“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—Day 5

Am I never going to finish this book? I’m afraid I’m having a problem ending this one. I cried like a baby today writing a certain scene and it was a good scene, but I’m really not sure it deserved a tear-bath. :D And this is definitely not the first scene I cried during the writing of. It’s been a true snot-fest, let me tell you.

In other news, I’m only 2 hours into my 4 hours of writing! I don’t know what happened today. If I stay up to finish (which I need to do so I don’t create a habit of not finishing my time each day) I’ll end up short on sleep because I have a family thing tomorrow that means I can’t sleep past 7 am unless I cancel, or pretend I overslept on accident—which is a terrible lie and I feel like a terrible person even thinking of doing it! So I won’t. I’m good like that. :D

9:32 pm: 1,100 words after 2 hours

*Apologies in advance (and in arrears) for the torture I put tags through. They love me anyway. Just like my characters. :D

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—Day 4

Yay! I made progress again today. Boo! I only wrote for 2 hours and 20 minutes. I had dinner with a friend which was a 3 hour trip so I can forgive myself for not doing anything additional in the late afternoon and evening but I really should’ve got more done today.

4:40 pm: 1,431 words

Going to try to do better tomorrow, and while I don’t believe playing catch up is a good idea usually (because it almost never works when I try it), I might actually try tomorrow. I need to put in some extra time to get this book done and then I have other publishing things I need to do outside of the writing time. But that’s all assuming I get tomorrow’s 4 hours first.

My ultimate goal for this new 4 hours of writing a day is a 2,000 words a day average over the course of a month. Two days in, I’m sitting at 1,862 even with today’s 1 hour and 40 minute shortfall. (I did better than my 500 per hour yesterday and today both.)

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—Day 3

Aha! I tricked you. You thought I wasn’t going to post today, huh? Well, I was too busy writing. Or, you know, afraid I’d get distracted and not actually get any writing done.

I started the 4 hours a day writing thing yesterday and we know how I did with that. But today was a different story.

I wrote in 1 hour blocks, got 3 done by 3:30 pm. Started the 4th around 4:00 pm but gave up after 20 minutes. I finished that block a few minutes ago at 9:34 pm. :D

Today, I seemed to be on pace with my 500–600 wph average, and ended up with 2,292 words for the day. I’m not a pre-planner or plotter, so I guess I’m lucky I get what I get. I also don’t edit much later. I do my fixing up as I go. If I didn’t, I’d never finish a book because I can’t go back and do extensive work on a story after the fact. Just can’t do it. I’m not just making an assumption, either. I spent 20 years trying it the other way and yeah. Not a lot to show for it.

Now, since I’m in the middle of this Finish the Book! Challenge, I would’ve loved to have gotten in a few extra hours but I’m still very tired and coughing a lot, so I’m counting it as a major win that I got in my 4 hours of hard core writing.* The coughing is bad enough that I haven’t been able to nap the last two days because when I lay down, it’s all I do. I miss my nap. Sigh.

*I love calling it “hard core” writing. Makes me feel all tingly inside. :D 

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—Day 2

Definitely starting to feel better. I can tell a big difference today even though I’m still coughing a lot.  Hopefully the better feeling hangs around long enough to get four hours of writing in, but just in case, I’ve made a rule today that I can’t read KBoards until, or unless, I do.

I consider KBoards my leisure reading, although I don’t often participate. To be honest, I’d like to wean myself off the place, because I browse the boards more often than not to procrastinate. It could be social, but I don’t really do social there, so I can’t count that as a benefit. And although there is some good information there and some knowledgeable people, there’s also a lot of misinformation and plenty of posts that can make an author vulnerable to comparisonitis.* The Warrior Forum crowd has also started to take advantage of the naïveté of some authors on the board and that’s been sad to watch, and a little disheartening. Sigh. I should really just stop going there. :(

Anyway, happier thoughts!

I’m going to get my four hours in today, starting … right now!

10:15 am: 0
9:55 pm: 118

Uh, I’m innocent, I tell you. So. Yeah. I can’t explain what happened today, so I’m not going to try. Just know that I’m going to do better tomorrow. I spent a lot of time staring at my book. Just staring. It was kind of weird. I’m getting some extra sleep if I have to go back to bed in the morning to get it so I can have some energy. Goodnight.

*Swear I didn’t think comparisonitis was a real word (the spell check still doesn’t think it is), but then it showed up just fine on wiktionary. It’s always possible it’s still a fake word and someone just put it there to trick me. :D Ah, well. I’m tricked. I like it.

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—Day 1

Feeling better this morning. If I don’t write today, then I’m just making excuses. Yes, still coughing, but the nose is better by a significant degree and I actually have some energy this morning. I’m going to nap after my first session if I’m still sleepy (I am right now) but I want to get an early start and get some words down before I do. I did get my 100 words last night so my 100 words a day streak* is still alive.

I’m starting the day at 0 words. But wouldn’t it be cheating to start it any other way? :D

1:43 pm: 55 ← That’s not a typo.
9:50 pm: 214

Yeah, whatever. It stayed one of those days. I had about as much energy after I sat down at 8 am this morning as I had three days ago. I never did get going.

I tried getting some sun today during a cloudless fifteen minutes, thinking that might help, but it really didn’t. All I can do is try again tomorrow! And hope the pressure in my chest clears up some in the meantime.

*That little streak is a powerful motivator. I didn’t want to do anything last night, and yet I wrote because I didn’t want my streak to die over a measly 100 words. Since getting started writing is always the hardest part for me, my efficiency has been terrible for those 100 words. I don’t think I’ve managed one night where it didn’t take me over 45 minutes to get them. (I could blame the cold and my fatigue, but I don’t honestly think that was the problem with efficiency. I think it was the getting back into the story and trying to remember where I was going and how to get there.)

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—NOT Day 1 AGAIN

Feeling … okay. Not great, for sure, and I slept late because I just couldn’t get up after getting up a few too many times during the night so I could actually breathe. But I’m going to at least try to get something done today that involves my fingers, typing, and adding words to my book. :D Never give up, never surrender, as Jason Nesmith says!*

1:06 pm: 0

*I will always love that movie.

Yeah. Not day 1. Again.

I’m not going to announce the beginning date of this challenge again until I’m over this cold. Tomorrow will be sick day 7, so I’m hoping I’ll start to feel better soon. There were times today when I couldn’t even keep my eyes open and yet I couldn’t nap either because I couldn’t breathe, then I couldn’t stop coughing, then I couldn’t breathe again, then my eyes wouldn’t stop watering, then my nose wouldn’t quit running. And on and on it went. I wish I’d been able to just make myself write, but frankly, I was just too tired. I’m going to squeeze out my 100 words so I can keep my streak alive and then I’m going back to sleep.

If I wake up still feeling this bad tomorrow, I’m doing my 100 words and not even worrying about it. This has been a terrible, terrible cold. I know it’s not the flu (no real body aches and my fever’s been persistent but low-grade) but whatever it is, it’s kicking my ass. I don’t think I’ve had this kind of cold in a couple of years.

Or maybe it’s just that I specifically remember the day I woke up sick this time and I’m paying attention as the days pass because I really needed to be working on my book. :( I don’t know though. I don’t feel like I’ve been this sick in a while.

You know what? Never mind. I just remembered last December, being in bed and talking on the phone and telling a certain someone how terribly, terribly sick I felt as I pushed tissues off the edge of the bed and covered a hacking cough. I can’t believe I forgot about that—and that that was just last year!

And—aha! It also puts my low word counts from last December in a new light. I’ve been looking at last December for months and using it to castigate myself for not working hard enough. Well, well.

I’d like to think I’ve learned a valuable lesson here about not slacking off the writing, because just when you think you’re going to be able to catch up, you could get sick, but yeah, this isn’t the first time I’ve let something like this happen, and I doubt I’ll change my ways.

Maybe the more valuable lesson to be learned is to keep notes in my spreadsheet so that when my memory turns faulty, I can’t use low numbers to rail against myself without good reason!

“Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited—NOT Day 1

Still sick. Gah. This is one nasty cold but I am determined to persevere. I have no idea how long I’ll last today but I need to get some wordage down despite my hacking cough, the fiery burn in my throat, and the snot—oh my God, so much snot. I keep telling myself just a few more days and this cold will be behind me. 7–10 days say most sources. That’s like…aw, crap, Monday or Wednesday? Beam me up Scottie and save me from this! Oh, hey, I can’t remember but did beaming kill viruses and bacteria? No, it couldn’t have, right? All that healthy gut flora wouldn’t survive, would it? Or would it? Could the transporter inventors have accounted for that kind of thing? Wikipedia estimates say there are about 500 different species—but possibly as many as 1,000? Holy crap.

Oh, the irony.

Oh, how sick I must be to think this is a good way to start this post.

Oh—Okay, moving on! I’m going to try for 4 hours of writing today (that’s my new standard—4 hours a day of hard core writing). I can already say that 5,000 is probably a pipe dream because 5,000 words usually takes me at least 6 and a half hours, when I can even achieve it.

But here goes.

11:05 am: 0, of course.
10:52 pm: don’t even have my 100 for the day yet to keep my streak alive. The irony being if I had skipped writing this post and written something for my book instead, I would have nearly 300 words.

I’m totally moving Day 1 to tomorrow because I didn’t do anything but blow my nose and cough all day today, with a really bad movie* thrown in for fun. I seriously hope I feel better.

*The House at the End of the Street was more boring than bad. Although the last 30 minutes weren’t too terrible.

My “Finish the Book!” Challenge Revisited

Sick still—oh how I hate coughing! But my goals will not be diverted.  I need to finish my book, and soon, so I’ll be getting back to work tomorrow even if I have to sit my laptop in bed with me. No, no, I’m completely serious! I’m getting this book done, ASAP.

My faulty memory means I totally blew the 500 words a day streak I was going for. It only lasted 4 days and I didn’t even realize it until now. I barely cracked 100 on the 28th. To be honest, I’d forgotten all about the streak! Good news though. I’ve written a little every day even while I’ve been sick. I do mean a little but a hundred words here and there are better than none. My December tally sits at 781 right now and I don’t have a day under 100 words. :D Silly to be excited by that but hey, I’ll take what I can get right now.

I’m aiming for a Sunday finish on my book. So I’m starting a new Finish the Book! Challenge tomorrow.

I have no idea how long this book is going to turn out to be so I’m thinking I’d be best served to aim for 5,000 words a day until it’s done.

Weekend Challenge—Finish the Book! Sunday

Things are going well this morning, if you discount the fact that when I turned on my computer Windows told me to “consider replacing your battery.” And it won’t charge more than 61%. The good news is that I have a new one on the way. The bad news is that it’ll probably be at least Tuesday before I get it, so I’m stuck on the chord. More good news is that I have a generous number of conveniently placed power outlets in my house. And, what? I just unplugged the battery and plugged it back up and now it claims to be 100% charged. Definitely can’t wait until that new battery arrives. I’ll feel much better when it gets here!

And then there’s the fact that I’ve written about 139 words, gone online even after I swore I wasn’t going to turn on WIFI until after lunch, then keep just staring at my book wondering what the heck I’m doing.

But it’s a beautiful day and I’m sitting in the sunshine in my living room all toasty warm, and I have faith that I will get myself together shortly and write some really good stuff today.

I’ve already surprised myself with a few interesting developments and I’m contemplating another. I do think sometimes that I “contemplate” a little too often.

It’s probably time to crack out that timer again. I had hoped to just enjoy the writing this weekend without the undue pressure of timed sessions but so far that hasn’t been working. I think I need an early nap. ;)

Update: No nap. Why’d I let myself do that? And progress isn’t anything worth mentioning at this time, although I’m going to mention it anyway. 160 words and it’s 7:55 pm. I won’t be staying up late because I’m already tired, although I have no idea how that can be considering the truly lazy day I’ve had today. Oh, and I’m watching a crackling fireplace video on my television because it makes me feel warmer. :D I’m giving it another hour.

Weekend Challenge—Finish the Book! Saturday, Part 2

So, no nap. I didn’t start at 3 pm either. Make it more like 6:30 pm and my only reason was … was … yeah, I didn’t have a good reason for that. Or any reason. It’s just been one of those days. I want to finish this book but maybe I don’t really want to finish this book. It’s been a hard one. It seems I’m always saying that whatever book I’m working on is the book that’s been my hardest to write to date, and yep, again, this is the book that’s kicking my butt.

As a side note, I’m definitely using this blog to avoid my next writing session (30 minutes, with 5-10 minute breaks between, and wow, considering the time (7:14 pm), you can do the math. I’ve done one and this is my first break ;) which has already stretched past the 10 minute mark) and I’m rambling.

Sigh. I like this book. Mostly. I reread some sections today to check on some continuity issues and there are parts that worry me. Like, the writing just sounds so … flat. And stupid. Yeah. That too. I’ve let this book drag on too long (the writing of, not the story!) and I’m becoming critical. Bad me. But the sentences are hard to follow and the pronoun usage is out of control and the—

Yeah. Time to move on.

I’m this much closer to being done: 309 words.

Uh, I better get back to work. :)

Update: I’ve managed to prove my status as an expert procrastinator this evening because here it is 11:05 pm and I still haven’t found the will to do even one more 30 minute writing session. I feel kind of … weak-willed at the moment. I really should’ve had that nap. ;)

I think I’m going to bed and starting this one over tomorrow. I’m just going to pretend it’s possible I can finish the book in one day. :D

Tomorrow: aiming for 5,000–6,000 words because if I don’t, I have zero chance of finishing this book this weekend. Even aiming at that word count, it’s going to be iffy I’ll get there.

Weekend Challenge—Finish the Book! Saturday

No! Here it is 12:17 pm and I haven’t started my writing for the day. What am I doing? (Forums. A blog. Bought and read a book (let’s not lie, it was a short story, but I have a real weakness for regency period romance). Ate breakfast—turkey, again, yeah, weird, but I love leftover Thanksgiving food any time of the day. Forums again. Blog again. Email. Email. Email. Wrote this. Yikes! What a waste of precious brain power this morning.)

And it’s lunch time. And then nap time. And my failing laptop battery needs a charge (got a new one on the way). And if I don’t start now, I’m going to end up at 3 pm with nothing done and be so mad at myself I might as well just get mad at myself right now and save myself all that wasted time between now and then.

So, I’m going to set my timer and get at least one session done before I break for lunch.

Let’s see how much I can recover from my slow start today.

Weekend Challenge—Finish the Book!

I’m not sure how many words I have left to write to get to the end of my book. I aimed for 60,000 as an upper limit this time, and I’m currently 4,478 words away from that limit and to be honest, I’m about to blow right by it.

The book is going long unless something miraculous happens (and it could! I don’t plot in advance so I really have no idea what’s coming except in a vague sense; as in, I have some ideas but I’ll have to wait and see if they actually appear in the story).

That said, I want to finish this book and I want to finish it ASAP. This weekend, ASAP.

I know that means I’m going to have to push for some bigger word counts than I usually manage on a daily basis but I want to finish. I want to finish to the point that I need to hole up in my house, pretend I’m glued to my keyboard, and write like my life depends on it.

It doesn’t, but hey, I’m good at playing pretend!

But that’s what this challenge is about and that’s what I’m going to do.

“15,000 Words in 3 Days” Challenge – Day 3

Despite my close calls both yesterday and the day before, today isn’t looking so good.

I’m one and a half hours in and I’m at 964 words, and my current pace means it will take me another eight and three-quarter hours to reach my 15,000 words 3-day goal. I don’t have that kind of time or stamina today! I have Thanksgiving traditions to participate in and I’ll be lucky if get another solid four hours before I have to give it up until much later tonight.

So, either I need to seriously speed up my pace or I need to make some contingency plans! But—I can’t spend a lot of time mulling this over because I need to write, so I’ll have to let my subconscious stew it over while I stay busy. ;)

And…things have gone even worse than I imagined. Two and a half hours in and I’m at 1,450 words, which is a big drop from my former nearly 800 wph down to about 580 wph. I’m struggling. Not gonna lie. And now I have to leave. I’m hoping the break will give me some mental pep back and I’ll at least get an other few thousand when I get home even if I have to stay up. :D

Unfortunately, there’s really no way to know if staying up late last night is partly to blame for today’s slowdown. Or if it was because my kids were home—I had real trouble staying focused with the noise and the distractions. Plus, I didn’t get my nap. :(

Recap: My three day total is currently at 3,936 + 4,486 + 1,450 = 9,872

“15,000 Words in 3 Days” Challenge – Day 2

I’m 2 hours in (writing hours!) and I have 1,952 words done. I’m on pace to finish my 5,000 and then some in about four more hours. Of course, I know better than to count on that with my track record. ;)

I want to do today’s 5,000 and at least half of yesterday’s shortfall. Yesterday I came up 1,064 words short on my 5,000. I’ve been very pleased so far though. I’m not sure why, but I’ve hit a real stride on this book and it’s just breezing along! Lots of action, dialogue, and some judicious narration are keeping things going nicely.

It’s totally nap time though. Lunch on the other hand is long over so I should have a really good, productive afternoon once I get my nap out of the way.

Update #2: Three and a half hours in (writing hours!) at 3:32 pm and I’ve got 2,814 words. That’s a better than average pace for me at about 800 wph and I’m on track to finish in about three and a half hours if I keep it up. So, I’m half the way there.

Update #3: Five and a half hours in (writing hours! ) at 10:45 pm and I’ve got 3,843 words. I’m going to push for my goal even though I’d rather be sleeping. I already know I’ll probably sleep in. :o

Update #4: Well over six hours and midnight has come and gone. So, I’m calling it at 4,486 words. Now off to bed so I can at least attempt to do this again tomorrow!

A “15,000 Words in 3 Days” Challenge for Myself

I don’t know if I mentioned that my participation this year in NaNoWriMo is as a NaNo Rebel. I didn’t plan that but when November rolled around, I hadn’t finished the book I was already writing, and I knew I couldn’t abandon it to start something new.

Well, I’m about 15,000 from the end of my book. (I hope!) So. I’m going to try to challenge myself to write 5,000 words a day for the next three days and see if I can finish this thing before Thanksgiving. ;)

That’s 15,000 words in 3 days. I don’t have a great track record for these kinds of challenges, but I want to give it a shot. I’ve dragged the writing of this book out longer than I should’ve and I really want to finish it by the end of the month.

Here’s the thing. Because I track my daily word counts in a spreadsheet, I can tell you exactly how many times I’ve managed to write 5,000 words in one day and when that was.

August 16, 2013
June 17, 2013
April 19, 2013
November 8, 2012

And that’s it.

So this really is a big personal challenge for me.

5,000 words in a day has usually taken me about 6.5 hours of hard core writing. But I’ve written for 6.5 hours many days and not reached 5,000 words. It all seems to depend on if I get in a zone and stay there. I’m going to write in 30 minute blocks today with 5–10 minutes between them, and lunch and a nap in there too.

I’m getting a late start today at 11 am on a Monday morning but let’s go! I know I can do this if I can keep this story moving.

Update: Two hours in (in writing time!) at 3:46 pm and I’m at 1,606 for the day. At this pace I have another four and a half hours or so to go. In writing time. Which definitely does not translate to me finishing at 7:46 pm without divine intervention. ;)

Update #2: Three and a half hours in (in writing time!) at 7:51 pm and I’m at 2,919 words for the day. At my current pace it’ll take me two and half more hours to get to 5,000. Which would put me finishing at 10:30 pm without any breaks. Uh. I’m not really counting on that but we’ll see. Maybe I’ll be able to pick up my pace if I push a little harder. :)

Update #3: Another hour in (writing hours!) at 9:48 pm and I’m at 3,705. My pace has slowed and I’ll have to write for another hour and a half to hit 5,000. Not sure I’ll make it. It’s almost past my bedtime already! I sent the kids up half an hour ago… I definitely don’t want to feel rough tomorrow because I’ve got to do this again!

Final update: I finished at 3,936 and went to bed. I’m actually quite happy with that number because it’s still the most I’ve written in one day since August!