My new to-the-point production schedule

I think I mentioned before that I had to toss the last production schedule I made. I archived it, but I don’t think I’ll be revisiting it. It included deadlines and word count calculations detailed by book that were just too much for my poor brain to handle. To be blunt, it stressed me out. I’ve mentioned before that the way I handle stress is to shut down and do nothing.

I’ve done a lot of nothing over the last few weeks. Changing that is a high priority this week.

First I calculated how many days I can realistically expect myself to work in a year. This is an ideal number, of course, but I have to start somewhere.

Holidays 4
Unexpected 12
Vacation (wkdays) 15
Weekends 104
total days off 135
total working days 230

Then I calculated the number of words I would like to write in the next 12 months based on the release schedule I’d like to maintain for each series—no deadlines attached.

Year’s production Number avg wc total wc
Series #3 6 65,000 390,000
Pen names series #1 4 50,000 200,000
Series #2 4 50,000 200,000
Short stories 12 8,000 96,000
Series #1 4 35,000 140,000
Stand-alone novels 2 50,000 100,000
New pen name novels 1 50,000 50,000

Those gave me my numbers to work from and this was the result:

5,113 words

That’s the number of words I need to write each weekday if I want to reach that level. It seems overwhelming, but I broke it down further into my two daily sessions to fit into my schedule.

6 (hours)
3 2,557 852.17 wph
3 2,557 852.17 wph

Then, for comparison, I calculated my necessary daily average.

3,222 words

That’s the daily average I need to reach and maintain if I want to write all the books on this production schedule within the next 12 months.

It’s my back up plan.

Then I asked myself if this is what I really want.

Yes. It is.

I have so many stories I want to tell before they fade away and become uninteresting to me. The ideas are there and I don’t want to miss my chance to write as many of them as possible before… whatever happens. I’m not dying or anything, not that I know of anyway, but every day that slips away from me makes me just a little bit more afraid that I’ll never get all these stories written before I die. It’s a scary thing to think about, tbh.

Can I do it? I don’t know. I know it won’t get done if I don’t try. Anyway, this is the ideal, again, and I can accept that it won’t be the reality, but it’s what I want, regardless of all that.

If I find it impossible to reach the 5,113 words after giving it my all this week, I can fall back to the “write every day” alternative.

I don’t like word count goals and I’m pretty sure this isn’t going to change that. But—

I know where I’m at and where I want to go, and even if I never look at this again, I will have that number sitting in the back of my brain, reminding me not to quit early, and not to expect less from myself, because this is what it will take to write everything I want to write, not even as quickly as I want to write it.

The first thing I need to do? Stop being a slow writer. 852 words an hour is much faster than I’m used to writing.