Progress: May 2, Friday

—Working to increase my daily average word count

Crashed at 1,882.

Really wanted to get to 2k, but I just didn’t make it.

I’ve really got to get some publishing tasks done this weekend. I have books to get into print that should’ve been in print months ago, and I have a short story that’s been done since the 15th, which I said would be ready in a couple of weeks back on the 4th-ish of April. Those weeks are long gone and it’s time to get that formatting done and get that story published!

I should set aside a day and just format stuff all day! It might be sorta fun to just dig in like that. ;)

First Sales on Google Play

I finally had my first sales on Google Play! Considering my books are priced at >$8 apiece because of Google’s habit of discounting, I’m tickled someone thought the series worthy. Book 1 of one of my series was purchased on the 29th of April, then books 2 and 3 were purchased on the 30th.

Took long enough! But finally I feel like my effort putting my books up there wasn’t wasted. :D

As for setting up an account on Google Play, it was a pain, but the actual process of adding books and uploading? Really simple. Probably on par with Kobo Writing Life or Nook Press, except there’s no preview of any kind. You just upload your cover image and your EPUB (and/or a PDF if you want). I have a PDF for all but my last upload.

I probably won’t bother with PDFs in the future—ah, never mind. I do a PDF for OMNI Lit/ARe, so I will probably keep doing them for the novels that I also have there. I don’t put everything over there, because I just can’t be bothered with the short stuff—you know, thinking about it now, I probably should. I might sell a copy or two. But I’ve been saying that for a while and I haven’t done it yet.

Ah well. Someday, maybe. ;)

Progress: May 1, Tuesday

—Working to increase my daily average word count

Final count : 2,874

Still trying to write 800–1,000 words on 5 to 6 stories each day; still not succeeding most of the time.

I deleted a lot of words today so this is a great word count, IMO! :) If I take those deleted words into account, my new words for the day was more like 3,800 (I deleted around 1,000 or so).

Progress: April 30, Wednesday

—Working to increase my daily average word count

Made it to 1,679 words for the day

Here’s the thing. I’m writing “Writing Journal” posts in Evernote, but they ramble, and go on way too long, and feel a little personal at times, so I think I’m just going to skip posting them and include only my word counts, and maybe a short note or two in these progress posts. :D It’s for the best, promise! You’d get really bored reading them.

Progress: April 29, Tuesday

WIFI off.

—Working to increase my daily average word count.

Hmm. Made it to 327 words.

Don’t ask me why that was all I got done. I have no idea. At least I’m writing! :D

Scratch that. I think it’s lack of sleep. There were a lot of storms last night, the power was out for a few hours, and I just didn’t get much sleep. I’m tired, and that really explains everything. I’d lay around and nap, but I really need to get some writing done!

Also, something’s interfering with my ability to make reasoned, future-beneficial choices in the moment, and then stick to them.

Progress: April 27, Sunday

Was going to call this “Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #15” but I’ve decided to put that on hold until the weekdays. Or more specifically, for days where I feel I can give the effort my undivided attention. Not every day is a good day for going after a record. Today feels like one of those not-so-good days.

This is actually the third post I’ve written today. I scrapped the first two. They’re in Evernote, same as this one, so they’re not gone forever, but I’m just going to ignore them. ;)

That said, I still expect to have a productive writing day. Or I’m making the attempt, anyway.

Or not. Said about nine and a half hours and 45 words later.

6:06 PM: 45
10:15 PM: 506

I think I’ve also decided to post my little progress reports as “status updates” or “asides” instead of full-on posts. :D But yes, this just brings home the point that weekend days are unpredictable.

Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #14

Fourteen is many more attempts than I thought would be necessary to reach my current one day word count goal, considering how successful I’ve found working on multiples stories each day to be for helping me reach higher word counts.

But fourteen isn’t really that bad, considering how long that record has stood.

5,475 has been my record for the most words I’ve written in one day since June 17, 2013.

And … ayk!! I had to look that up, and although my spreadsheet tells me the max() number in my daily word count sheet, it didn’t tell me that that particular entry had a note beside it! After reading that note, I don’t actually think that’s my high word count. :o I’ve been operating on the belief for nearly a month now that I managed to write 5,475 words in one day but my note indicates I might have “rescued” some words I deleted about two weeks prior to that date. Wow.

I took a closer look so I could find my true high word count and it would be the next highest number, 5,208 on August 16, 2013. I remember that day, and I know that was a genuine win.

Well, learn something new most days. Today is apparently one of those days.

I’d still rather beat 5,475. But this does, in fact, make a lot of sense, since I don’t have that same remembered feeling about the 5,475. I was surprised when my record was that high, and it appears now it was for good reason!

Still, back to the stories. I’m going to get started shortly and try to break at least one of those records today. Plus, it’s the first day of my new week and I’m trying to break another 7-day record, and I’m trying to break my monthly record.

Time to shut down my WIFI before I get lost in it!

And it’s 11:19 am and I haven’t written a word. I can still do this. So. Okay. Time to get started. Right now.

12:13 pm : 266
3:00 pm : 1,269
4:22 pm : 1,510

Slow going today! I just don’t see how I’m going to come close to breaking my record when all I want to do right now is nap. Or watch tv. Or do anything but sit here and write. It’s fun when I’m doing it but I just don’t want to focus.

Later…

It’s late, I’m tired, and I haven’t done any writing since 4:22 pm. I wanted to get to 2,000 today. I’m close enough that I should try—only I’m not going to. I’m so tired I just want to go on to sleep. I got up entirely too early today and I just don’t have any energy left.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get to 2,000 earlier in the day.

I promised to watch a movie tomorrow and I’m going to, but I’m also going to write more than I wrote today. The movie is less than 2 hours long, and lunch will be about 2 hours long, so I’ll be unable to work from 10 am to 2 pm. But 7-ish to 10 should give me between 1,000–1,200 words, then 2 to 4 should put me at 2,000–2,400, then 6 to 8 should put me near 3,000–4,200. I’m trying for 4,200.

From now on, though, I think I’m going to make Monday–Friday my primary writing days where I do more than my average. Saturday and Sunday will be reserved for just keeping my mean up and getting a head start on the week’s writing.

UPDATE: Yeah. This record-breaking thing isn’t working so well. I’m either going to have to try again in May or pull off a miracle.

Last Chance This Week! Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #13*

Lucky 13, maybe? Yep, yep. I read a passage from Thinking, Fast and Slow last night about “regression to the mean” and I realized right away that I need to raise my daily word count mean so I can regress to a higher number! ;)

I didn’t read enough of the book to know if there’s anything else in there that I could use, but the fact is, my current mean is 725 words and that’s not even close to where I want to be. I want to be prolific and for me that means I should write at least 2,000 words a day on average. (Of fiction. Who cares what else I write?)

How committed do I feel to reaching this goal? Committed!

On that note, I’m tracking my progress today, because I’m making a concerted effort to break my daily word count record, and it’s my last chance this week to do it since my writing weeks end on Friday and begin again on Saturday. :D

9:21 am : 334**
10:45 am : 775***
6:20 pm : 1,174

*Yeah, you didn’t know there was an attempt #1–12, did you? I never put those posts online. Ah, well.

**Why so slow? Because I’m actually making progress on my stalled out novella! Yay!

***What happened?! I … don’t really know. I felt a compulsion to update a couple of websites I have, which ran terribly slow, and a quickie post or two turned into two and a half hours. Then life stuff had to happen, which happens every day, so no surprise there, and then when I finally got to writing again, it was 5:07 pm and apparently my speed was about 399 words an hour. Yikes!

I’ve promised to watch a movie at 7 pm so that’s going to be it for me, so back to work! The chance of breaking my record today has gone, so now I’m just trying to salvage what I can in my effort to reach and maintain a 2k a day average.

And, nope, didn’t happen. I didn’t get anything additional done on my books. I spent my last 40 minutes adding some of these posts I’ve been doing in Evernote to the real blog.

Progress: April 24, Thursday

Writing is not a job.* Just wanted to get that out of the way. :D Now, I want to spend all day writing, and all evening reading, so time to get to it or the day’s going to fade away on me.

Time : word count

9:27 am : 132
10:26 am : 598
12:54 pm : 979
Final : 1,080

I cut one of my fingernails too short when I trimmed them day before yesterday. Ouch. It only started hurting last night, though, so yesterday I probably damaged the quick right below the tip of my nail somehow.

Also, I’m up to unposted b-log number twenty-five. Twenty-five. Boggles the mind.

I’m going to take some time today, later, and post at least a few of them. Otherwise, I’ll probably never post any of them. Don’t be surprised to see some backdated posts after today. :D

I’m dragging and I’m not sure what to do about it. Hmm. Caffeine? Sugar? Exercise? Nap? They all sound like a bad idea just about right now, just another way to avoid writing. Which is funny, in an unfun way, because I actually like where my stories are, but I keep yawning and I’m tired. What to do, what to do…

Here’s a quote from the ever-helpful Joanna Penn:

I can’t keep doing what I doing and expecting a different result. I have to change what I’m doing in order to reach my goals. [sic]

This is exactly why I keep changing my process, and why I always seem to be looking for the next best one, because I can’t stay in the same place and expect to end up somewhere else. :D

From Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.:

Psychologists have found that we are all too quick to use progress as an excuse for taking it easy … that making progress on a goal motivates people to engage in goal-sabotaging behavior.

I have direct experience with this and it’s a horrible, horrible feeling to know you’ve just done something wonderful (like beat your all-time 7-consecutive-day word count record) and then fall down the very next week. It’s hard to get back up after that, and I’m saying that as someone who is trying right now to get back up. Tomorrow is the end of my second week after the fact, and I’ve done so horribly bad on my word counts these last two weeks compared to where I want to be that I want to pretend they don’t even exist.

*I’ll link this to the relevant b-log if I remember. Ha! I remembered. :)

 

Progress: April 22, Tuesday

Story #1 : 355
Story #2 : 224
Story #3 : 183

2:01 pm : 762

Story #4 : 96

3:38 pm : 858

Goal for this evening: Get as close to 1,000 words as possible for each of the 4 stories I started on today. :D

Story #5 : 218

9:35 pm : 1,076

Milestone: I’ve written on the most stories in a day since I began working with multiple stories. Too bad this hasn’t translated into more words.

Story #2 : 466

10:33 pm : 1,318

An Actual Post

Strangely enough, I’ve been blogging a lot lately, even if I haven’t been posting those posts (hereafter to be called b-logs). :D

I’ve been using Evernote (which I’m still doing for this one, tbh) and just writing the b-logs the same as I was doing on the site, and holding them with the intent of posting when I turned my WIFI back on. But it’s gotten kind of out of control, and I don’t feel a strong desire to post more than a dozen backdated b-logs.

It’s been a relatively good month. I’ve also had a few relatively bad days with my novella. I’m stuck on it, and I’ve had a hell of a time with it since January.

My current experiment

At the moment, I’m schedule free; the way I’ve been working has been working so well for me that I haven’t needed a schedule. :D Happy days…

A few weeks ago, I decided to try writing on multiple stories at once, every day, 800–1,000 words on each of 4 to 6 stories for 3,200–6,000 words.

I’ve increased the number of words I write daily, even if I haven’t been able to work on more than 3 stories most days, or get higher than 3,374 words in one day. But my daily average for April is currently my fifth highest out of twenty-one months of writing. I’ve also finished a novelette and made real progress on one of my bigger novels I need to finish in the next month or two.

I’ve been happy with this, and it’s kept me writing at a nice pace. It feels easy and I don’t know that I can ask for more than that with the lack of motivation to write I’d been feeling the last few months.

Here’s what I do (or try to do)

When I hit a wall with my concentration on one story, I switch to another. I try to do this instead of check email, forums, and blogs for a quick distraction that always ends up being a major time sink.

That’s pretty much the sum total of how I’m handling the different stories.

A lot of times, the writing feels easier when I go back to a story I was working on earlier than it did right before I switched, as if the switch loosened something up and I can now keep going without the same drag I was feeling when I hit the wall. And that’s it.

Week before last, I made it over 3,000 words on 3 days, and over 2,000 on 3 days. I ended that week with my highest 7-consecutive-day total to date of 18,049 words.

Last week wasn’t as good. I lost a big chunk of words when I decided to revisit my languishing novella and cut over 5,000 words from it. I’ve mentioned before that my spreadsheets immediately take deletions into account, and it knocked me back so that I ended last week with 4,523 words.

I had hoped this week would start off well, but it hasn’t. I got stuck on the novella and I haven’t been able to let it go. I’m dragging myself down as I agonize over that book.

I need to finish it; it’s a sequel I’ve already said I was writing; but I can’t seem to get unstuck on it. I’m even toying with the idea of deleting the whole thing and starting over, only I’m not sure how I’d do any better a job with it if I did that. This might be a case of just finishing it and putting it out there so I can get it off my mind.

All that aside, it’s time to get to work. I have stories to write. :D It’s raining today and I like writing to the sound of rain. I’m going to do a separate b-log with today’s summary of progress. Just easier that way! ;D

Revisiting Motivation

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

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

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

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