Daily post – Jan. 21, 2020 – Tuesday

I wrote 225 words today. That was all this morning. I generally hate dictating fiction, but I did do some dictation into my phone this morning and that’s how I logged those 225 words. Saved my daily writing streak, so that’s good.

I did no fiction writing after that at all. Never even looked at my book.

My routine is still far from being settled. I haven’t actually been able to sit down at 9 am for a three hour block of writing one time since I started this. I haven’t been able to sit down at 2 pm for a three hour block of writing since I started this, either.

Routines are hard for me. Like, quitting coffee hard. I’ve quit coffee about once a year for the last twenty-five years. At the moment, I’m drinking three cups a day again. :D

I know why routines are hard for me. I’m really hoping I can find a way around that this year.

On the other hand—because there’s a second one, so why not use it—I kind of think I’m already going to have to change something, because this is just not working. If I don’t change things when they’re not working, I risk falling into a funk and burying my head in a book and then I’m reading three books a day again and doing nothing else. :D

It’s one of my failings, this tendency to binge things, or become obsessed, or addicted, whatever you want to call it. It’s why I won’t let myself watch anything on tv right now that I haven’t already seen. I have to finish this book I’m working on. I started it early last year, for goodness’ sake. In fact, my earliest backup of my file is dated January 17, 2019. So I have officially been working on this novel for more than a year. Yikes!

I finished some other books between then and now—a giant novel, some novellas, and short stories—but I want to finish this one, and the sooner, the better.

This kind of goes back to my post about the need to maintain a high level of interest in what I’m writing so I don’t bog down. Well, it’s official. I have bogged down, and despite some really awesome moments in the writing of this book, I have lost interest and it’s time to get this one out the door! Can’t do that if the damn thing isn’t finished. So I have to finish.

I’ve said it before and I’ll repeat it here because there are too many posts on this site to go through to get to it, I am not a finisher by nature. I get bored. I want to move on. It’s a chore to finish things. The one thing that helped me start finishing books was to not know what’s coming in the story. Once I know, I’m done. The book is toast. I’m fighting every step of the way to get to the writing, and yuck. I might as well be digging a ditch somewhere on a cold, rainy day.

I hate writing on those days. HATE it.

I have in-progress books that I started years ago. One is from 2015. I absolutely plan to finish that book. I write a few thousand words on it every year or so.

But that right there is why I want to start writing more. Not because I actually want to write more, but because I want to have written these books. You can’t have written a book if you don’t write the damn book. :D

Look, I said in my last post that I don’t actually like the process of writing very much. Really, though, it’s more nuanced than that. Sometimes I hate writing. Sometimes I love it. Sometimes I’m not even sure how I feel about it.

And sometimes I get absolutely sick of trying to pretend it’s all fun all the time. Because it isn’t. Sometimes I just want it to be over. So I can move on.

And that means I don’t want to sit down and get started and write. And sure, I could make myself—oh, wait. Yeah, no, I can’t. Because if I could, I’d have finished this damn book months and months ago.

What I can do is keep coming at it from different angles until I find one that tricks me into getting started again, and then ride it to the end. That works. But it does tend to take time and effort and I often make a fool of myself trying one thing or another and failing again and again. I’m used to that. People will think what they will about my methods and I’ll just keep pushing and trying until I get there.

:D

I keep thinking (maybe falsely) that if I can ever get myself to write more on a consistent basis, it will start to feed on itself: my interest levels will stay higher, boredom won’t set in, and I’ll find it easier to finish.

But I can’t get there without getting past all the other stuff first.

I keep trying. Because persistence matters and what else am I going to do—get a “real” job?

LOL.

I don’t think so. ;)

Tomorrow, I’ll reset, and I’ll try again. 4,000 words or bust! :D

I am a writer

I’ve had some people really disappoint me lately, and it’s taking a while to get over it. Maybe I won’t. Who knows?

I’m going to be blunt for a minute here. I really don’t like writing all that much. No, no, seriously. I hate trying to find the right words to get what’s in my head out into words that make sense to other people. HATE it.

I am a reader first, writer second. Always have been, always will be. If the stuff I liked to read was easy to find, I wouldn’t have time to write at all. I’d be reading all the time. :D

It just so happens I like what I like and I’ve found it pretty hard to find enough of those things to keep me satisfied all the days of my life.

So I write to satisfy an itch.

I also do not read just to find out what happens in a story. I read to experience feelings.

That’s also why I write. I write to create a story that will make me feel things, and so that I can then read and enjoy those feelings a second, third, fourth, eighteenth time.

I love reading my own books. I mean, I love it. LOVE, love, love it. I’d just as soon read something I wrote as write something new. That’s no harder to understand than understanding why someone wouldn’t want to do that. Some people enjoy the excitement of new, new, new, while some people enjoy the anticipation of something they already know is coming. If this weren’t true, roller coasters would be a one-ride event. Most people who love roller coasters do not just ride once. :D

People are different. People claim to understand that, and then they make all these mistakes of thinking everyone should experience life and the world just like they do, as if they have no concept of what it actually means that people are different.

I want to write more in my series, but to tell the truth, I’d probably never get around to it if I didn’t have people waiting for those books. It’s not that I don’t want to write them; it’s that I don’t need to write them. Except I do. Because money. :D

But internally? I’m not driven to write stories. I want to write stories. But I only want to write what I want to write when I want to write it.

I am a die-hard re-reader. I have books I’ve read twenty or thirty times easy and that I’ll probably re-read again. I have books I re-read every year or two.

Frankly, my own books fall into that category.

I really do write for myself. And that means I write just as much as I want, and when I need to write more than that because of external factors, it is very definitely work. And honestly, once it gets above the level of want, it’s also not fun. And it’s a chore to try to make it fun all the time.

I want to have written all the books in my series that I know are coming so I can read them. More than once, preferably. :D If I couldn’t enjoy one of my own books more than once, I absolutely would consider it a failure. The only reason I write them is to read them.

But I do understand. People are different. Some writers love writing to the exclusion of all else, and would do nothing but write, and some just like to do it when the itch strikes and tolerate it as a means to an end the rest of the time. Not recognizing that fact is the first step to becoming an asshole. :D

But making the definition of a writer contingent on the why of it is also one more step to becoming an asshole.

I’m a slow writer, for reasons that probably have a lot to do with the fact that I’d rather be reading, and the fact that I have perfectionist tendencies that I have to fight all the damn time, and the fact that I don’t actually like the process of writing very much at all, even though I swear to God, I write every damn thought in my head down at least forty times, so you have to wonder if I’m deluding myself about not liking to write. :D

And here goes. I know the drill. Why write? Why not get a different job that isn’t so hard for me?

Because I like writing, that’s why. :D

I can’t help it, but I have to say this. Why is it anyone else’s business what I choose to do to earn my living? Why do I have to LOVE it to the exclusion of all else if what I’m doing is working just fine for me?

I make my living on the things I write, but hey, don’t call me a writer, if that’s what it takes to make you feel better. What do I care?

I’m a writer and I get to choose to disagree with you on that. :D I write, and I’m a writer, and why I write is no one’s business but my own.

Basically, this is a kiss my ass post. :D

It’s for all the people who want to define writer in a way that excludes me just because I don’t approach writing from the same angle they do.

Because they’re big fat liars. Because they say they don’t care, but they spend so much time defining what a writer is and is not that it’s clear to anyone with half a brain that they care very much who gets to call themselves a writer.

Go on, then, if you’re one of those people on the road to being an asshole. Maybe you’re already there. Who knows? Kiss my ass. :D

I am a writer.

Daily post – Jan. 20, 2020

Crazy, crazy, crazy day yesterday. I had a two day streak of 1000+ words and I wanted to keep it going, but it wasn’t looking likely. I was sitting at 529 words for the day at 11 pm and I was in pain and more tired than I’ve been in ages.

So I took my phone to bed with me and did some dictation, even though I really, really hate dictating fiction. I waited on this post so I could put those words in and see where I stood with my word count.

I made it to 758 words before I fell asleep.

Ah, well. It was worth a shot.

Guess I’ll be restarting that 1000+ day streak today. :)

 

Daily post – Jan. 19, 2020

Intention: Write 4,000 words today. Preferably within the three hour blocks I’ve set aside for writing. (I wrote this as a draft this morning.)

What actually happened: I wrote 1,388 words today. My routine was a mess, but I liked it.

I mostly overloaded my calendar with stuff to do, filled every minute of the day and accomplished more than I’ve done in a while as I procrastinated everything. :D

I did half my 2019 taxes while procrastinating on writing.

I shopped for a new washing machine and picked out a couple to decide on by Tuesday, while procrastinating on more writing. Since my current washing machine is broken and has been for a month now, this was an essential task I’ve been putting off for more than a week, after already having put it off until after the holidays!

I’ve procrastinated going to bed early by doing the writing I was supposed to do earlier (some of it anyway) and by writing this post on time.

And I successfully procrastinated on dinner until it was just too late to have it, so I’m one meal closer to losing a pound this week—or just making up for the meal out I’m going to be having with a friend tomorrow.

All in all, not a bad day.

This reminds me of something I read about procrastination once. I should probably try this more often. :-)

(It was important enough to me that I had saved it to OneNote, because a quick search found it for me to share.) :D

Counterintuitively, Perry says the biggest mistake procrastinators make is minimizing their commitments in an attempt to quit procrastinating. “It destroys their most important source of motivation. If you only have one thing to do, you won’t get anything else done — you’ll probably just lie on the couch to avoid it.”

From <https://www.businessinsider.com/use-procrastination-to-get-things-done-2014-6>

Procrastinators often follow exactly the wrong tack. They try to minimize their commitments, assuming that if they have only a few things to do, they will quit procrastinating and get them done. But this goes contrary to the basic nature of the procrastinator and destroys his most important source of motivation. The few tasks on his list will be by definition the most important, and the only way to avoid doing them will be to do nothing. This is a way to become a couch potato, not an effective human being.

From <http://www.structuredprocrastination.com/>

Fear and growth and perfection

This post is a few days old, but there’s value here I think so I’ve decided to post it even though I wasn’t going to originally.

First thing I did after I woke up this morning was open OneNote and type a note to myself (this was after recognizing that I just didn’t have what it took to hit 3,600 words every day).

I think I’m going to settle on a daily goal of 2400 words. As much as I’d like to write 3600 words every day I’m just not sure that kind of pressure is going to work.

Then I looked at my calendar to adjust my goals and saw what 3,600 words looks like every day as a time commitment. I re-opened OneNote.

After looking again at my calendar, it’s obvious that I’m just getting scared. But even if I have a bad day if I do all six sessions I’m almost guaranteed to keep a 2000-2400 words a day average which is something I’ve wanted for a very long time.

I can do this.

And I can. I can do this.

The fact is, it’s not just fear. It’s also perfectionism. I don’t have to throw away my goal for 3,600 words just because I might not reach it every day. And if I don’t reach it every day, well, failing at something is better than not trying at all. :D

It’s the only way to stretch and grow.

So, yeah, still trying. 2020 is the year of the 3,600 words a day goal. :D

Since I wrote that, I’ve made some changes to my goals and have decided not to micro plan my writing time so strictly but the one thing I haven’t done is back away from the big numbers. I intend to grow this year, and I intend to learn, and I do not intend to let the fear of failure keep me from trying to stretch myself.

Whatever your goals, you shouldn’t let it stop you either.

:-)

Daily post – Jan. 18, 2020

1,071 words and excellent progress out of the weeds. :-)

Also, I totally forgot to write this post last night for no particular reason at all. I think I need to add this to my calendar. It’s where I put anything else I actually want to remember.

Now, back to sleep. I still need three hours of it or I’m going to be a zombie today.

Daily post – Jan. 17, 2020

I wrote 268 words today. It was just a lost cause from the start. I won’t bore you with the details.

Suffice to say, I’m not going to let this happen again tomorrow: I think it’s clear I’m avoiding the book. I think I know why. Hopefully, I will get over that hurdle tomorrow and move on.

Daily post – Jan. 16, 2020

And here I am doing a morning post. :)

Let’s see, yesterday’s word count was 190 words, just enough to keep my streak alive (I needed 163 per the new rules).

Today I’m trying something a little different. Yesterday was a disaster and I think it’s because I let the numbers get in my head.

I did a brain dump last night right before bed and decided it was time to scratch the goal based schedule. I knew it was a bad idea when I created it, even though it seemed like a really good idea at the time (as is always the case).

Since the schedule didn’t work and I’m not willing to give it even more time to get in my head and make me hate my life :D, I’m getting back to basics today.

Writing is fun.

Writing is what I want to do.

All I have to do is let everything else go for a while and sit down and enjoy it.

Toward that end, I’ve blocked out some time today (6 hours in two big 3 hour chunks) for writing and only writing. :-)

I have a goal to get to 2,000 words in the first block and to make it to 4,000 in the second.

I’m sure some of you are thinking a schedule is a schedule, right, so what’s the deal?, but I’m an overthinker by nature, and there is a world of difference between these kinds of schedules to me and my muse.

Most of the time when I’m taking about schedules, I’m specifically talking about that micro-planning thing I tend to do. I’m almost never talking about the simple process of blocking out a larger, unstructured chunk of time on my calendar that tells me I need to get myself to the computer and do some writing.

That kind of schedule is almost certainly going to be necessary for me to make sure I don’t continue to let time get away from me. I’m not good with time. I’ve mentioned that before. I gotta have something to keep me in line or I’m doomed to live by mood alone–and we all know where that’ll get me.

In the middle of a big fat streak of zero word days, that’s where. ;-)

I’ve set a hard deadline to finish one of my novels by Monday, and that’s going to take some focus. I need to put in the time to get another 5,000 to 10,000 words probably.

This current one, as usual, has decided to go long. It’s currently 8,000 words longer than I had hoped, and 63 words longer than my maximum length goal, and I just have a feeling I’m going to need all those extra words to wrap this one up.

Now, time to start on today’s writing.

(A 40 minute power outage just as I was finishing this post nixed that idea, but the power is back on now, so I’m getting ready to dig in!). :-)

Daily post – Jan. 15, 2020

As of today, my daily writing streak is now 163 days long. In light of a new rule I’ve added to the streak, that means that to keep the streak alive, I have to write at least 163 words tomorrow.

I’m tightening the screws a little at a time to see how far I can push it, I guess. :D But hey, at least it makes things interesting.

Today’s goal was to write 4,000 words OR log 6 hours of timed writing. Today’s actual was 534 words. Those numbers are worlds apart. (Make that 1,065 after some late night writing into a notebook that I added to my document the day after.)

On the other hand, if I didn’t have a big goal, I can guarantee you I would have a string of zero word days behind me. January is a notoriously low word count month for me. At 15,026 words so far this month, this January is already my third best since I started my daily tracking in 2012.

Also, I barely remembered to make this post tonight. (I’d already written bits of it and thought I’d saved it as a draft, but it seems I’d already posted it earlier today by mistake. Oops.) I’ve added a bit to it and posted it now, for real. So yay for remembering, and for starting off on the right foot tonight after today’s earlier post about making the effort. :-)

I’m sure there are times when morning posts could work to my advantage—say I’m going to do some interstitial journaling as I write, or I just want to post along. But as a general rule, I’m nixing the morning posting so I can save all that finger flexibility for typing my fiction. :D

One last thing. I’m going to save the goals thing I mentioned in the last post for a later post, because it’s late and I don’t have it in me to write it up tonight. :) Later!

Daily post catch up – Jan. 12–14, 2020

First up, this is a catch up post for the days I haven’t posted the daily post. I’m not going back and adding one for each day. There’s just no point.

Second up, I’m not posting in the mornings anymore as a general rule and that is what’s to blame for the lack of daily posts the last few days. I’m having a lot of trouble getting myself to sit down and do a post in the evening after I finish writing—or as is more often the case, just calling it done.

I’ll be honest. It’s actually really hard for me to write “after the fact” posts. I’m much more comfortable writing about what I want to do rather than what I’ve done. Because what I want to do feels inspiring, but what I’ve done is usually disappointing.

I’m not sure how I feel about that now that I’ve typed it out, but it’s a piece of truth probably worth putting in writing.

Are my goals too high for what I have proven myself capable of doing? Probably. But I just don’t want to give up on the notion that I can do it, if I just find the right motivator, or the right schedule, or the right—

Uh oh.

That sounds like perfectionism, doesn’t it?

Hm. Something to think about later.

I’m still trying to find a routine that will get me to 3,600 words a day. Except I’ve changed that to 4,000 words a day. Except sort of not, because I’ve decided I need a minimum goal and a stretch goal, and the 4,000 is the stretch goal and 1,800 words a day is the minimum, for reasons I won’t bore you with.

Let me just say that I spent a lot of hours playing with my spreadsheets before I settled on that, but only after realizing that, as usual, it all comes back to about 2,000 words a day. 1,836 is more exact, as is 2,404, but 2,036 is a good one too. All those numbers get me something I want, whether it’s income or numbers of books written in all the series I have going, or something else.

I really spend far too much time playing with numbers, but for some reason they inspire me to keep believing that I can figure out how to get myself to write more—even though it’s been seven years and seven months since I first decided I was going to write to sell again and I haven’t been able to get even one of those years’ daily averages above 1,000 words a day.

There’s no reason I can’t get there. I just can’t seem to get there already.

All I know is I’m very mood driven and that’s probably an integral part of my personality. If I’m not in the mood to sit down and focus, I damn well don’t sit down and focus and nothing I promise or threaten can make me.

Being self-employed is both a blessing and a curse for someone like me. It’s the only lifestyle I’ve ever lived that didn’t make me utterly miserable, and yet… I can’t self-motivate worth shit. :)

On that note, I’m calling this post done with a quick summary of word counts for the missed posts.

Jan 12: 376
Jan 13: 212
Jan 14: 1,569

Sunday I kind of wanted the day off and it shows. I went to my Mom’s and spent 5 hours there, and didn’t do any writing at all when I got back.

Monday I wrote those words at the last minute, right before I shut down my computer for the day after doing no writing at all that day. I did come up with a new writing schedule. I won’t tell you how many hours I played around with different options before settling on the one I’ve been trying to make work this week.

First order of business was to stop trying to micro-plan and micromanage my sessions on a calendar and just go back to blocking out some reasonable blocks for writing time!

Tuesday I finally sat my butt down in the chair and tried to stay focused. I stuck out two blocks of 2 hours each (the plan was for three) and ended up with a mere 2.33 hours of timed writing because I couldn’t stay in the chair for the full two hours of either block. I kept jumping up to reheat coffee or go talk to my son or check the weather forecast or feed the cat or… well, you get the idea. I vacuumed the floor. So some good came of it.

And what the hell, I’ll bore you with the details of the goals in tonight’s post after I finish my daily writing. :-)

Daily post – Jan. 11, 2020

Ah, yesterday. It was a day.

I wrote 121 words at about midnight. If I didn’t have that 100 word minimum that I require for a day to count in my daily fiction writing streak (159 days), I wouldn’t have bothered with more than 2 words, guaranteed. :D

I just had either a great idea or a stupid one that’s going to be the end of this thing. I think I’m going to require the number of words of the number of days long the streak is for the day to count. So, if I want today to count, I’ll need 160 words.

Maybe it’ll keep me from getting more bored. I’m already a bit bored with the daily writing as it is. Something about requiring myself to write just really makes me want to not do it. I hate being told what to do, even by myself. I’m contrary like that. ;D And I really hate arbitrary numbers. I try to always find a reason to pick the numbers I do for my goals.

As for today, I already have half my post written, and I’ll post it later tonight.

I’m trying to get into a routine here: daily writing, evening posting of the blog, so I’m not distracted from fiction writing by the blogging. It’s not going so well so far.

I wrote a massively long post then deleted it, because it was too personal and too rambling, so I guess that means I need to hop on over to the writing and let myself work out my issues there. :)

Daily post – Jan. 10, 2020

Yesterday I wrote 1,286 words of fiction. I had the same plan as the day before, but after my first two sessions, I stopped for lunch and just never came back to the book.

I tried a no WiFi rule for yesterday’s sessions, but it did not work. I mean, I turned off WiFi at the beginning of the sessions, but I didn’t like how it made me feel. Suddenly writing was “work” and I was treating it like “work” and that was a bad, bad idea. I can’t say that’s why I didn’t come back to the book, because I don’t think it is, but I sure don’t think it helped.

The truth is, as soon as I start bossing myself around, I start feeling like I’m taking everything too seriously and not having fun. So I don’t think that’s a good option for most days.

So no more “no WiFi” rule. I’m really not that bad at stopping myself from going online when I’m aware. So being aware is what I need to practice. :D

This morning (Jan. 11, because I’m writing this post the morning after), I revisited the schedule I set for the six sessions of 600 words and made some adjustments based on what I learned on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Even though I know consciously that this is a FLEXIBLE schedule in the most flexible sense possible, seeing the blocks on my calendar make it feel restrictive. On the other hand, I need that, because I have to block out everything on my calendar when I need to be on time somewhere, because I just have no ability to process the passage of time accurately. I’ll allow two hours for something that takes six not realizing just how off all my estimates are, even if I’ve done the same thing twenty times before. I just can’t visualize time without doing the math.

This is probably the number one reason I fail to hit my writing goals. I wait and wait and wait to start, thinking I have plenty of time, and then it’s 8 PM and I feel like I have lots of time before bed, but the reality is, I can’t get even four hours of writing in before bed at that point, even if I go to bed at midnight, because I don’t account for the inevitable interruptions and passage of time that happens when I go heat up a drink or take a pee break. :D

It is inevitable I’ll lose time. And yet I do this again and again, day after day. So my word counts are always lower than I had hoped, and the only solution is to write early in the day, but I end up with days like today, where it’s already 11:20 am and I haven’t started because of blog posts, getting bills or household stuff done (bills today! or record-keeping, these days, since most bills kind of pay themselves), and other what-have-you things that get in the way of sitting down to concentrate.

But I want a routine, and so I’m trying to make one. We’ll see how that plays out this month.

Daily post – Jan. 9, 2020

I set out today with the same plan I had yesterday.

600 x 6 = 3,600

Here’s how it went.

Each line starts with the goal word count for the end of that hour. I’m scheduling hours because it’s easiest. I’m not always getting an hour of timed writing done in that hour, but I don’t care. Really, I don’t care. The ultimate goal is 600 words x 6, not 6 hours of writing.

As a reminder, how I get these 600 words every day is up to me. Any session style I want. 5 minute sprints, 20 minute sprints, 60 minute blocks. Whatever works.

In fact, today, I’ve used all those mentioned above, and a 10 minute sprint and a 40 minute block, too.

Whatever works. ;D

I meant it.

600 – 214
1200 – 1158
1800 – 1677
2400 – 2155
3000 – 2718
3600 – 3633

I really, really liked this method. The flexibility makes it fit whatever mood I’m in, and that is a huge boon for me.

I’m working on that last session now. I’m going to hit that 3,600 tonight. I’ll be back to update when I do.

Update

That last hour took 70 minutes, but I did it. :-) Whew.

All told, I spent 268 timed minutes writing (4.47 hours) which felt like it took all day. But I managed to watch a few episodes of television, cook a nice meal at lunch, and putter a lot online.

That’s the biggie, in fact—the puttering. I probably spent more than half the time I spent on the computer not writing. So yeah, of course it felt like it took all day. That’s probably 9 hours of my day at the computer. I definitely need to think about trimming that down if I want to reach this goal regularly.

Now to do this again tomorrow…

Daily post – Jan. 8, 2020

The reason I wasn’t in the mood to write a post for yesterday is because I’m planning to do a little blogging while I write today. (I did write a post, but it was super short and to the point.)

Today, it’s a marathon!

I want to hit my 2020 daily word count goal of 3,600 words. I haven’t yet and today is the beginning of the second week of January. It’s about time I decide if I want to keep the big goal or scale back.

With this goal I am pushing far, far above what I normally accomplish. I can do 1,000 wph. I don’t do it often. More often, my pace falls somewhere in the realm of 500 wph. I’d complain, but been there, done that. It is what it is. At 500 wph, getting to 3,600 words requires a LOT of focused time sitting in a chair. I don’t focus that well. Best not to try to do it all at once in a day, and once I start doing other things, well, the writing loses. That’s just a fact.

I’ll have to fight against that fact this year if I want to make this goal.

On that note, my hourly push for this big 3,600 word goal is only 600 wph. (Gotta have some parts of the plan be reasonable so I at least have a chance.)

Here’s the plan for the foreseeable future, but today specifically.

600 words x 6.

Yep, that’s it.

The biggest challenge will be not getting discouraged when my hourly pace inevitably falls off. Because some days it will. The way I track words makes it inevitable (deleted words hit all my word count averages in the end).

The second biggest challenge will be sticking out the hours in the chair until I hit that 3,600 words.

A few beautiful caveats to this plan:

  1. I get to work on whichever story I want to keep my interest high and make writing fun enough to stick with it.
  2. How I get these 600 words every day is up to me. Any session style I want. 5 minute sprints, 20 minute sprints, 60 minute blocks. Whatever works.

Now, back to writing. I had to revisit this post after my internet went down and it didn’t post and I’m between my first and second hour of writing. Only 3,268 words to go.

Hour 1: 332 total (40 minutes timed) (498 wph, fancy that)

Hour 2: 1,026 total (45 minutes timed) (724 wph average)

Hour 3: 1,175 total (20 minutes timed) (671 wph average)

I’ve called it. Although I tried to stay on track today, I had a lot of interruptions and I just couldn’t do it. Time to try again tomorrow. I’m determined to get into better sleep routines so I can start writing early in the mornings.

If I get started early tomorrow, I have a feeling I’m going to do a lot better. This routine actually worked really well today and I liked it. I am definitely giving it another shot. :-)

Daily post – Jan. 6, 2020

I kept my streak alive yesterday, but that was about it. I logged 134 words.

I wrote a whole bunch about a whole bunch of things, then remembered that I am not allowing myself to be negative about my goals and writing this year, so I deleted it all and wrote this instead.

I wrote 134 words yesterday after accounting for a paragraph I deleted, and that’s really all that matters. I wrote. My daily writing streak lives on.

The last time I had a daily writing streak going and quit, I’d reached 47 days, and I’m still not sure why I quit. I have a note in my daily word count log and it says simply: Gave up on daily writing. It sucks.

What did I mean by that? I have no idea. It’s been more than a year since and it obviously wasn’t important to me to remember.

My previous best streak of 122 days ended with the note: Ended “no more zero word days”.

Don’t know why I ended that one either. Probably no reason at all. Some days I just get up and decide I’ve had enough of one thing or another.

My current streak has reached 155 days, and I’m starting to feel the itch.

Daily post – Jan. 5, 2020

The plan today was to try to sit down three times and write 1,200 words each time.

In actuality, this is what happened:

I did four 20 minute timed sessions between noonish and 4:40 pm. I wrote 1,376 words during this time (a really good pace for me, definitely some of my fastest writing). That was 1.333 hours of writing for 4.667 hours of available time.

Do not ask me what happened to the rest of the time, because I can’t say. I have no idea. I did stuff. Who knows?

At 6:32 pm, I returned to the writing. At 6:43 pm, I actually turned on my timer and started writing. Maybe I shouldn’t have pulled up my browser. :D

Note to self: do not open browser during writing breaks, because then a two minute break becomes a two hour break. Or better yet, TURN OFF WIFI on the computer each time I sit down, make a goal for a number of sessions, and DON’T TURN IT BACK ON until I reach that goal. :D

Yeah, that’s probably the better option.

Over the next six hours or so, I logged about five more 20 minute sessions and ended the night at 1:04 am with 2,952 words, logging an official 2.97 hours of timed writing for the day. During that time, I took a break on my main novel twice and worked on a different novel.

All told, I worked on three novels today. One is sitting at 48,227 words at the moment, one is at 16,006, and the other is just getting started at 2,805. :D I have seven active stories going right now: a short, a short novel (maybe), and six full novels (I can’t imagine any of them coming in under 50k). I rotate them out whenever I feel the need.

1. I’m happy about the words.

2. I’m not happy about the time.

3. I’m not happy I stayed up so late.

4. I’m happy anyway, because good writing days always make me happy. :D

As usual, I’m either in love or hate with my story, and right now, I love love love all of them. :D

Feeds are back—even though I didn’t know they were gone

A long time ago, I added a cleanup function to my theme functions file and deactivated the RSS feed links that usually appear in the header of a WordPress site. I didn’t really think much about this but it has been brought to my attention that maybe I shouldn’t have done that.

I checked in Feedly, and sure enough, without those links in the <head> of the site, Feedly doesn’t even think there’s a feed here. I doubt any feed reader is finding the feed.

Oops.

I commented out the line of code that removed the feed links from the <head> of the site and lo and behold, Feedly now recognizes a feed for the site.  :-)

As for why I’m posting this now when I had planned to be writing, I think I’ll skip the admission that I delayed writing so I could read in the sun instead. :D What an awesome way to start the day.

Ah well. I’m ready now to dig in. That’s good enough. ;-)

I also used my time in the sun to read back through my last five-ish pages (I send my book to myself as an EPUB every time I run my backups (which I’ve mentioned I do obsessively)) and highlighted a couple of typos and a paragraph to switch order, so I kinda started the writing already.

Man, this story has really taken off. I’m looking forward to seeing where the heck it’s going! I ended last night on a sudden (shortish) time jump that I wasn’t expecting but that makes total sense. I’m excited for the characters and that’s always a good thing.

Daily post – Jan. 4, 2020

So, two things. I didn’t stop at 9 p.m. last night. The writing was going well and I didn’t want to stop. I also waited to post this until today, which is the next day. I did warn that I wouldn’t always be posting the day of, but I had hoped to last a little longer than this. ;D However, posting is posting and that’s all I’m going to worry about, so it’s a win. :D I’m posting.

Yesterday’s word count was a lot more on par with my January and 2020 goals, but still fell short.

I wrote 1,670 words. Since it’s my first 1,000+ word day since December 17th, I’m also calling that a win!

I made the call a few days ago that I’m just going to have to live with the fact that I need the timers to focus. Otherwise, I don’t stick with the writing. Too many other things are always grasping for my attention and that’s just a fact of life for me. This is the year I make peace with that. :-)

Even with the timers, I spent hours at the computer yesterday and logged 2.55 hours of active timed writing.

Today I’m aiming for a solid 5 hours.

I’ve said before, it takes me far longer than an hour to get an hour of timed writing, for reasons I can’t truly explain. So this is a challenge for me for sure! ;D

Tracking time to see where the time went between sessions did nothing but show me that I hate tracking time and that I switch between things too fast to make it make sense to even try. So I gave up any kind of actual time tracking a long time ago.

But everyone is different and what might be a challenge for me might be easy for someone else. Just like I find it easy to keep my stories all in my head. I don’t write down much of anything. I just remember. When I need a refresh, I skim the story and it all comes back to me in a flash.

I don’t need extensive notes about my series, and I still manage to do oodles of call backs and threading of big arcs and I don’t really know how I do it.

I also find it really strange when other writes claim they can’t remember writing something—I believe them, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t really understand it. That is definitely not how it works for me. I can tell you the plots of every book I’ve written and give you details about those people as if they were beloved relatives, and that has held true even as my catalog of finished books has grown. :D

Well, time to get to work! I have a book to finish this coming week if I can and I’m hoping to make good progress on that today. It’s sunny and beautiful outside and I want to do some writing at my sunny desk before it gets dreary again. :D

Daily post – Jan. 3, 2020

I wrote 600 words today on one novel. Just when I thought I was going to get to dig in and do more, the daughter called and I spent an hour and forty minutes on the phone. :D So that was a bust.

I’ve decided I need to set a boundary for myself for finishing my writing for the day this year. I’ll start with it as an experiment for January, and see how that goes. But 9 PM is the stop time I came up with.

I plan to consider it a hard stop. Doesn’t matter if I’m tired or not, or want to write more or not. As a general rule for the entire month of January, I must stop at 9 PM if I haven’t already called it a night on the writing.

I just really need to break the habit of going to bed early one night and late the next, and then doing it all again. And one of the primary things that causes that is procrastinating my writing and then trying to rush and do more right when I should be getting ready for sleep.

I also would like to start getting to the writing earlier, and that means getting up.

So, it’s back to the effort to improve my sleep habits as a way to improve my writing. :D

Now goodnight, because I’m done. I was two hours short of sleep last night and although I’m not tired yet, I have definitely lost my ability to concentrate. I’m going to try to get a fresh start tomorrow, and start earlier than today and maybe make up a few words in the process. If not, well, tomorrow is a new day and I have a daily goal I’d like to meet at least once this week! :D