New plan because July needs rescued

So July has been a terrible month for writing, but I haven’t given up on rescuing it yet. Starting tomorrow I’m going to just plow into my most appealing current story in progress and try to pick up some momentum.

The plan is simple. Start writing and don’t stop until I’m done, or 4 pm.

The 4 pm thing might seem like a cop out, but I know if I don’t allow myself a break at some point if the writing isn’t going well, I’ll give up completely. So 4 pm is my fail safe.

If I’m doing my best and I can’t seem to get up any momentum and can’t reach my word count goal (of 2,995 words, reasons for which I don’t want to get into in this supposed-to-be-short post right before bed) then I’m allowed to quit at 4 pm for a longish break and make another run at it later in the evening.

If I’m not doing my best to write and do nothing but write until I reach my word count goal, then the experiment failed anyway so none of this will matter. :-o

I’ll update this post after the fact and let you know how it went.

Update: It did not go well. I tried again the next day and it didn’t go well either. I’m currently trying again and it is going better today. A little. But I’m not giving up on this just yet. I’m in the midst of a mindset change and that can take a bit of time.

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.

Let’s discuss numbers today

Word count numbers, that is.

My daily average for a seven and a half year period is 561 words per day. I’ve mentioned time and again that I’d like to get that number to 2,000 words a day. Not the historical average, because that would be a massive undertaking, but I’d like to reach a 2,000 words a day average for a week or a month and then maintain it going forward.

I just have too many stories to write and they’re not going to get written if I don’t.

These last two months, I’m finally getting close. My overall daily average for April–May as of today is 1,708 words a day.

Month Words Per Day (Average)
April 1,671
May 1,759

This is something I’m really excited about. I have the opportunity to set several new records for myself this month, and that also excites me.

  • I’m working on making this the first time I’ve had two consecutive 50,000 word months.
  • I still have the chance to beat my best daily average in a month (that number is 1,908 for April 2016).
  • I can still reach a 2,000 words a day average this month.

There’s just so much opportunity left in this month, and I’m trying not to let myself forget that it’s easier to maintain my momentum than it is to start over and try again.

:-)

And those are my numbers.

I might not be able to catch up to the 2,000 words daily average for May, but I haven’t given up on that possibility, so I’m going to head off and work on that now.

August word count update

August word count to date = 7,258*

That’s a far cry from where I wanted to be by now when I started August. I’ve had a few good days, though. Specifically, the 16th and the 20th.

8/16 – 1,685
8/20 – 2,198

The rest of the days of this month have been mediocre at best.

Yesterday, I’d hoped for a repeat of my 2,000+ words day, but it didn’t happen. And today is looking even worse.

8/21 – 571 words
8/22 – 53 words (so far)

*Today is still in progress, although I’m not sure it’s going to get much better if I can’t find some way to convince myself to finish writing the scene I’m in the middle of. I just do not want to write the rest of this scene.

I’m trying very hard to decide if I want to delete the portion of the scene that I haven’t wanted to write today or to push on through. There’s also the fact that if I delete it and write, even though the words will be gone, I’ll at least be writing again. But it could lead me to end the day with in a negative position if I don’t write enough. However, the words aren’t doing me any good if they’re just getting in the way of my brain coming up with an alternative so getting rid of them could be my best way forward.

The best way to figure this all out is to start back through the chapter and just go with it, changing or deleting if I need to so the story can move forward again, but I’m just feeling very resistant to that and have been all day.

But… it’s time to decide and do something, because this book isn’t going to write itself and I’m trying to end the week with 14,000 words.

2198+571+53=2822
14000-2822=11178

(I really love how you can type math into OneNote and it solves it for you.) :D

I have 11,178 words still to write this week, and I should probably try to get a least a few (more) of them written tonight.

 

A new goal for 2017: turn my worst year into my best year

The end of the year is approaching and I’ve decided to pursue a goal. My goal is to make this year—on track to be my worst year of production since I began tracking—into my best year, by 10,000 words.

The math.

Best year 268,191
This year 104,676
Difference + 10,000 words 173,515
Words to write every day to get there 2,169

It is without a doubt beyond my current skill level to write 2,169 words every day. On the other hand, it’s a short-term goal, because this is mid-October and this will all be over on December 31. So it’s possible I could average a high enough word count to do this.

Since it’s possible, I’m going to try.

The fact is, I believe I can do it. The problem is, I haven’t ever done it before. But—and there is a but!—I have record of the following numbers.

February 2003: I averaged 1,836 words a day for the month.

November 2015: I averaged 1,761 words a day for the month.

April 2016: I averaged 1,908 words a day for the month.

To make this year my best year by 10,000 words, I only need to average 2,169 words a day for 81 days. Then I can flake out and go back to 500 word days and it won’t matter at all for this particular goal.

Writing 2,169 words a day isn’t something I’m going to stew over every day since I’m already trying to write 3,000 words a day. My daily minimum remains 1,000 words. But now I have something to explain my desire to write more each day and that’s going to be helpful when my contrary self rears up and demands to know why I’m pushing myself so hard to write more.

There you go contrary-self. I have reasons. :-)

Final sessions for the day

I finished up the last of my sessions. I had hoped to reached 3,000 words but I didn’t quite make it. I’m at 2,332 for the day. I might come back later and do some more writing, because I really want to end the day at 3,000 words!

But for now, I need a break. A massive break, because my brain is tired. :D

  • Session 6 = 425 words (850 wph)
  • Session 7 = 236 words (472 wph)
  • Session 8 = 209 words (418 wph)

Totals for the day

2,332 words and 583 wph

Eight sessions instead of twelve seems to be the way to go

Eight sessions instead of twelve seems to be the way to go! Of course, I made up the total time difference by making the eight sessions thirty minutes long instead of twenty. But it has left me fewer opportunities for distraction and here it is 11:56 a.m. and I have only three sessions to go. :)

  • Session 1 = 302 words (604 wph)
  • Session 2 = 263 words (526 wph)
  • Session 3 = 270 words (540 wph)
  • Session 4 = 312 words (624 wph)
  • Session 5 = 315 words (630 wph)

Sessions are 30 minutes long. Goal is 375 words per session, 750 words per hour.

Not there yet, but getting closer!

Total so far = 1,462 words

3,000 – 1,355 = 1,645 words to go

I’ve completed eight sessions now and although I’m pretty happy with the fact that I’m writing, I’m disappointed that my morning pace didn’t hold out when it came up against my story line uncertainty. I think that’s been a big deal on this particular story. I’m still very much not sure where it’s headed.

  • Session 4 = 36 words
  • Session 5 = 29 words
  • Session 6 = 199 words
  • Session 7 = 130 words
  • Session 8 = 84 words

Sessions were 20 minutes, goal was 250 words per session.

This put me at 2.667 hours of timed writing for the day. I need 1.333 hours more to reach 4 hours, my minimum goal.

For the rest of the evening, I’m switching to 30 minute sessions. I just keep running into the fact that I feel like I’m just getting on a roll when that timer dings, but doing 2 sessions back-to-back just hasn’t worked well.

Now, back to writing for me! I have a lot to do and it’s already 7:51 pm and I don’t want to be up late tonight. Here’s hoping I can pick up the pace again so those 1,645 words come quick.