June 15–27 progress

Oh dear. June has really been a down month for me. After such a run of good writing days, I’m pretty bummed to be honest. However, I didn’t fall completely off the wagon. I just slowed way down.

I am kind of stuck on my current project, and I’ve been writing some short stuff while I let it rest. I need to decide if it’s time to cut back to a previous point and go at it again, or just push through. I can’t seem to make that decision, but I know something is wrong and my brain just isn’t letting me move forward until I figure it out.

This is kind of an intermediate progress post and I’m hoping that spelling it all out this way will help me move forward tomorrow.

I still have time to get to about half my monthly goal if I push myself a bit over the next three days.

We’ll see if it happens. :-)

June 15–27 words written: 4,435

June 1–14 progress

Lots of things have kept me from writing as much as I wanted to have written in the first half of the month. Was it inevitable that I would slow down after two 50,000 word months?

Hardly!

I think it’s just that there are a lot of things finally hitting now that June is in full swing, like the daughter being home from college, and the publishing of a book and a computer glitch and myriad other little things that all add up to big distractions.

The “no sweets rule before 1,000 words” is still in effect, but not even it seems to be making a dent.

I was very much right not to think I’d had some miraculous breakthrough. It’s really just been all about taking things one day at a time and letting myself write as much as I can on those days when things are going well. Unfortunately things haven’t been going well for multiple days in a row this month.

June 1–14: 5,823 words.

That’s an average of 416 words a day.

I can do a lot better than that. I’m hoping I can up my word counts enough in the second half of the month to still make it to 50,000.

It’ll be tough, but that’s only 16 days of writing and then things can ease up again. We shall see.

On the topic of speed

I read a lot. I think I’ve mentioned that. :)

I use feedly to keep up with blogs and magazines that interest me, and Pocket to keep articles for later reading, and I still do a lot of reading in my web browser on my phone and at the computer, too. I don’t do much of this reading on my tablets, but that’s because if I have a tablet in hand, I’m usually either reading a book, or I’m proofreading one of my own books. :D

A newer follow for me is The Daily Journal. Like Dean Wesley Smith, Harvey (The Daily Journal’s writer) is an advocate of the “writing should be fun and don’t let the critical voice get in your way” philosophy of writing, one I happen to follow myself.

If you can, take the time to read The Daily Journal. It’s full of interesting tidbits of writing knowledge, distilled into small daily topics.

I don’t always agree with everything he says, but that’s mostly by degrees.

In one of his recent entries, he mentions speed (a topic I have written at length about here on the site in one post or another), bringing up the 1,000 words an hour thing.

(Who started the myth that to be a pro you need to write 1,000 words an hour or consider yourself inadequate? I’m going to have to go looking for that one day, just to see if I can figure it out.)

I happen to wish I wrote at 1,000 words an hour with any kind of consistency at all but, alas, I do not. My brain just isn’t wired that way, and I’ve only finally come to that conclusion in the last year or three, after trying for many, many years to write faster.

Have I mentioned that I’ve been writing fiction since I was a teenager (pre-teen, even) and that I was a teenager when Quantum Leap was a first run show? Yeah, it’s been a while. :D

Anyway, I feel like I do have enough lifetime experience to know myself in this, and I am sad to say that 1,000 words an hour is a blazing fast speed to me, and I reach it only in the most intense writing sessions. Some writers are blessed to be able to get their thoughts in order and get them down in a coherent fashion at speed. I am apparently not one of those writers.

I make do.

I don’t get to write for 1–3 hours a day and call it done—it’s certainly more like 8-10 for me if I can keep myself sitting still for that long. But I’m okay with that. I enjoy what I do, and I have fun with my characters and I don’t spend much time anymore comparing myself to other people.

The number one thing that gets in the heads of most writers is that tendency to compare themselves to other writers.

Don’t do it. Really. You aren’t likely to find anything good at the end of that rainbow. :)

And if you don’t write at the blazing fast speed of 1,000 words an hour, but you enjoy your writing, and you aren’t slowing down because you think you need to fix things and are cycling back through your text excessively, then really, really don’t let the myth of the 1,000 words an hour writer get in your head.

That’s all. :D

Now, I’m going to go write my book. I’ll probably get a few short bursts in that reach 1,000 words an hour, but by the end of the day, I’ll probably be in the 500 words an hour range, as usual. :)

But I’m going to get lost in my story, and I’m going to have fun anyway.

Not so fast, a Joplin versus OneNote update

Joplin, as much as I wanted to love it, just isn’t ready for me. I’ve been testing it pretty heavily to look for break points that could be a deal breaker for me, and I’ve had several issues crop up with the program that have made me finally decide I’m going to have to pass on this for a while and maybe check it out again in the future. Maybe.

It’s taken me a while to get to this point, but I’ve learned my lesson more times than I should have about jumping wholesale into something new if it’s not super easy to go back, and while there are things about OneNote that I don’t like, there are also a lot of things I do like.* So there was no reason to jump too fast and I’m glad I didn’t.

I suspected something was going on recently, and had finally committed to copying the notes and web clippings that I’d taken exclusively in Joplin out to OneNote, when I came across the biggest issue to date for me.

Joplin lost images from the web clippings I took. I was able to go back and reclip the pages into OneNote, but yeah, I really can’t have things go missing once I save them. The issue is a known issue that’s since been fixed, but the problem is that all the notes that lost the images can’t really be recovered, since I would have to go through them one by one and figure out which had lost images and then import from the backups. Definitely not worth the trouble, and not necessary, for me.

So there you go. Consider this my update on Joplin. I’m not switching. It’s just not ready for me. I definitely prefer a set it and let it go solution for my notekeeping.

* I like that OneNote can export entire sections to a Word file. I do my backups of OneNote not as OneNote files (I have a backup of that but I don’t consider it my notes backup, if that makes sense) but as Word docs.

May 2019 progress

I wanted May to be my best month ever, and it wasn’t.

I did succeed in making it to 50,000 words again, so in a way it was my best month, because in May I finally broke through to two months of 50,000 words in a row and I wrote more fiction in May than in April (there was an extra day in the month but my daily average was also better by 21 words).

May also came in as my best month in 2019 (so far), and I set a new record for myself by writing 6,606 words on May 7th.

And I finally published a book this year. :-)

Of course I’m going to try to beat all that with June so maybe those records won’t last long. :)

The most amazing aspect of the no sweets until 1,000 words thing is that it helped me fight off the usual problems I have with publishing something and then getting back to writing. I wrote about some of that in my May 1–16 progress post. I didn’t lose too much time to publishing tasks (I make a huge effort to do as little as possible here anyway—I like some aspects of the publishing phase, but there are a lot of things I just don’t bother with because I hate doing them) and I didn’t get out of the habit of daily writing (which I’m doing most often in the morning now because I am usually desperate for something sweet by noon, even though I rarely get anything til later).

Forcing myself to write early (for the sweets) has meant my focus is better and has pretty much broken my habit of waiting until later in the day to write and just being too tired.

I wrote a couple of good posts here on the blog, too, one about trusting yourself with your story, and one about how to make life easier for your indie publisher self.

Words written in May: 52,460.