September on-track challenge

Back on 8/20/23, I decided on a daily word count for my daily goal going forward. I incorporated it into my spreadsheet so I could keep up with my progress, and even made a note to myself: do not delete even if I get really behind →. That arrow points to day 1 of the tracking.

As you can see, I have gotten really behind. My challenge for September is to cut into that negative number. So not only do I want to stay caught up for the rest of the month, I want to catch up a bit on that on-track number. :D

Anything will be a win, but I specifically would like to get the number back into the mid-20k range.

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. :-)

It’s catch-up day redux! Goal: 6.7 hours of writing

Since I didn’t succeed yesterday in catching up, I’ve decided to give it one more go. Today I will try to accumulate 6.7 hours of writing. That’ll give me today’s three hours, plus catch me up with Saturday’s and Sunday’s three hours each.

Whew. I’m only doing this because I need some way to decide how much time to spend writing while I try to finish this book ASAP. My three hour daily goal isn’t likely to be enough unless I start writing five to six times faster than I’ve been writing. Catching up gives me a reason to write for longer. In other words, my brain likes to know the reasons for things, so I’m giving it a reason. ;)

I’ll report progress as I go the same way I did yesterday. I actually liked that format a lot. :)


2:53 pm: finished a 3 minute and 13 minute session, wrote 157 words.

Unknown: ended a 5 minute session to research some stuff from previous books in my series, wrote 1 word. Must’ve rewrote something, obviously. :)

Spent way too much time reading through my series doc to find stuff about one particular topic. And then the power went out. I kept reading. :D

5:49 pm: ended a power outage (it’s been a stormy day).

Internet wouldn’t work so I ended up getting distracted by troubleshooting the problem with my modem and router. Finally restarted my computer and problem fixed itself. UGH! Anyway, back to writing. :-|

8:03 pm: finished a 5 followed by a 16 minute session, wrote 99 words.

9:52 pm: ended a session of 32 minutes, wrote 275 words.

11:12 pm: ended a 54 minute session, wrote -12 words.

I keep fixing things that would be better left alone. UGH.

11:53 pm: stopped after a session of 18 minutes, wrote 263 words.

Gave up for the night in frustration. Scene was making me want to pull my hair out.

Final tally: 2.35 hours and 782 words. So far off the mark that I don’t even know what to say. Tomorrow I will write early and forget this late night crap. >:{

It’s catch-up day! Goal: 7.484 hours of writing

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m trying to write for three hours today, catch up yesterday’s three hours, and finish Saturday’s three hours. That means I’m trying to accumulate 7.484 hours of timed writing today.


1:18 pm: finished a session of 61 minutes, wrote 135 words.

3:13 pm: ended a short session of 4 minutes, wrote 36 words.

5:31 pm: ended a 54 minute session, wrote 233 words.

6:54 pm: finished a session of 31 minutes, wrote 107 words.

Speed today is at OUCH levels.

12:13 am: finished another 61 minute session, wrote 157 words.

12:28 am: finished a session of 16 minutes, wrote 71 words.

Okay. I’m calling it.

I wrote for 3.783 hours and 739 words. A lot disappointed but maybe tomorrow will be better.