May 2019 progress

I wanted May to be my best month ever, and it wasn’t.

I did succeed in making it to 50,000 words again, so in a way it was my best month, because in May I finally broke through to two months of 50,000 words in a row and I wrote more fiction in May than in April (there was an extra day in the month but my daily average was also better by 21 words).

May also came in as my best month in 2019 (so far), and I set a new record for myself by writing 6,606 words on May 7th.

And I finally published a book this year. :-)

Of course I’m going to try to beat all that with June so maybe those records won’t last long. :)

The most amazing aspect of the no sweets until 1,000 words thing is that it helped me fight off the usual problems I have with publishing something and then getting back to writing. I wrote about some of that in my May 1–16 progress post. I didn’t lose too much time to publishing tasks (I make a huge effort to do as little as possible here anyway—I like some aspects of the publishing phase, but there are a lot of things I just don’t bother with because I hate doing them) and I didn’t get out of the habit of daily writing (which I’m doing most often in the morning now because I am usually desperate for something sweet by noon, even though I rarely get anything til later).

Forcing myself to write early (for the sweets) has meant my focus is better and has pretty much broken my habit of waiting until later in the day to write and just being too tired.

I wrote a couple of good posts here on the blog, too, one about trusting yourself with your story, and one about how to make life easier for your indie publisher self.

Words written in May: 52,460.

A new record—50,000 words, two months in a row

I did it! The goal I set out to meet this month has been met. But not only did I cross the 50,000 word mark for May after having written 50,000 words in April, I also finished a short story last night doing it. :)

Now, there are three writing days left in this month, and I’m not sure I’ll reach the 2,000 words per day average I had hoped to reach this month, but I can still make this my best month to date.

My current record high word count for a month (fiction only, remember!) is 57,249 from back in April 2016. As of last night, I’m sitting at 50,262 words for May. I need 6,988 words to beat that. A solid 7,000 would be better than a one word bump. :) So I need to write more than 2,333 each day of these last three days to do it.

I’m going to try.

Tomorrow I resume the challenge to reach 6000 words in a day

Today I haven’t written any fiction. I have a daily writing streak I could keep alive by writing something now, but I don’t think I’m going to. I might, when I finish writing this post, go write a little something, but I might not. I’m tired and I’m not really seeing the need.

Tomorrow I resume the challenge to write 6000 words in a day. I was SO close a few days ago but I just couldn’t get those last 200 words. I’ve been staying up too late and when you’re falling asleep at the computer, it’s time to put the computer up. ;)

I’m just about there now.

There’s a caveat to the resumption of the challenge for tomorrow though. I have to start working my way back into good sleep habits. I’m paying for the lack of them in so many ways. Increased appetite, cravings for sweets, tired eyes, that kind of thing.

Anyway, the point is that I’m still very interested in reaching 6000 words in a day but I also want to not have to work so hard at it. :D

First thing: I need to make sure I’m in a place in my head where I can write freely. I just can’t do this without a better pace. 10 hours and 33 minutes is how long it took me to write the 5,816 words that broke my previous record of 5,758 words in a day. That’s just too much time.

I don’t want to have another 10 hour day anytime in the near future. Seriously, it was rough and I felt very much like all I did was get up Sunday, start writing, and write all day long until I gave up at about 10:30 that night. I know I had times when I was away from the computer, because I only clocked 10 hours and 33 minutes, but I sure can’t remember any of them. It was write, write, write, all day.

Anyway, enough of this ramble. The TL;DR for this is I’m still chasing 6000 words a day, but I’m setting some limits. :)


Would you believe I’ve written almost 5000 words today?

Believe it, because it’s true. I’ve written almost 5000 words today, on the first day that I’ve taken a break from my 6000-words-in-a-day challenge since I started it twelve days ago.

Oh, the irony.

ETA: Scratch that. I have written 5000 words today. 5,100 to be exact.

ETA2: And I came in at 5,816 words for the day which is a new record for me. I also created a personal record for time spent writing: 10 hours and 33 minutes.

Multiple stories at once: first week

I have 8 days worth of words to count now, so my first week writing on multiple stories is done, and I feel like I have something to say about this method: it really works for me.

Thursday—Wednesday, April 7–13
3,003 (4 stories)
1,009 (2 stories)
1,347 (2 stories)
3,557 (4 stories)
3,983 (2 stories)
5,391 (4 stories)
3,583 (3 stories)

Total: 21,873

What’s different about this attempt and any others where I worked on multiple stories regularly?

I can’t say 100% that this is an accurate list, but I do believe it’s close to the truth.

  1. Now: I’m writing in 1 hour blocks, but am free to switch if another story calls strongly to me. Then: my 50 word challenge.
  2. There is no most important story. See the 50 word challenge post again. I write what I’m most interested in writing. :D

That’s really it, the big differences that I think are leading me to write more and stay at it longer. And what it all boils down to is interest in what I’m writing, excitement, and fun.

When I’ve got those, writing is not hard.

December has become my best sales month

I didn’t think December would make it, not with how quickly sales slowed down toward the end of the month, but it does now appear that December has become my best earning month to date for my self-publishing business (highest revenue and most units sold). The numbers are preliminary and do not include my international sales because I don’t know what they’ll come to once currency conversion happens.

If I had wanted to make this claim a few days ago, I could have, but I wanted it solid, with U.S. dollars. Now it is. :)

This is one reason I’m trying so hard to write more books in the coming year. I’m very close to a milestone earnings number and I would like to reach it within the next six months.

Currently, I earn a modest full-time living off sales of my fiction.

I want more. :D


Sales milestone

Unless I’m mistaken, and it is possible, although not likely, I’ve just reached a sales milestone. It appears that I’ve sold more copies of my books today than I’ve ever sold in a single day. This is easy for me to know, because I’ve never done a promo outside of a Kindle Countdown deal for my new pen name, and so I’ve never had a crazy good sales day that has just blown me away. That deal wasn’t advertised so I hardly sold anything.

The thing is, I don’t have to sell a crazy number of copies of my books to earn quite a decent amount of money, because I sell my novels at $6.99 and I don’t price promotionally except in really rare circumstances. I’ve done one .99 sale on one of my books, because I was testing out Google Play, and Amazon price matched. Because I didn’t advertise the price, I sold relatively few copies. Not enough to cover the revenue from what I would have sold at full price if there’d been no promo price at all. Then I’ve had that Kindle Countdown deal for my other pen name book, and sold a few copies, but again, no advertising of the price, so not many sales.

Everything I’ve seen so far suggests that if I’m not going to advertise, I’m much better off keeping my books at full price all the time and putting out more books. When a new book comes out in a series, all the books benefit in a significant way.

And that brings me to today. Best sales day ever for me, and nothing to credit for it except the new release and organic growth. Here’s to hoping today isn’t the peak and tomorrow isn’t the crash. :D

And if it is, it was fun while it lasted. :D