Saturday Challenge—10,000 New Words of Fiction

Final tally: 2,538 or 25% of my goal.

For every hour between 7 am and 11 pm I’m going to attempt to write 625 words. That comes out to 10,000 words. I’ll have to lock my perfectionist in a closet for this. I might also have to switch between stories if I get blocked on any one thing, so I’m going to keep 3–5 of my current projects open all day so I can jump to one or the other if I get stuck.  If I hit 2/3 of my goal all on one story, I could finish my current book.

For a lot of writers, 625 words in a hour is no big deal, but for me this is definitely a real challenge. My average hourly output is 500–600 words an hour and this winter I’ve not even been hitting that. I’m also rarely able to stay focused long enough not to lose significant amounts of time during a day. It’s time to try to break through some barriers here.

And the good news is that even if I fail spectacularly, it’s possible I’ll still end up with a dream day of 5,000 words!

I’ll update with my actual counts as the day progresses. Maybe this’ll even tell me something about when I’m most productive. Good luck, me! :D

7 am:  291
8 am: 61
9 am: 55
10 am: −673
11 am: 395
12 am: 191
1 pm
2 pm
3 pm: 421
4 pm: 502
5 pm: 313
6 pm: 638
7 pm: 115
8 pm: 221
9 pm
10 pm

UGH! So, I’ve been writing for 4 hours and losing very little time this morning. I’ve done ~3 15 minutes timed sessions every hour so far and this is what I have to show for it. −258 words net this morning. I made it through the rest of chapter 4, all the way through chapter 5, and then deleted the entirety of chapter 6.

Now it’s all new stuff going forward so I can only hope that I’ll do a lot better the rest of the day! And if not, I’ll find another of my stories to write for a while. Now it’s back to it—I’ve already lost 5 minutes in my 11 to 12 hour writing this update.

6 hours in, net 328 words in about  4.5 hours of timed writing, and I’m tired! Tired of cold fingers and a runny nose and low word counts that I can’t explain. It’s like I have this huge concrete block sitting right in way. I have no idea why I’m maintaining a pace of just 73 words an hour. When you look at the numbers it feels impossible to go that slow! If I could the entire 6 hours, it’s even worse at 55. That’s like … not even a word a minute!! Ugh.

I just don’t think today is the day for this challenge. I need a nap.

I was on the verge of calling this but I took a couple of minute to go out into the 60° sunshine and sit and I realized success isn’t about the numbers at the end of the day today. I realized that sometimes my creative brain just doesn’t run smoothly, but the only way to work out the kinks is to get in there and just try, and then keep trying until it loosens up. I realized I might be working at less than my peak because, yeah, I really am tired. I realized I might need a break so I can make the transition between the critical (cutting all that stuff this morning and fixing the problems with what was left) and the creative. I realized I didn’t want to give up even if my chance of reaching even 5,000 words today is so small as to be insignificant.

Here’s what I’m going to do.

I’m going to take the rest of the 1 to 2 pm hour and all of the 2 to 3 pm hour out to rest, and then I’m going to come back at 3 pm and keep going.

I returned from my break feeling better. I started about 20 minutes late and still got 421 words. Then my next hour netted me 502. So things are looking up. :D I’m glad I didn’t give up. I’m still not sure where this story is going, but it’s moving and if I get frustrated I hope I won’t forget that I can change stories for a while.

Yay! I’m now at my highest word count since 1/26. 2,202 words. 4 hours to go.

So, I’m cutting out a bit early. I’m exhausted. :D It’s been a productive but long day and I’m frustrated that I’m slowing down again, and this time there’s no reason for it other than plain old fatigue. I need a break. I’ve been up since 5:45 am.

I think I’m going to try something similar tomorrow, but with a few less working hours. We’ll see what I come up with! And I’ll definitely do this challenge again, but I have to have a whole day to myself to do it, so it’ll probably be a few weeks before I can try this exact challenge again.