Today is day 20 of writing every day

I’ve written some fiction every day now for 20 days.

Next up, get my daily average at or above 2,000 words by writing 2,400 words a day.

Today I’m trying to get to that 2,400 words for the first time in a very, very long time. (I did not get there yesterday.) I’m going to do it by writing in 15 minute sessions, in blocks of 4, using the same set up as mentioned in the “Timed sessions are back” post.

I’ve already completed one session. I’ll update whenever I need a break between sessions. That’ll give me a bit of a distraction but not by doing something that’s likely to derail me from my writing today.

Also, just putting it out there, but I’m thinking if the first hour or two go well, I might turn today into an attempt to best my best day of writing. 5,816 is the number to beat there.

We’ll see how it goes. Right now, I have a mere 99 words after one session. That pace is too slow for this to be a record-breaking day of writing for me.

Update

Words today: 2,445.

July 10, 2018 Tuesday writing

The big goal is to reach 2,000 words before 4 today. I’d better get started and write fast if I want any chance of that happening now that I’ve frittered away my morning.

Secondary goal: log at least 3 hours of timed writing during my 12–4 scheduled writing time. I’ll be tracking start and end times so I can monitor this.

11:29 – I thought I was going to start writing around 9 am this morning but I just couldn’t get started. I really wasn’t in the mood, if you want to put it that way. So I’m on my second cup of coffee now and it’s 11:29 and I’m trying to get myself revved up to start now. I’ve been playing spider solitaire and klondike solitaire but finally closed those, and the house is quiet, the sun is shining outside my windows and I’m just… tired, to put it bluntly. Not of writing. It’s just a general tiredness because I feel like I woke up before I was ready to wake up this morning.

But… moving on. Time to write. First, heat up coffee, pee, then do not do anything else except start my timer running. Once it’s running, I’ll be home free. I’ve at least trained myself pretty well to stay on task when that timer is going.

1:05 – Session #1 –

7:58 – Ouch. So that didn’t work out like I’d hoped. Ended up splitting session #1 into 10 minutes and 20 minutes, because I just couldn’t stay focused this afternoon. And here I am now, just getting back to logging it.

But that was it. I totally failed to write today, even though I spent a lot of time at the computer playing solitaire. I really miss being able to move my computer. I can’t wait to get the keyboard changed out.

July 9, 2018 Monday writing

Here’s another post about my writing day.

On the one hand, I’m pleased that I started off my plan to write 2,000 words a day somewhat successfully. I ended up with 1,825 words. Not 2,000, but close enough that it won’t drag my average down in the long run (I hope). On the other hand, I’m really disappointed that it took all freaking day to do it, and I didn’t even make it to four solid hours of timed writing. I clocked only 2.67 hours, in fact.

I’m going to say this up front. I have to take breaks between most writing sessions and that’s just the way it is. I pee a lot. I have to move my legs. I can’t sit still for long periods. If I don’t move, I can’t focus. If I don’t click away from my book when I get too wound up, I can’t focus. I need a lot of help focusing, to be blunt.

The most hours of timed writing I’ve ever logged in a day is just over ten and a half and that was the hardest day I’ve ever spent writing. I started early in the morning and I finished late that night. It’s also my record word count day at the moment.

I just cannot sit and write for four hours straight. It’s currently an impossibility for me. I don’t know if it always will be, but I suspect I will never be that person who sits down and doesn’t move until their daily word count has been reached. Well, maybe if my daily word count was like 500 words or something. I might make it. Some days. :)

But one thing I don’t expect is to end up with four hours of timed writing from a 12–4 writing schedule. That’s a completely unreasonable goal for me, and I know it.

But three would be nice. So I’m working on it. I’m going to really focus in on that 12–4 writing time and try to get a consistent three hours of timed writing out of it. The rest of the day? I don’t care. I’ll just do what I can do.

Now back to the post about my writing day. Here’s the log, which I wrote in OneNote yesterday but got too tired to post before I went to bed. It’s long! I recorded a lot of minutia.

  • Start at 12 pm and get as close to 4 hours of timed writing in before 4 pm as I can.
  • Do 20 minute sessions today to help me stay more focused on speed.

(Although the 60 minute sessions do work to keep me focused during them, I don’t like starting them, and so I always feel like I end up doing less writing in the end. I should confirm that with numbers but maybe some other time.)

12:23 – Just finished my first session of the day.

Session #1 didn’t go great. I ended the session at -22 words. Too much editing of yesterday’s words and no forward momentum at all. I will try to correct that with session #2.

To help limit the necessity of breaks, I had coffee earlier so I could move on to something less likely to force me away from my desk every five minutes. I’m having hot water over lemon and honey, instead.

Now, unfortunately, I do need a quick break. :D Be right back.

12:39 – I’m back and ready to start session #2.

1:00 – Session #2 done. 211 words. Total words: 189. Still in the weeds of yesterday’s work. However, I ended up expanding one conversation and that’s where the new words came from.

I posted an update to my CampNaNoWriMo cabin and to a small writer’s group I’m part of on Discord. Grabbed lunch and am eating at my desk today because I forgot to eat lunch before I started at 12.

1:25 – Ready to start session #3.

1:46 – Session #3 done. 156 words. Total words: 345.

2:06 – I had a short break to check the mail (real mail!) because I saw the postman put a package in the box, and sure enough, it was my keyboard replacement and the fan. I’m still waiting on the frame and I’ve decided to let that come before I dig into the computer for the repairs.

I’m actually liking this temporary keyboard quite a bit. I might continue to use it. We’ll just have to see. Now, time to start session #4.

3:02 – Finished session #4. 357 words. Total words: 702. Don’t know where the rest of my time went. I didn’t leave the computer. I think I looked at few reports or something, and time must have gotten away from me before I clicked “Start” on the timer.

3:36 – A cup of cocoa and coffee later, and I am back. I think the honey and lemon wasn’t such a good alternative to coffee, not for the reason I wanted it as an alternative. The lemon seemed to be just as big an irritant to my bladder as the coffee usually is! But at least with the coffee, I get a little caffeine high. So I won’t be doing that substitution again as a way to cut down on breaks, because it did not cut down on breaks. :)

Starting session #5.

4:00 – Finished session #5. 297 words. Total words: 999. About halfway to my initial 2,000 words goal.

4:17 – Starting session #6.

4:41 – Finished session #6. It was a good one! 388 words. Total words: 1,387. That was a pace of 1,164 words an hour. If I kept that up, I’d be done with my 2,000 in a snap. I’m not holding my breath, but it could happen. :)

4:59 – Starting session #7. Hopefully I’ll get a few of these in before I stop again. I’m wearing myself out here with all the jumping up and down out of my seat.

5:29 – Did not start session #7. I played a game of spider solitaire first. Now I’m starting session #7. I’m actually really kind of sleepy and tired. But I’m going to do at least this one more session before I take a dinner break.

5:58 – And an unexpected interruption derailed that attempt. Starting session #7 now.

6:39 – Finished session #7. 211 words. Total words: 1,598 words. My pace slowed, but yeah, no surprise there.

8:56 – I stopped after the last session for a dinner break. I would have preferred to get my 2,000 words first but time kept getting away from me so I decided to stop early enough to come back after. So here I am. Ready to start session #8.

9:54 – Or not. I played a game of spider solitaire instead, ran some numbers on my spreadsheet, and then dealt with an interruption. I’m going to finish my game of spider solitaire and then start session #8.

I’m disappointed that my 4 hours of writing have taken all day. And that I haven’t reached 2,000 words yet.

I’m giving some thought to what I can do differently but there’s not a lot, not while I have people in the house with me all day. I’m just too prone to distraction and I tolerate too many interruptions, from others and myself.

It would serve me well to get up early and start writing while it’s quiet, but I’ve gotten into a nice routine with the 12–4 schedule and I don’t want to mess that up. I also kind of like not having to jump right into writing. If it were just me here, I don’t there’d be any problem at all with 12–4. It’s just that I’m not here alone most days and won’t be until mid-August, and then only some days, and not even close to most of them.

So, I have to learn to get by even with the interruptions. Things won’t change for a few more years, I expect. Time waits on no one.

10:35 – Alright. I’m done with that game. I’m not finished with it, just done. The biggest impediment to this plan of mine is my laptop’s broken keyboard. I’d love to take my computer up to bed and sit there and do some last minute writing but I can’t, not unless I want to have my space bar doing ridiculous things to my book. So I’d better get started. I’m fast running out of all steam. Pretty soon I’m not going to even care if I reach 2,000 words today and I’ll give up. Happens every time I let myself get sleepy.

Starting session #8 now. Also, my music has reached the “driving me crazy” phase of the day, so I just turned it off, with prejudice.

11:53 – I’m not sure when session 8 ended, but I wrapped up by updating my spreadsheet and then ended up working on the story a little more after that.

Total words for the day: 1,825.

Tomorrow, the only thing I’m going to focus on is staying on task and getting my sessions done. I think I’ll try 30 minute sessions and see how that goes.

July 8, 2018 Sunday writing

It’s 9:18 in the morning and I’m going to start today’s writing soon. I prefer to write every day, so Sunday is no day off for me. I’ve tried taking weekends off, but I just do not do well when I change up my routine. I’m much better at sticking to something if I don’t allow myself to ever skip a day.

My current philosophy: write every day!

So here I am, ready to write. I was trying to stick to 12–4 as my writing time, and I do plan to go back to that, but right now, I’m falling so far behind where I want to be with my current book in progress that I’m trying every day to start a little earlier than that.

The plan today: write in 60 minute sessions to limit breaks and distractions. I would like to write at least 4,000 words today but I’m not setting that as a goal. I’ll be satisfied if I just write as much as I can during the 6 sessions I have planned.

So really, my goal is to write for 6 hours today. And a subgoal of that is to focus on writing as fast as I can during those sessions.

9:22 – I’m going to grab breakfast, make coffee, feed the stray cat and her brood, and sit down to start my first timer. I hope this doesn’t take too long. I’d like to be writing before 10 am.

10:40 – I’m starting a little later than I wanted but the first timer session is ready to go!

I’ll probably do my updates in OneNote and post them here after the fact. I do happen to find the internet very distracting.

12:30 – Finished first session. 259 words.

12:51 – Ready to start session two. Try not to judge so hard and write more freely. The story isn’t going to fall apart if I have a little fun.

1:13 – I got distracted after all. I’m trying to find a new launcher for my phone and I spent a few minutes looking at those in Play and sending them to my phone. But I’m ignoring my phone for now and getting started with this second session instead.

3:32 – Stopped to pre-prep lunch/dinner and ended up working on my spreadsheets instead of finishing my second 60 minute session. I have 23 minutes left, but it looks like I won’t be getting back to it until after this meal.

Time is really getting away from me.

5:25 – I’m ready to get back to writing now. Time to finish that last 23 minutes, then start another session right away if I can.

6:02 – And there I went again. I spent some more time working on my spreadsheet, running various numbers. I think I’ve decided pretty definitively (sure sounds like it, huh?) that I’m going to try again to start averaging 2,000 words a day. Not just as an average though, but as a “more days than not” thing.

I have books I want to write, sooner rather than later, and I’m just not writing them as fast as I want to. I mean that. I want to write these books sooner than I’ll ever be able to write most of them if I don’t improve my daily average. Not to say that I wouldn’t appreciate an increase in income, but I really want to write these books and other books, and more books, and just… I want to be prolific as a writer. Don’t ask me why. I don’t really know, and even though I’ve thought of a thousand reasons why it might be, none of those reasons feel right to me. I just know I want to do this. I want to be prolific.

And there’s a reason 2,000 words a day feels prolific to me.

2,000 words a day gets me 730,000 words a year, and that’s 14 books of about 52,000 words each. Some could be shorter, some longer. The actual average for all my novels is 60,844 words. But even at 60,000 words for every book I were to write, 2,000 words a day would still allow me to write 12 books a year.

At 12 books a year, I would get through all the books I’d like to write in about 3 years.

That’s where I’d like to be.

2,000 words a day.

Now I’m going to have to make today the first of many 2,000 word days. Anything less will be a joke on me. :)

6:14 – Time to finish that second hour long session.

6:54 – Finished session two, finally. 332 words. 591 words total.

7:11 – Ready to start session three. But first, a quick game of solitaire.

7:18 – I won! Okay, time to get busy now. I’m really going to try to write more words this time. I don’t know if I can do it, but I’m going for at least 1,000 words in this hour. It’ll be a freaking miracle if I reach it, but I want to try.

8:16 – A few small interruptions mean I have 10 minutes left on the timer even though it’s been an hour since I started this session. I’m not sure why I stopped, but I’m having a lot of trouble concentrating. It felt like I didn’t have a choice but to take a quick break. It’s also obvious that I’m going to come up far short of the 1,000 words I wanted for this session. However, at least I’ve been writing and I do have some words to show for it—and some forward progress in the story. Ugh. I need to get back to those 10 minutes. Okay, okay. I’m going.

10:55 – I did not get back to those 10 minutes. Honestly, I’m just going to have to remember today tomorrow, and try not to make the same mistakes. I started a little too late, I didn’t stay focused and ended up sitting at the computer much too long doing unimportant things unrelated to writing, and that tired me out before I needed to be tired out.

Anyway, I’m calling today done. I added 1,053 words to my novel today.

Accountability post for Saturday

I’m going back to normal (if somewhat random) titles for my posts. Although, this title isn’t so random.

I’m pushing to finish a book tonight.

I’m also making an exception for my quit at 9 PM rule. Ha! And on the third day, too. I didn’t follow it last night either, honestly. But I’m going to—in the future! As soon as I finish this book I’m working on and get into a groove with my 500 words a day plan.

Here are tonight’s sessions so far.

Minutes Words Session WPH
45 24 24 32
45 251 227 303
0 0
0 0
0 0

I’m going to try to finish another 3 minimum (all 45 minutes each). That’ll put me finishing at around 11 PM. Which is kind of late, but I’m really hoping to make some good progress, if not outright finish my book. :-) And if I don’t finish it tonight, tomorrow morning, I’ll be doing my best to get it done by lunchtime.

Oh, if you’re wondering, yes I did have lunch today. I wrote a lot during that 1st session, despite how it looks, but I also deleted a lot (lots of words to delete, I said) and then I did the second session after my late lunch.

Somehow it’s taken me all afternoon and into the evening to get here, but I’m going to put some real effort into focusing now, and I’m going to finish those sessions I have planned.

See you soon with updates. :-)

(The next morning…)

Ugh. 294 words for the day.

I timed one of my breaks. 2:33:35.2.

What a complete and total ridiculous result. I have to do better than that.

There’s writing faster and then there’s writing more

Today I’m working on writing more. To be honest, I don’t even care how fast I write. I just want to write a lot so I have as much chance as possible of finishing my book today. :)

Updates follow.


Each session is 30 minutes.

272 words. Time for more tea, then back to writing.

593 words.

572 words. Into some edits now, so I’ve slipped backwards in the word count, but making real progress. The next session will be better.

689 words. Still in the edits. I have to make the current section make sense with some stuff I added before it.

798 words. Still in the edits, but not long now I think before I’ll be out of those weeds.

865 words. Just about finished with the edits. A few sentences are all that’s left. Then it’s all new stuff. So here’s hoping the next session report puts me over 1,200 words or so. I can dream!

1,303 words. I guess dreams do come true. :D Woo hoo!

1,569 words. A little slower than the last session but I’m tinkering—not sure exactly where to go, but trying to keep moving.

2,030 words.

2,289 words. I did these last two back-to-back. I’m winding down but I still have so much to write that I just can’t give up. I want to end this book today and that means more words!

2,423 words. This session was only 15 minutes. Now, I’m taking a bit of a break and will be back later to keep going. I don’t want to lose my momentum!

2,491 words. Another 15 minute session to catch up my numbers to an even 5.5 hours.

2,626 words.

It’s almost midnight now and I’ve started getting a headache so I’m not sure I’m going to keep going. In fact, thinking about it now, I probably won’t.

I’ll just call it now at 2,626 words and 6 hours today.

Practice pays off

I’m already seeing improvements in my pace. I’m crediting practice for this, but it’s really a combination of practice and having a better visual picture of exactly what I’m trying to accomplish with that practice.

Minutes Words Session WPH
15 107 107 428
15 220 113 452
15 428 208 832
60 1217 789 789
60 2412 1,195 1,195

Seeing how few words that really is has helped me in a way that just seeing/hearing the numbers hasn’t. I’ve done the math with my typing speed plenty of times to try to prove to myself that I can write faster, but it’s never really helped things along.

You’ll note, I had to give up the 15 minute sessions for a little while because I was finding the breaks distracting. Now I’m about to go back to the short sessions because I’m finding the hour long sessions too tiring. :)

None of that matters to my practice though. I’m just focusing on keeping myself moving forward as best I can. I’ve had a plot development that scares me a little bit but I’m hoping this book will wrap up soon enough despite that.

Onward!

No time to spare

Here’s what I’m aiming for each day: 1,000 words minimum, with an eye toward 2,893 words. Of course, more would be fantastic, but 1,000 is the minimum daily word count I want to hit every day I possibly can.

I have four minutes to finish this post. Since I want to start writing at 11:15 I’d better make this quick.

Today I’m trying for multiple 60 minute sessions. If I have to stop in the middle, I’ll just pause and resume.

The goal is 7 of them at a minimum pace of 700 wph for a total word count of 4,900 words. This is so I can finish this book in two days, assuming I can keep it under a maximum length goal. (Lots of assumptions there. I can do these numbers, but I can’t always do these numbers. Let’s see if I can make today the former and not the latter.)

Session 1: 60 minutes, 301 words
Session 2:
Session 3:
Session 4:
Session 5:
Session 6:
Session 7:

Okay, this isn’t working. It’s 5:21 and I’ve only managed to complete one 60 minute session.

I’m just going to wing it with some 15 minute sessions. I’m feeling pretty desperate to stop a stall out before it becomes a problem I can’t recover from today. Time is seriously running short and I need some appreciable words before I get too tired to write them.

I have five minutes to write this post

I realized yesterday that what I’ve been doing isn’t working. I haven’t been writing at the pace I want to write, and I got frustrated last night, set my timer for 30 minutes, and wrote 449 words. Which came to 898 words an hour, and if that isn’t some kind of sign, I don’t know what is. :D

(Okay, yes, it could have totally been a huge coincidence that yesterday my goal was to write 898 words in each of eight blocks of writing, but I’d rather see it as a sign because something has to change if I’m going to successfully finish this book and start finishing and releasing books with more speed and regularity. Once every 7 or 8 months isn’t often enough for a variety of reasons.)

Oops, well, time is up. Suffice to say I’m feeling good today, I’m going to start with the goal to write 1,557 words, but I also have a goal to write for a minimum of 5 hours (timed writing) today and I’m starting early. It’s 9:31 am.

Goal 1: From 9:30 to 10:45 finish two 30 minute timed writing sessions.

Result: 123 words, 1 hour of writing. Too many interruptions of my first session! Unfortunately, the interruptions were clearly not that big a deal, because the second 30 minute session had no interruptions at all and I didn’t improve. Too much self-editing as I went was the problem.

Goal 2: From 11:00 to 12:15 finish two 30 minute timed writing sessions.

Result: 468 words, 1 hour of writing. Finished a tad late at 12:32. But not bad at all. Will probably adjust start times for following sessions because I need a longer break than I’m going to get if I stick with 1 pm. But I’ll decide that closer to 1 pm. :)

(Yep. I adjusted my start times for the following by one hour.)

Goal 3: From 2:00 to 3:15 finish two 30 minute timed writing sessions.

Result: 522 words, 1 hour and 1 minute of writing. No problems at all in these sessions.

Goal 4: From 4:00 to 5:15 finish two 30 minute timed writing sessions.

Result: 333 words, 1 hour of writing. Finished a lot late on this one at 5:52 pm. Not sure at all how that happened. I had fewer interruptions than I had with my first session today, so it’s left me scratching my head…

Goal 5: From 6:00 to 7:15 finish two 30 minute timed writing sessions.

Result: 592 words, 1 hour of writing. Finished a bit late but done, done, done. :)

And there you go. Done, at 7:48 pm.

Final tally: 2,038 words and 1 minute over 5 hours of timed writing.

Can I explain why today just worked, when yesterday and the day before didn’t? Not really. Sometimes it’s not easy for me to recognize when I need structure. Sometimes structure chokes me, and sometimes, like today, it’s the only thing that can keep me focused.

Let’s try that again

I made my goal yesterday, but fast it wasn’t. :)

First goal today: 1,557 words as fast as I can.

I don’t write ugly drafts so if you’re thinking I’m going to run off and start sprinting out thousands of words in short order, this is probably your first visit here. :D

Anyway, will update progress today because it seems to be working for me as a motivational tool at the moment. :)


Progress—

1:17 pm: ended a session at 38 minutes, wrote 291 words.

2:53 pm: ended two sessions that totaled 25 minutes, wrote 184 words.

Spider in my front door stole my attention for nearly two hours. I am phobic and the spider was RIGHT THERE, dropping down in front of me. And it was huge. The web stuck to the bottom of the broom I was trying to use to knock it down, and I screamed loud enough to make my neighbors’ dog bark.

Yes, my throat is sore now, my stomach is still upset, and I’m definitely feeling my skin crawl every time I even look at my front door.

I need to get back to writing but I haven’t calmed down much at all. I’ve been watching Irma video at weather.com and checking out the National Hurricane Center’s Irma page. I’m in the part of Tennessee that could be affected if it takes the track they’re predicting now. The last tropical storm I remember being a big deal for me was Hurricane Opal back in 1995. This one looks like it could be something I’ll want to worry about. For anyone in its path that might read this: good luck and stay safe. It’s a monster.

How fast can I reach 1,557 words today?

My first goal for today is 1,557 words (which is my normal daily goal). Let’s see how fast I can reach it.

Fast? Maybe not. But…

Progress—

10:51 am: 13 minutes, 87 words.

11:35 am: 30 minutes, 214 words.

12:25 pm: 29 minutes, 175 words.

2:34 pm: 7 minutes, 78 words.

3:28 pm: 11 minutes, 127 words.

Too many interruptions today, but that should be behind me now. Let’s see if I can stay focused on writing the rest of the day.

Total so far is 1.5 hours exactly and 681 words written.

5:30 pm: 44 minutes, 351 words.

8:22 pm: 44 minutes, 320 words.

9:04 pm: 13 minutes, 180 words.

I’m running out of steam! Total so far is 1,532 words. I’m so close to my daily minimum that I have to finish it. But somehow it’s become 11:22 pm and I haven’t gotten back to my writing yet. And I can’t quit yawning.

12:22 am: 22 minutes, 115 words.

Final tally: 1,647 words and 3.55 hours of 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. :)

Progress—

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.

Progress—

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.

 

Everything takes longer than I think it will

Everything takes longer than I think it will. On the other hand, at least things are getting done. This morning, I had a somewhat harrowing interruption when I had to knock a spider out of the doorway to my deck. I couldn’t check on the kittens while it hung there. It was huge. I hate spiders so yes, it turned into an ordeal, but when I came back to writing, I had thoroughly woken myself up and I started in on my edits with vim and vigor.

I haven’t finished the chapter 15–16 edits, although I’m closer and I’m into chapter 16 now—about half way. My 10:30 deadline came and went, but I’m just happy to be making progress and feeling good about how it’s going. Writing has been fun today.

When I get to the end of what I’ve written, I already know I’ll be deleting the last page or so plus some notes at the end that will probably also amount to a page or so, meaning I expect to lose at a minimum 500–600 words when I get there. But I don’t care. Anything that makes it easier to keep going with this book is good. :)

If I haven’t mentioned it, I’ve been running my timer up instead of down lately, so that’s why all the uneven session lengths. It also helps me see how often something interrupts me, or I interrupt myself.

Sessions (in progress):

  • 19 minutes: 155 words
  • 8 minutes: 50 words
  • 29 minutes: 67 words
  • 41 minutes: 12 words

My word counts are kind of low but I’m finally to the part where I’m about to delete stuff. I think I’m going to have to delete fewer words than I thought to be honest, which is great. And then finally, finally, I can just let myself go and write, write, write! :D

  • 32 minutes: 2 words
  • 38 minutes: 241 words
  • 9 minutes: -302 words
  • 17 minutes: 77 words
  • 23 minutes: 34 words

Total: 3.6 hours of timed writing and 336 words.

Postponement of yesterday to today

So yesterday I did not finish with chapter 15 to 16. Life interrupted and I finally gave in and postponed to today what I wanted to accomplish yesterday.

So everything I said yesterday? Applies to today. :)

Not that I didn’t make any progress yesterday, because I did.

I spent 1.517 hours writing (timed writing) and added 280 words after deletions, additions, redrafting, and edits. I’m lucky I got that. The interruptions were fortuitous, because I was ready to start yelling at my screen about this chapter (let me be honest, I did yell at the screen at least once).

I found the thing that I thought was in the book earlier, that I addressed earlier when I fixed up some earlier chapters, and then rediscovered the thing in chapter 15.

Meaning: I addressed something in an earlier chapter that hadn’t even happened yet. UGH!

So yeah. I needed the break.

Revisions are more than just fixing stuff and I’ve fallen into the revision pit, obviously. I hate them and I don’t honestly believe they do anything to make a book better most of the time, and yet, here I am, right in the middle of doing something that’s awfully close to revision. >:{

Now to fix it today. And get on with writing new stuff. Chapter 16 can just stuff it. I’m fixing 15 and skipping right to the end of 16 where I need to delete the last page and just start fresh. I’m not going to try to save any of that last page. It’ll just lead to heartache.

More progress but not there yet

Yesterday I wrote for 5.533 hours and netted 343 words after more changes. I made it through only 3 chapters. I expected to do better, frankly, but when I get to editing on the computer I end up going at it with a much heavier hand than I do when I read the book on my tablet and just highlight what I want to fix. However, I’m actually pretty happy with the changes, even though I cut something I tried my best not to have to cut.

I should’ve cut it back when I wrote it, because I spent a lot of time with low word counts trying to make my story lead up to that bit. I see now that I really shouldn’t have tied myself into knots trying to make it work. First mistake. So really my changes are just me changing things to the way they should’ve been in the first place. I can’t say I’m surprised. :D

Today though I start at chapter 15 and I did read through some of the rest of the book again last night on my tablet and highlight the stuff I want to address. I got too tired to read the rest but at least I have somewhere to start!

So, the plan for today: Get through chapters 15 and 16, and restart this story. Then get 1,557 words! :D And if that doesn’t take 3 hours, at least, keep going until I reach 3 hours of timed writing.

Simple.

Now to get to it. :)

Progress and a brilliant idea I should have had sooner

I did run out of time yesterday and didn’t make it through all the chapters of my book.

Well, sort of. I stopped the editing at chapter 12, but then I sent the file to my tablet and read through the rest of it and realized most of it’s solid. Just a few bits I want to change, one because of an inconsistency and a few paragraphs that tripped me up when I was reading them. They could use some smoothing out for sure for various reasons.

Unfortunately, I didn’t highlight those spots during that late night read through so I still have to read through those chapters again today and find the things I thought needed changing. I was just too tired last night and it seemed like a good idea at the time to focus on the reading. I don’t agree so much to that today, but too late now. :o

I think those rough patches come from not writing fast enough. Too many rewrites and edits makes it very easy to screw up the flow of a story. When I bog down, that happens to me. I mean, I’m doing it because I can’t figure out what’s wrong usually, so I have to, but I know it’s not usually helping the story. I seem to get the best results when I’m able to just ignore what’s there and write fresh, then delete the old. :D

That’s probably why this kind of edit takes me so long. I’m really doing a lot more redrafting of the book than actually editing what’s there.

As for the brilliant idea I mentioned in the title of this post, I can’t believe I haven’t thought of it before. I have to revisit my previous books quite a lot to find stuff, and I had the notion to create a master series doc yesterday. It took me about three minutes to put together using Word’s “Insert > Object > Text from File” menu item. Then I used another half hour or so cleaning it up so it wasn’t cluttered with various styles. (The oldest books used different style sets than my newer books and I just quickly applied the new styles and deleted the old from the document. Less chance of corruption later, I hope.)

Anyway, it’s a huge file, but Word handled it fine. So now I can open one file when I need to search the books for something and I can get results for ALL the books. Since small corrections won’t affect that, I won’t ever have to do anything else to this doc except add the newest books when I publish them. :D

When I start the next book on my other series, I’ll do the same for it. So much easier than opening and searching multiple books trying to find that one bit of info I need. ;)

Anyway, here are the numbers: 6.467 hours of timed writing (plus all the times I forgot to turn the timer back on, because that kept happening) and 151 words net from edits, redrafting, and deletions.

It was a highly-focused day of writing, for sure.

Now on to today. I need to get these final changes made, and then I’m going to put some real effort into writing the rest of this book as fast as I can. Onward!

More time, fewer words

Yesterday I managed to stay focused for 5.417 hours of timed writing. I did not manage to write 1,557 words. My word count at the end of the night was -556 words. I’ve just started going through chapter 10 and new words start at chapter 16. Today’s plan is to get through the rest of those chapters AND write 1,557 words. I’m determined. I might run out of time, but I don’t project any distractions today so I’m hopeful. :) But I’m a pretty optimistic person so I’m always hopeful, lol.

Here’s a link to my playlist at Amazon for the last two days of edits. I’ve had it on shuffle and repeat for the entirety of my writing time and it’s really helping me stay focused. Trust me, that’s something I need help with on a daily basis. And repeating a short playlist seems to work better than anything else. Sometimes I go as short as one song, but even I can admit that’s pretty crazy.

If you have an Amazon Prime account, you can actually listen to it because all the songs on it are Prime at the moment. (You can get a free trial of Prime if you don’t have it already: Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial.)

Usually I just listen to songs I’ve purchased, but my previous playlist wasn’t working for me. I needed something a little different and came up with this one and have been very pleased with how well I’ve focused with it. Eventually I’ll get around to buying these to add to my collection. But right now, I’m not messing with a winning formula! :D

Anyway, on to today’s writing.

Writing after the eclipse

I meant everything I said last night (this morning, really). But I did have plans for today because of the eclipse, so I knew I wouldn’t start early. I started at about 6 pm. My goals were entirely reasonable, even for a late start. 3 hours. 1,557 words. And then a little more just because.

Here’s what I did.

I wrote for 4.35 hours. I didn’t make it to 1,557 words. In fact, I only made it to 109 words, because I’ve deleted much more than I’ve written after finding more than one problem to fix and I’m still working on getting a handle on this book. I’m actually not sure how long it’ll take but I’m hoping only another few pages of major stuff to fix.

Either way, it’s forty minutes past midnight and I don’t think I can stay up any longer without compromising tomorrow’s writing.

I might have to accept that until I get through this read-through, a positive word count is probably asking too much.

Breakfast musings

To prevent myself from continuing the patterns that have led to me writing less than I want over the last two weeks, I’m writing this post while I have breakfast. :D Usually I read during that time, but that reading has been leading me to put off writing much longer than I should each day. I finished reading a book yesterday and started another, and I’m now halfway through that one too. So no more reading, at least until I get some more writing done.

I did write yesterday, but my word count only reached 207 words for 2.25 hours of writing, mostly because I went back to chapter 9 and started making my way forward through the book. I haven’t made it very far because I was trying to figure out why I didn’t like some of what was there. I think I fixed it, but I still have to make it through another 7 chapters before I’m free to write all new material. :)

I will say I haven’t gotten off to a great start today. I started this post sometime around 11 this morning, and because of letting myself get sidetracked, I’m just now finishing it and it’s 2:37.

I’ll have to spend the rest of the day writing if I want to end up with an appreciable number of words. I’d like at least 6 hours of timed writing today, and I’d like to not stay up until 2 am to get them.

I’m thinking I might try a challenge, but I won’t decide for sure until after I finish the read-through edits and get to the new material.