Progress: April 30, Wednesday

—Working to increase my daily average word count

Made it to 1,679 words for the day

Here’s the thing. I’m writing “Writing Journal” posts in Evernote, but they ramble, and go on way too long, and feel a little personal at times, so I think I’m just going to skip posting them and include only my word counts, and maybe a short note or two in these progress posts. :D It’s for the best, promise! You’d get really bored reading them.

Progress: April 29, Tuesday

WIFI off.

—Working to increase my daily average word count.

Hmm. Made it to 327 words.

Don’t ask me why that was all I got done. I have no idea. At least I’m writing! :D

Scratch that. I think it’s lack of sleep. There were a lot of storms last night, the power was out for a few hours, and I just didn’t get much sleep. I’m tired, and that really explains everything. I’d lay around and nap, but I really need to get some writing done!

Also, something’s interfering with my ability to make reasoned, future-beneficial choices in the moment, and then stick to them.

Forget that last post

I’m not going to add those backdated posts after all. Just looking at them made me tired. I read back through the very first of the posts I was planning to put up and concluded I was doing exactly what I started using the writing on multiple stories to avoid doing.

Here’s a quick quote from the post named “Avoidance Issues; Let’s Knock Out Those Teeth”:

This is all about harnessing my unfortunate need to take frequent breaks and making that work for me, instead of against me. I’ll be using my other projects as my breaks. When I feel myself pulling away from a story and have that uncontrollable urge to shift my attention (and it will happen, because it always happens), I’m hoping having these other projects just ready and waiting will be to my benefit. Instead of slipping away to check email or read a message or two on a forum (and end up thoroughly distracted and out of the writing zone), I’ll slip away to write on another story.

What am I doing with the blog posts? Using them to satisfy my craving for a break, because I decided to do this right after I paused after 121 words into my novella this morning.

So, not doing this! Getting back on track and doing what I need to do, which is get back to writing!

Yikes—Weather Woes

It’s currently 75° F in the house and blustery outside. Wind keeps whipping my blinds’ lift-cords through the air, and I swear I feel like I’m coated in pollen or something. Who knows? All that dusting yesterday was kind of pointless with all this wind stirring around. Even my laptop keyboard is dust-covered now.

The greatest potential … is across the lower Mississippi and Tennessee Valleys. Widespread severe storms – including strong tornadoes, damaging winds and very large hail are expected.

Hmm. Sounds like the weather could turn interesting here later. Might should get that writing done sooner rather than later and quit messing around.

Progress: April 28, Monday

Getting started. … And later … Never got started. Not a single word written. I have no idea why. Trust me, I asked myself that question a thousand times. I have no answer.

—This is not the wayWorking to increase my daily average word count.

Progress: April 27, Sunday

Was going to call this “Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #15” but I’ve decided to put that on hold until the weekdays. Or more specifically, for days where I feel I can give the effort my undivided attention. Not every day is a good day for going after a record. Today feels like one of those not-so-good days.

This is actually the third post I’ve written today. I scrapped the first two. They’re in Evernote, same as this one, so they’re not gone forever, but I’m just going to ignore them. ;)

That said, I still expect to have a productive writing day. Or I’m making the attempt, anyway.

Or not. Said about nine and a half hours and 45 words later.

6:06 PM: 45
10:15 PM: 506

I think I’ve also decided to post my little progress reports as “status updates” or “asides” instead of full-on posts. :D But yes, this just brings home the point that weekend days are unpredictable.

Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #14

Fourteen is many more attempts than I thought would be necessary to reach my current one day word count goal, considering how successful I’ve found working on multiples stories each day to be for helping me reach higher word counts.

But fourteen isn’t really that bad, considering how long that record has stood.

5,475 has been my record for the most words I’ve written in one day since June 17, 2013.

And … ayk!! I had to look that up, and although my spreadsheet tells me the max() number in my daily word count sheet, it didn’t tell me that that particular entry had a note beside it! After reading that note, I don’t actually think that’s my high word count. :o I’ve been operating on the belief for nearly a month now that I managed to write 5,475 words in one day but my note indicates I might have “rescued” some words I deleted about two weeks prior to that date. Wow.

I took a closer look so I could find my true high word count and it would be the next highest number, 5,208 on August 16, 2013. I remember that day, and I know that was a genuine win.

Well, learn something new most days. Today is apparently one of those days.

I’d still rather beat 5,475. But this does, in fact, make a lot of sense, since I don’t have that same remembered feeling about the 5,475. I was surprised when my record was that high, and it appears now it was for good reason!

Still, back to the stories. I’m going to get started shortly and try to break at least one of those records today. Plus, it’s the first day of my new week and I’m trying to break another 7-day record, and I’m trying to break my monthly record.

Time to shut down my WIFI before I get lost in it!

And it’s 11:19 am and I haven’t written a word. I can still do this. So. Okay. Time to get started. Right now.

12:13 pm : 266
3:00 pm : 1,269
4:22 pm : 1,510

Slow going today! I just don’t see how I’m going to come close to breaking my record when all I want to do right now is nap. Or watch tv. Or do anything but sit here and write. It’s fun when I’m doing it but I just don’t want to focus.

Later…

It’s late, I’m tired, and I haven’t done any writing since 4:22 pm. I wanted to get to 2,000 today. I’m close enough that I should try—only I’m not going to. I’m so tired I just want to go on to sleep. I got up entirely too early today and I just don’t have any energy left.

Tomorrow I’ll try to get to 2,000 earlier in the day.

I promised to watch a movie tomorrow and I’m going to, but I’m also going to write more than I wrote today. The movie is less than 2 hours long, and lunch will be about 2 hours long, so I’ll be unable to work from 10 am to 2 pm. But 7-ish to 10 should give me between 1,000–1,200 words, then 2 to 4 should put me at 2,000–2,400, then 6 to 8 should put me near 3,000–4,200. I’m trying for 4,200.

From now on, though, I think I’m going to make Monday–Friday my primary writing days where I do more than my average. Saturday and Sunday will be reserved for just keeping my mean up and getting a head start on the week’s writing.

UPDATE: Yeah. This record-breaking thing isn’t working so well. I’m either going to have to try again in May or pull off a miracle.

Last Chance This Week! Break My Daily Word Count Record—Attempt #13*

Lucky 13, maybe? Yep, yep. I read a passage from Thinking, Fast and Slow last night about “regression to the mean” and I realized right away that I need to raise my daily word count mean so I can regress to a higher number! ;)

I didn’t read enough of the book to know if there’s anything else in there that I could use, but the fact is, my current mean is 725 words and that’s not even close to where I want to be. I want to be prolific and for me that means I should write at least 2,000 words a day on average. (Of fiction. Who cares what else I write?)

How committed do I feel to reaching this goal? Committed!

On that note, I’m tracking my progress today, because I’m making a concerted effort to break my daily word count record, and it’s my last chance this week to do it since my writing weeks end on Friday and begin again on Saturday. :D

9:21 am : 334**
10:45 am : 775***
6:20 pm : 1,174

*Yeah, you didn’t know there was an attempt #1–12, did you? I never put those posts online. Ah, well.

**Why so slow? Because I’m actually making progress on my stalled out novella! Yay!

***What happened?! I … don’t really know. I felt a compulsion to update a couple of websites I have, which ran terribly slow, and a quickie post or two turned into two and a half hours. Then life stuff had to happen, which happens every day, so no surprise there, and then when I finally got to writing again, it was 5:07 pm and apparently my speed was about 399 words an hour. Yikes!

I’ve promised to watch a movie at 7 pm so that’s going to be it for me, so back to work! The chance of breaking my record today has gone, so now I’m just trying to salvage what I can in my effort to reach and maintain a 2k a day average.

And, nope, didn’t happen. I didn’t get anything additional done on my books. I spent my last 40 minutes adding some of these posts I’ve been doing in Evernote to the real blog.

Progress: April 24, Thursday

Writing is not a job.* Just wanted to get that out of the way. :D Now, I want to spend all day writing, and all evening reading, so time to get to it or the day’s going to fade away on me.

Time : word count

9:27 am : 132
10:26 am : 598
12:54 pm : 979
Final : 1,080

I cut one of my fingernails too short when I trimmed them day before yesterday. Ouch. It only started hurting last night, though, so yesterday I probably damaged the quick right below the tip of my nail somehow.

Also, I’m up to unposted b-log number twenty-five. Twenty-five. Boggles the mind.

I’m going to take some time today, later, and post at least a few of them. Otherwise, I’ll probably never post any of them. Don’t be surprised to see some backdated posts after today. :D

I’m dragging and I’m not sure what to do about it. Hmm. Caffeine? Sugar? Exercise? Nap? They all sound like a bad idea just about right now, just another way to avoid writing. Which is funny, in an unfun way, because I actually like where my stories are, but I keep yawning and I’m tired. What to do, what to do…

Here’s a quote from the ever-helpful Joanna Penn:

I can’t keep doing what I doing and expecting a different result. I have to change what I’m doing in order to reach my goals. [sic]

This is exactly why I keep changing my process, and why I always seem to be looking for the next best one, because I can’t stay in the same place and expect to end up somewhere else. :D

From Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D.:

Psychologists have found that we are all too quick to use progress as an excuse for taking it easy … that making progress on a goal motivates people to engage in goal-sabotaging behavior.

I have direct experience with this and it’s a horrible, horrible feeling to know you’ve just done something wonderful (like beat your all-time 7-consecutive-day word count record) and then fall down the very next week. It’s hard to get back up after that, and I’m saying that as someone who is trying right now to get back up. Tomorrow is the end of my second week after the fact, and I’ve done so horribly bad on my word counts these last two weeks compared to where I want to be that I want to pretend they don’t even exist.

*I’ll link this to the relevant b-log if I remember. Ha! I remembered. :)