire schedule is broken and needs fixed. Just try to do the schedule as often as possible, but if I screw up and don’t, then just concentrate on getting my word counts for the day any way I can. Because in the end, getting new words as often as possible is what really matters the most.

So. Now I have to make an effort to remember this thought every day so I can quit letting guilt sabotage me.

I need 3,208 words today. How close can I get to that considering the day I’ve had so far? It’s going to be interesting to see if I have any grit left at all. Sometimes I feel like I left it all back in 2013!

7–9: 0
12–4: 0
8–9: 0

Time deficit: 420 minutes

Pace: n/a

Unfortunately I wasn’t able to get to the writing. It’s 9:48 pm and if I don’t go to bed, getting up for an early start tomorrow would be out of the question. However, tomorrow I’m not going to be a different person than I was today, so I think I need a plan. Off to figure one out.

*I read another one of my books instead, the last of the series I’m supposed to pick up after I finish this one and the next one, but which could end up being my next book anyway. I feel much more drawn to that next story. Or maybe I’ll just try working on two books at once for a while to try to pump up my word counts. Less likely to get stuck when I allow myself more freedom.

Love the New Schedule; Of Course There’s a Problem

I’m still not getting started most mornings like I should and I’m consistently missing my 8–9 session.

High impulsiveness is a big part of this problem, I think. I always intend to get started right away in the mornings, but when it’s actually time, there’s just one more thing I need to finish up first before I can sit down and get to it.

I bailed on yesterday’s writing, and I skipped today deliberately. My kids were home from school again because of school admin days or some such thing, but I already know I can write with them around at least well enough to finish a book so I’m not sure why I took the time off. I shouldn’t have, but I did anyway.

It’s 8:41 pm and I’m writing this instead of writing fiction. Yeah. Not sure what I was thinking when I started this considering it was almost exactly 8 at the time. I can’t even believe it’s been 41 minutes and yet, objectively, I know it has been. Just how many paragraphs have I written and deleted to have only gotten a word count for this post of 189 in 41 minutes?!

Way too many!

I’m thinking of how I can mitigate these issues so I don’t start feeling like my schedule isn’t working for me. Just because I like it doesn’t mean it works and that would be a terrible shame considering exactly how much I do like it!

Tomorrow I need to make every effort to stick to the schedule and squeeze all the writing time out of it I can. It’ll be good for morale. ;) Maybe I can start a success spiral—and show some grit. Practice focusing.

Sounds like a plan!

Ghostery and Google Adsense Don’t Like Each Other

So, I’ve had this problem for a couple of months where I can’t login to my adsense account and since I actually got a payment recently I thought it might be time to figure out what’s wrong.

I tried a couple of things that didn’t work and then had the idea that maybe I should try Firefox instead of Chrome, and it worked right away. I looked at Chrome and thought about what might be different, and noticed my Ghostery icon in the top bar. So I disabled the Google Analytics blocking and Adsense loaded right up on Chrome.

Problem solved. Now I just have to remember to unblock Google Analytics when I want to login to Adsense.

Finish the Book—Day 4

7–9: 528
12–4: 1,278
8–9: 0

Time deficit: Who knows? I lost track when I couldn’t settle on what was to happen next in my book and I had to take a walk around the house. :D

Pace: really slow.

Well, I guess it could be worse, right? It was hard to stay focused this morning—I swear I already need a nap!—but I wrote something and that’s something to be grateful for. :D And it was kind of cute so maybe that’s okay too.

But … so glad it’s break time!

I’m not sure I’ve got any particular goals today except to figure out a way to end this book in a satisfactory way. Oh, and work my schedule.

I didn’t write from 8–9. Too tired. I think I’m fighting off a cold or something. I hope I’m fighting it off, anyway! I’ve also accepted that I’m going to have to add in some heart-pumping exercise to my days. I think the lack of it is making me feel puny. I’m going to fit it into my 9–12 break I think because I don’t really want to do it in my 4–8 free time. Too much already going on in there. It’s easy to forget that exercise is good for blood flow to the brain and can boost creativity. I need to remember that when I’m putting it off. A little vigorous exercise might speed up my writing!

Finish the Book—Day 3

Here I go dragging this challenge into March. Doesn’t matter, because I still need to finish this book asap!

7–9 & 12–4: 1,315
8–9: 0

Time deficit: 190 minutes

Pace: 343 wph

Not sure if I’m going to make up my time or not but I’m definitely planning to write every session, so there’s one more hour to go at this point. I’m really going to push for 1,000 words in that hour.*

I only need about 1,500 words to hit the word count goal I set for this book. The terrible suspicion that I’m going to go long on this book is getting stronger, because I don’t feel an end coming in what I’ve written. Honestly at this point, I’m not even sure I have a cohesive plot with this one, just a series of events that aren’t really leading anywhere specific, but I might try to get in some extra time to see if I can come up with something.

I might even do a cliffhanger on this one. I haven’t done that before, but I seriously do not want to go long on this particular book since it’s a pet project that I don’t expect to make me much money. It’s part of a continuing series so I wouldn’t be doing a disservice to the story, I don’t think, but I’d originally planned for the stories to each have some closure. Ugh. I wish I knew what to do!

Anyway, I’m glad things are moving again, but this has really made me wonder if my lack of any measurable writing mid-August through late December slowed down my writing speed. I feel like I’m trying to get back into a creative groove, but I don’t think it was smart of me to let myself take that long of a break. I work much better when I can keep myself working daily.

By the way, I’m loving—absolutely loving—this new writing schedule. It just might be the last schedule experiment I have to do for a long while! :D

*Well, that didn’t happen. I gave out early and I’m going to sleep. I’ll try harder tomorrow!