Back in 2018, I finally reached my goal to write 6,000 words in a day. I beat that word count in 2019, but I still didn’t break out of the 6,000 word range. I’m hoping to reach 7,000 in 2020, even if it’s just one time, so this is my post marking that goal. :)
I’m changing the way I title these posts for my own benefit. I want the day in there so I can keep track of where I am in the week, and I like the way “progress” fits in my mind better than “daily post” which feels like an obligation. This is a blog, and it’s a very casual one at that, so putting that feeling of obligation in there takes something I like and makes it unpleasant. I still plan to do a daily post, I’m just changing how I view them, internally. :)
(I have since changed my mind a bit on this. I’ve retitled these posts “Daily writing – ” because I think it accomplishes the same thing but separates them a little better from my “progress” posts. Basically, “Daily writing – ” doesn’t feel like an obligation to post, it feels like an opportunity to talk about the daily writing.)
Now, on to today’s progress.
I wrote 238 words today, and I had to jump to one of my other stories to get started, because I’m still not in the mood to write on my novel even though I really need to get this thing done. I wrote 104 words on the short story (same one as yesterday) and then switched to the novel and started weaving together those parts I’d written out of order that I mentioned in yesterday’s post, and that’s how I got the rest.
The No More Zero Word Days streak is up to 174 days now, far exceeding my former 122 day record. I’ve had some days where I just wanted to drop it, but I’ve managed not to do that. Re-reading that post I linked to reminded me of why this time is different and it’s given me some added motivation to keep going.
Tonight, I start reading through my previous days’ writing in the mornings and at night again. I’ve found that helpful in the past, because it keeps me grounded in my story.
This is what some people would probably call cycling, except I do it on my phone. I highlight stuff that needs fixed (missing words, etc) and then those are the things I do first when I open the computer to write. This is exactly how I do my final read through and copy edit. Send my book to my phone or Kindle tablet and read it like a book, adding highlights and notes to things that need fixed. Works like a dream. :)
On to tomorrow.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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!
Notes on the challenge:
- Only true zero word days count as zero word days, meaning—
- Negative numbers aren’t zero word days because they just indicate that I deleted more than I wrote.
- I don’t want oodles of negative word days, because forward progress matters a lot more than just logging a number that isn’t a zero, but I also don’t want the same issues that I had with my “no sweets before 1,000” to crop up either—the issue of needing to delete something but hesitating because I wanted to get my 1,000 words in so I could have a treat!
All that said, things are going well! I just need to get my daily word counts up to where I would like them to be, 1500-3000, and I’ll finally be satisfied. :D (Really? Who knows! But I’m going to pretend.)
Yesterday, I helped my daughter move back to college and now I can’t be blaming other people for my lack of concentration and writing. It’s all on me.
Today is a super quiet day here and I plan to enjoy it by writing the day away.
Days 1–11: 7,104 words*
Day 12: in progress!*
* Edited because I had those days and word counts all wrong. What the heck?! I have no idea how I messed that up. Never mind. I totally forgot this wasn’t a monthly update but was for the challenge only. The numbers were right the first time!
Yesterday, I logged my day so I could try to keep my concentration focused on writing. Didn’t work exactly the way I hoped, because I only ended up with 1,075 words for the day when I’d aimed for considerably more. But—
I have found my new challenge. I did a quick little formula in my word count spreadsheet today and realized that the number of zero word days I have is exactly 999. One look at that number and I knew I wanted to see how long I could keep that from turning over to 1,000 zero word days. So that’s my 2019 challenge. I don’t want that number to tip over to 1,000.
Simply put, the “no more zero word days” challenge is back. It’s one of my oldest and I’m happy to bring it back to life.
This little challenge is all the motivation I need to keep my current fiction writing streak alive.
8/5 was the 999th zero word day I’ve had since I started my daily tracking.
8/6 I wrote 119 words and that day began my current streak of daily fiction writing.
Since I wrote that, I realized (this morning) that the 999 included yesterday’s zero before I started writing, so in actuality, I have 998 zero word days. I’m just going to count that extra day as a cushion that I hope not to need before the end of the year.
My last zero word day was 8/5, so I now have a four day writing streak. It’ll be five in about five minutes. :)
I did it! The goal I set out to meet this month has been met. But not only did I cross the 50,000 word mark for May after having written 50,000 words in April, I also finished a short story last night doing it. :)
Now, there are three writing days left in this month, and I’m not sure I’ll reach the 2,000 words per day average I had hoped to reach this month, but I can still make this my best month to date.
My current record high word count for a month (fiction only, remember!) is 57,249 from back in April 2016. As of last night, I’m sitting at 50,262 words for May. I need 6,988 words to beat that. A solid 7,000 would be better than a one word bump. :) So I need to write more than 2,333 each day of these last three days to do it.
I’m going to try.
I have five days left in May. I’m 5,286 words from reaching 50,000 for the month. That’ll be a record set, because I’ve never written 50,000 words of fiction two months in a row.
So of course, I really want to get those words. Restarting would mean two months of writing to get close again.
I’m also still hopeful I can bring up May’s average to 2,000 words a day, although every day that passes this close to the end makes it quite a bit harder.
But there’s hope!
If I can go ahead and reach 50,000 today, I would have the first record set and out of the way, and I would be a lot closer to that 2,000 words per day average I want for May. :-)
So today I’m giving myself a challenge to write 5,286 words, which will put me at 50,000 words for May.
Writing 5,286 words in one day is a stretch for me even when the writing is going really well.
But it’s a challenge, and I’m going to try, and that’s all I can ask from myself. Besides, anything over 2,000 will help. :)
I’ll post results sometime later.
In other news, yesterday marked 60 days in a row of finding time to write every day. I credit the new rule about sweets for that. Without a doubt, it has made a huge difference for my recent word counts and daily writing efforts. (And I’ve lost weight instead of gained, which is really nice—morning sweets were obviously more of an issue for me than I had even realized.
Update: I didn’t do it this day, but I did get my 50,000 in May!
Here’s the thing: I think I have a kidney stone. I also think it’s making its way out of my body so I’m not in as much pain as I could be and the worst of it was definitely back on Tuesday/Wednesday. It’s Sunday now and I’ve lost oodles of writing time to this, even though I’ve actually written more than usual!
Well, I’m in a particularly good place mentally for the writing I think and would have probably written a lot more if I hadn’t been hurting.
That’s what I think. I could be totally wrong. I do seem to perk up when I’m in pain. Weird, I know. So maybe the pain itself is causing me to be more focused (in pain, not sick—there is a definite difference—if I were sick, there would be no focus!).
Anyway, long story short, I really need to finish this book, so today I am going to try to stay focused on writing and write as much of this book as I can. My record word count for a day is 6,241 words. I don’t know that I can beat it, but I think it’s the right day to try.
I’m going to post my progress as the day goes on to try to keep myself focused on the writing and moving the book forward.
My biggest concern is that I’ll fall into a cycle of perfectionism, become too critical of what I’ve written / am writing and end up rewriting or redrafting stuff. That kind of thing will make it impossible for me to write more than a couple hundred words an hour, and that’s a fact. That kind of pace will not let me make the kind of progress I want to make today, so I’m saying it now: NO SECOND GUESSING MYSELF TODAY.
It’s time to let the words flow!
1st check-in: 674 words.
Things are going well enough. I had a longer break than I should have taken when I stopped for lunch so I’m just now getting back to the writing, but I did start at noon and have a lot of day left so it’s not the end of the dream by any means.
2nd check-in: 1,149 words.
A sudden surge in word count accounts for the change. Things are going well so far. Not in the direction I had thought but I’ll take it. :)
3rd check-in: 1,530 words.
The story is still going well. I’m going to have to be careful of my critical side because if I start wanting to turn back and go a different direction I’ll lose a lot of momentum (and words!).
4th check-in: 1,732 words.
5th check-in: 1,832 words.
I need a break for supper soon so I’m going to get a few more words then stop for a little while. I can’t say I’ll be back. I’d definitely like to continue but I don’t think I’m going reach my challenge word count. Miracles happen, sure, but I’m still suffering here with frequent bathroom visits (kidney stone, remember?) and some unpleasant back pain, and I’m really starting to itch for a long break.
Because it’s getting on into the evening, I’m not sure how I’ll cope with stopping and restarting. But that’s for a later worry. Right now, more words. I have twenty or so minutes before my oven timer goes off for some small red potatoes and zucchini I put in to roast. Good food to make me feel better. :)
6th (and final) check-in: 1,883 words.
It’s the next day that I’m writing this final check-in note, because I was right to suspect I wouldn’t make it back. I ended up going to bed early (for me) and sleeping off and on for 10 hours. I felt worse last night but better today so I’m going to try this little challenge again.
Day 15: I wrote 496 words for the NANO book (1,569 words total for all my fiction).
I really did plan to write more for the NANO book today after I finished my other book (which I did, so YAY!), but in the end I think I was just too tired after all the writing yesterday and the mad dash this morning to finish.
Unfortunately, this means I’m still behind, and falling further.
I am hoping for a better tomorrow.
Currently, my words per day average for November is 1,861. Let’s see if I can get it up to 2,000 and get this newly finished book ready to publish before the end of the month.
ETA: added a few more words after the fact, so I’ve updated the totals. :)
I don’t think I went into this in my last post, but I have recently made a small change to my 2,000 words a day plan.
I’m aiming for 2,400 words a day instead.
Not because I want to actually average 2,400 words a day, because that has not changed. A 2,000 words a day average is still my overarching goal. But writing 2,400 a day means I won’t have to think so much about getting ahead or playing catch up if I miss a day here and there. That’s the big reason for this and I think it will work well in the long-term.
Even though I have yet to have one 2,400 word day since I started my plan.
I haven’t had a 2,000 word day either since my last on 8/20, so yeah. :D
But I have a plan!
It almost worked yesterday, too, but in the end, I let too much come between me and the writing.
Plus, the writing is actually not going great because I had to go back to chapter nine and do something I hate doing (restart a scene that’s already part of the book), because I wrote the chapter in the wrong view point. I recognized it when I just kept going back to the start of that chapter trying to figure out why I had no interest in that scene and why I couldn’t seem to move forward and why it felt so flat. I tried a couple of different openings for the scene, and in one, it just came out in another character’s view point, and I just knew then that I had solved the problem. :D
Sometimes these things are just hard to see because we’re so tied to what’s already there.
Today, I hope my plan will get me to the 2,400 words I want.
15 minute sessions, in blocks of 4. Same set up as I mentioned in the timed sessions are back post.
It worked well yesterday to keep me writing and focused, and I’m excited to use it again today.
2,400 words at a 400 WPH (words per hour) pace is 6 hours of timed writing. That’s a lot, but that’s at the slow end of the scale.
At a more peppy 600 WPH pace, these 2,400 words will take me 4 hours of timed writing. Doable, and not an insane work load, by far, even knowing I take 1.5 to 2 hours just to get 1 hour of writing done.
If things are going really well, and it does happen, at a speedy 800 WPH pace, 2,400 words take only 3 hours. I will be pushing for this as often as I can, to give me more time for reading/studying/learning/cover design practice and publishing stuff. :D
We’ll see how this plays out during my writing sessions today, but I am hopeful.
I really need a breakthrough with this thing, because I’m serious about making this 2,400 words a day work. I have so many books to write and I want them all written yesterday! This is the next best realistic option for me.
Back in June of 2017, I wrote a post in which I said:
I’ve quit and restarted my coffee habit many times over the course of my life. It’s finally time for me to commit to making a lifelong change. I like coffee but the caffeine and even the coffee itself isn’t doing me any favors these days.
This post is my written commitment to ditch coffee for good—forever.
No more coffee.
If I’m remembering the timing correctly, that lasted about six months. The problems that led me to decide to ditch coffee and caffeine went away, so when I started wanting coffee, I gave in to the desire to drink it and was surprised to find that none of the issues that I’d been dealing with returned.
I’m not even confident anymore that coffee or caffeine itself was the culprit to begin with.
I’ve gone back to drinking two or three cups of coffee a day. Honestly, I can’t say exactly what changed, but I’m having zero issues with the coffee or caffeine at the moment. I do make sure I stick to my limits.
Two or three cups a day is enough. :D
I’ve pulled this from my previous post, because I want to isolate it and remember my reasoning.
I’ve decided pretty definitively (sure sounds like it, huh?) that I’m going to try again to start averaging 2,000 words a day. Not just as an average though, but as a “more days than not” thing.
I have books I want to write, sooner rather than later, and I’m just not writing them as fast as I want to. I mean that. I want to write these books sooner than I’ll ever be able to write most of them if I don’t improve my daily average. Not to say that I wouldn’t appreciate an increase in income, but I really want to write these books and other books, and more books, and just… I want to be prolific as a writer. Don’t ask me why. I don’t really know, and even though I’ve thought of a thousand reasons why it might be, none of those reasons feel right to me. I just know I want to do this. I want to be prolific.
And there’s a reason 2,000 words a day feels prolific to me.
2,000 words a day gets me 730,000 words a year, and that’s 14 books of about 52,000 words each. Some could be shorter, some longer. The actual average for all my novels is 60,844 words. But even at 60,000 words for every book I were to write, 2,000 words a day would still allow me to write 12 books a year.
At 12 books a year, I would get through all the books I’d like to write in about 3 years.
That’s where I’d like to be.
2,000 words a day.
This should also work well with my 12–4 writing schedule.
I average about 500 words an hour. Not all the time, but enough of the time that I shouldn’t have to push too hard all the (damn) time to average writing 2,000 words a day.
Synergy, if you will, between my actual speed of writing, the time I want to spend writing, and the actual number of words I want to write on an ongoing basis. Can’t ask for a better plan than that.
Today’s writing forecast: cloudy, stormy, but not without hope. ;-)
A rainy day always makes for a good writing day, as far as I’m concerned.
I need to write at least a couple thousand words today, or I need to just admit I’m not going to finish this book anytime in the next three months.
Low word counts are bogging me down again, and several days of interruptions that shouldn’t have been interruptions have distracted me. My focus is not where it needs to be, and my ability to concentrate has taken a sharp hit. But it’s nothing I can’t overcome. These distractions are to some extent self-inflicted and I have to ability to limit them.
Writing feels hard right now and that’s making it too easy to give up. So today’s primary challenge will be to ignore the hard stuff and just enjoy coming up with a fun story.
Caveat: I’m trying to finish a book, so if I finish it before I reach 3,000 words today, I’m calling it a win, full stop. :D
I meant to start writing much earlier today. I’m very happy with my progress now that I’ve gotten into a groove with the 500 words a day challenge (let’s just call it that for ease of reference), but I have goals and that 500 words a day isn’t a goal. It’s a daily minimum requirement. Not the same thing at all.
Because I want to finish this book ASAP and move on to something new, I’m planning to write 3,000 words tonight, despite the fact that I’ve put off starting until now, at 4:50 p.m.
I went into this whose spiel about how I was going to do this, but axed it.
It doesn’t matter how I think I’m going to do this. I’m just going to start writing and do it.
I’ll be back later to post updates, because I love posting updates. :)
#1 – Not going well. My word counts are terrible because I’ve spent most of my time rethinking/rewriting/redrafting the scene I should have finished already. It’s kicking my butt.
#2 – Well, I’m up to 332 words. I stopped counting the time and I’ve just been writing, trying to get this pain in the butt scene right.
Final – I made it to 503 but it was hard! I deleted so much stuff that I had to write a lot more than 503 just to get there. But I did. :-)
Now, to stop this rewriting bullshit and get this book done tomorrow…
Earlier, I said I was hoping to write 3000 words tonight. That still stands. But I’m setting a deadline to finish this by 9 p.m. I’ve stayed up too late too many nights in a row (and can’t sleep late to save my life) and I need a good night’s sleep tonight.
As long as I make an effort, when 9 p.m. comes, I’m going to stop and spend the hour before bed relaxing instead of trying to keep myself awake to write.
I definitely need an early night tonight. :-) It should be a nice little reward for a productive evening. (And I will not let myself watch hours of TV the way I did a few nights ago! Maybe a simple one hour documentary on something I can use in one of my stories.)
Anyway, I’ll track my progress here, so I can have some accountability as tonight’s deadline approaches.
I’ve done four 15 minute sessions and have added 469 words to my story. Wish it were more but overall I’m pleased with my progress.
Did some chatting with family on Hangouts and now I’m staring at the time wondering how I’m going to find the energy to write from now until 9 and knowing I can’t just give up yet. I’m not at 500 words yet and I really wanted to get a lot closer to 3,000 than this tonight.
Alrighty. Time to regroup. I’m just going to take a quick break and then write until 9 with the timer timing me instead of counting down. I’ll be back at 9 for a final report.
I reached 505 words by 9:08 p.m. and called it a night.
Today I’m starting work on my book much later than I planned. Mostly because I’ve spent too much of the day thinking about a decision I made a couple days ago and trying to decide if it’s the right one. I’ve finally decided it is.
Tuesday, I decided to lower my minimum word count for a day to 500 words. That was a good call, I think. My average daily word count is 614 words. Since I have a complete record of every day’s word count since mid-2012, this isn’t a guess. This is my actual daily word count average for more than 5 years of writing.
That said, just because I’ve averaged 614 words a day for 5 years doesn’t mean 500 words a day should be a no-problem, no-trouble, easy daily goal for me. Averages are just that: averages. And averages never tell the whole story.
Consistent daily writing is still a major problem for me. I do not do well with long term daily writing. My longest streak to date is 122 days and I had to count many days of less than 100 words to even get that.
Writing 500 words a day, every day, will be a considerable challenge. But I don’t think I can go any lower than that, just because it doesn’t feel reasonable and it doesn’t feel like a challenge. It feels like giving up.
Daily, it’s only a small win, but 500 words a day will get me a book of average size (50,000 words) in 100 days. Meaning even if I totally fail at all else and ONLY write the 500 words a day every day and never one word more, I’ll write more words in the next 12 months than I wrote in the last two years combined by a little more than 40,000 words.
That’s a win, no matter how I look at it.
And my hope is, as always, that this small win will drive me to write more and reach some of the bigger goals I have.
Every time I write more than 500 words a day, it’s going to push my average up, and I’m going to get that much closer to my long-term goal of being a prolific writer. I can’t ask for much more than that considering where I’m starting from.
But I have to start somewhere and becoming a consistent daily writer is where I’m choosing to start.
The fact is, a small win is better than no win, and I have to start focusing on action if I want to change.
This isn’t just a post about intentions; this is a post of action! I made this minimum word count change two days ago on Tuesday. On both Tuesday and Wednesday, I successfully met this challenge with 517 words and 533 words, respectively.
Yay! I have a new writing streak going. :-)
Now, it’s time to go write and keep this thing alive.
Update: Yep, I did it. 520 words for the day.