Decided to give the “no timers” challenge a shot again after looking at my current run of daily word counts and comparing them to the run I had in April and May in which I didn’t use timers. The numbers so far are promising even after what I thought was a bad start but really didn’t end up being that at all.
The challenge runs for a week. I’ll update at the end of that time. (Updated below!)
As for now, today, I’m just trying to pep up my mood. Writing at my desk is getting me down. The weather went from HOT to COLD and didn’t stop for a break between them, so I’m kind of bummed, and my weird back pain isn’t helped by anything it seems. Standing sucks, sitting sucks, lying on the bed sucks.
After months of this, I’m starting to get annoyed. So I moved back to the desk, because the couch writing was hurting my leg.
I’m really short, and couch writing means sitting with my legs crossed under my laptop to support it. Lately, I’ve been dealing with what feels like a nerve pain in my thigh and knee, brought on by a switch in couches about a year ago. Biggest mistake I’ve made in a while. The current couch is a nightmare for my writing. I really miss my old one, but remember the mention of basement mold several months ago? Yeah. I would have switched it out by now, but the mold got the old one. :-(
All this to say that finding a comfortable writing spot lately has been really hard. I don’t do well writing when I’m not comfortable.
I had to go back to my dining room chair, too. It does hurt my back a lot less, but I’ll be honest, I have no idea why, because there’s no support at all. I have to sit completely weird on the hard chair to keep my legs from going numb (short, remember? and my feet can’t rest flat on the floor when I’m sitting back in the seat).
When I say hard, this chair is just a hard wood chair with spindles for a back and bars under the seat to support the chair legs. I use them to support my legs. :D I also prop my legs up on the window sill under the back of my desk.
My desk is in front of my windows and they’re nice, tall windows that let in a lot of light and have a relatively low window sill that seems to be at the perfect ottoman height when I’m in my chair at the desk. :D It’s not super comfortable, because it’s wood with an edge, but it gives me something to rest my feet against and gives me one more position I can switch to when the last one starts to bug me.
Anyway, I’m totally rambling this morning. I think I made my coffee too strong. ;-)
One thing I’ve kept up is the daily writing. The “no more zero word days” challenge is going well. I’ve had a few days where I’m not exactly proud of how much I wrote to keep the streak alive, but it counts, and that’s okay. I’ll get better if I keep going.
It started on 8/6 and yesterday was day 74.
How am I staying on task without the timers that I’ve said again and again give me a way to focus and stay on task? Numbers.
Remember the numbers I mentioned in this post (Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 6)) and this one (Today’s goal: 3,200 words (day 4))? I haven’t forgotten those numbers. They’re still the numbers I’m chasing. Except sort of not.
Look, I’ve had to take a hard look at how I decide what to write next, and it always comes down to the need to write what I’m most interested in writing next. So I took my 3,200 words goal and said to myself: Hey self, if I write 3,200 words a day every day, then what needs to get written will eventually get written. That’s just the way it is.
So I took that to heart. But then I realized that sometimes I don’t know that I’m in the mood to write something until I start writing it, so I changed it up. Just a little.
I decided that if I want to write 3,200 words a day, the easiest way to do that for me is to write a little each on every story I’m interested in writing, and when something catches my interest hard, I can just keep going.
I finally got back to the stalled novel yesterday. Wrote nearly 1,900 words on it. And it all started because I wanted to write 525 words per story yesterday, on 8 stories.
Every story I’m working on is one that needs finished, the sooner the better, so no words are wasted following this method.
And it frees me in a way that my creative muse seems to really like.
So here’s the math.
3,200 words ÷ 8 stories = 400 words per story.
If I want a 1,000 words a day streak, which I’m really trying to get off the ground, I need 125 words per story on the 8 stories.
It’s an effortless number, really, so the 1,000 words a day streak is something I’m really pushing for at the moment. Yesterday was day three of that. I’m going to give it a week before I start calling it a streak, but I definitely have my sights set on sticking that out.
Anyway, more rambling, and it’s really time for me to turn my focus to writing. :D I’m feeling strangely talkative today and have no one around, so I might start another post in which I detail out my effort to get that first 125 words on each story, and then go for the 400.
Then move on to trying to fix some big issues I think I have in my stalled (but not stalled anymore) novel. It needs some work. More than usual, and I’m not sure what to make of that.
Maybe I really should scrap the biggest portion of what I have and start over. I don’t know. I hope I figure that out soon.
Update for the “no timers” challenge. It ran a week. I decided to extend it, indefinitely.
I was wrong about the numbers, but even after running them again and seeing that I definitely wrote more words on the days I used timers over the long-term (all time), I gave it some additional thought and decided that the thing is skewed in favor of timers because whenever I felt focused enough to write, I was using them. I need a lot more time of no timers to decide if there really is a long-term difference.