Reading a Book: Writing in Overdrive

UPDATE: This was an excellent book. Very inspiring! It’s on Kindle. (That’s where I got my copy.)

I’m reading a book! No, not another fiction book (and yes, I’m getting a bit behind in my “read 60 more books this year” challenge) but a book that I’m hoping will get my creative brain kicked back into gear. I’m going on nearly two weeks of no writing here and it’s driving me batty. I have no idea why I’m still having trouble.

Writing on multiple stories has been such a great help to my daily word counts, but it hasn’t been much help at all to keep me writing consistently.

Anyway, Writing in Overdrive: Write Faster, Write Freely, Write Brilliantly by Jim Denney isn’t directly related to my issues, but it’s something to excite me regardless, because it’s about writing faster … and I think you know the idea of writing faster excites me.

I bought the book before I’d even finished the sample—the opening was that good—or my need is that desperate. I’ll know when I’m done.

Oh, and I started a new rule today. No going to bed before I get 1,000 words written. I’m going to have to get started on that soon since I don’t have any words done today.

Even though I have 4 books going.

That I love.

That I keep getting ideas for.

Ugh. I definitely have a problem. I wish I knew how to solve it.

Anyway, Writing in Overdrive is waiting, so I’m outta here…

Changing My Writing Week

I keep an eye on my writing totals on a weekly basis—not that I log weekly totals in my daily word count log or anything. I just like to have a weekly goal, and now I’m trying to focus on that weekly goal even more.

I’ve been comfortable using a Saturday–Friday week, because I thought—irrationally?—that by putting the weekend days at the beginning of my week, I’d have fewer weekends where I try to work all weekend and catch up on my weekly writing word count goals.

Uh, no. Not even close to reality.

What’s been happening is that I’ve been telling myself it’s okay to slack off on the weekends, because they’re the first two days of the week, and I can catch up on Monday and Tuesday—which I never seem to do.

I’m still within the first two years of my writing career. I have to publish semi-regularly to make money, or I’ll go broke. So which problem seems more like a real problem here: writing too much on the weekends or not writing enough?

Yeah. I had that same thought, if you’re thinking what I think you’re thinking. :D

I’m shifting it back to Monday—Sunday.

Finally published that short story, so that’s done

Wow. I hadn’t realized how much having a story around that I needed to publish was dragging me down. I feel a lot lighter now that it’s done.

So, that makes short story #2 for the year, while the novella #1 is still unfinished. But it’s close to being done finally. It really is. I swear! :)

Daily Writing Streak—The End

Oops … if I have a 100 word minimum, I broke my streak yesterday. However, I did write. Only I wrote 58 words, not 100.

Then today, I just haven’t done it. The change in routine with the school year ending is throwing me off, but really, I just didn’t want to write. Sigh.

This just isn’t working.

I should clarify. My new routine is working quite well. I’m exercising. I’m no longer snacking between meals. I’m not feeling as fatigued as I was. So that’s great. I’m just not writing during the times I have set aside for writing. That’s … problematic.

As for the money thing, well, that’s easy. Apparently money has no motivational power over me at all. I mean, maybe if I was starving or something, but since I’m not… Yeah.

I just don’t understand why I keep trying the same things over and over, except … I kind of do. I forget. I forget why it didn’t work, or I think something’s different this time so I won’t have the same outcome—but then I do. And I shouldn’t be surprised, but I always am.

I don’t know how to overcome that. I don’t know how to make myself remember that I’ve tried the “hours thing” before and couldn’t get it to work for me. Although basing my writing goals around the time I spend writing seems rational and doable, when I put it into action, I end up feeling like I’m trapped, and I avoid writing as if I hate it. As if—ah…

I think I get it now. As if it’s a job.

I just can’t keep doing this to myself. I know better. Treating writing as a job in the sense that most people think of “job” just doesn’t work for me.

I have to take the time scheduling off the table, completely, forever, else I’m just going to try this again in a few months and have this happen all over again.

I sincerely hope this is the last “schedule” post I ever write.

Here’s my plan for the rest of the year: enjoy my writing life and give myself a break.

This doesn’t mean I can’t have goals and dreams and continue attempting to improve as a writer. I will write—I don’t doubt that. I will try to reach a weekly word count goal, and I will continue to try to write every day, because that’s what I do.

Frankly, I don’t have a choice if I want to keep earning a living with my writing. But that doesn’t mean I should spend so much time driving myself crazy with perfectionism—not with the writing itself (I seem to have that under control), but with how much writing I do and how often, because I’m never satisfied. It’s never enough. It will never be enough for the perfectionist in me.

So here’s how much I’d like to write each week—a realistic number that’s going to get me to the number of books I would like to publish each year. 13,535. It’s not my lowest recorded word count for a week and it’s not my highest, so it’s realistic for me. It’s a modest number, and if I don’t make it each week, so be it.

I’d like to do this in conjunction with continuing to write on multiple stories each day, because that’s working for me, and it’s refreshing to be able to switch stories when things get all tangled up in my head. The breaks always seem to do me good.

But it’s just something to keep me focused.

And that’s it.

I will still probably have days where I’ll want to challenge myself—because it can be fun to do that sometimes, but my days will be devoted to enjoying the writing life as much as possible and learning how to let go of the perfectionistic ideals of what my writing life should be like.

Minutes matter

Just figured out what my wasted time is worth in dollars, and wow, I’m really kind of embarrassed that I don’t write more, knowing what I know.

You know when people tell you that you should write even if you can just fit in ten minutes here and five minutes there? Yeah. Those people are the smart ones.

Based on my 2014 published words, what income I’ve generated this year, and my average writing speed per hour, I’m passing up $0.90 every single minute that I choose to do something other than write on one of my upcoming releases (income growth is spurred on by new releases—my baseline is going up, even though month to month income drops as more time passes between releases). Basically, I can theoretically earn at least $10 on every 11 minutes of writing I do. And that’s now, without the added growth that a bigger backlist of books could bring me.

All this means is that I should really be spending more time writing and less time doing other stuff.

And yet. Here I am. Gah!

Daily Writing Streak—Day 4 Summary

Update: 1,299 words! Yay! Not great as far as WPH, but at least I didn’t end the day with <100 again. :D The majority of those words were for my 2014 novella #1.

It’s Sunday! Yes, lately I always seem to screw up Saturday and then try to do better on Sunday.

So that’s the plan today. Do better.

I’m supposed to be following my routine but here it is 12:25 PM and I’ve napped (yes! I did! At 8:20–9 AM!). I’ve visited a few forums. I’ve called my mother (and talked for a very long time). I’ve read a few other forums. And blogs. And looked at sales reports.

What I haven’t done is sit down and write.

I’m going to go ahead and try to stick to my routine, hoping that as I add more activity to my day, my fatigue will ease up and I’ll feel more like getting started in the mornings. If that doesn’t work after a few days to a week, I’ll rearrange some stuff so that I can just do my writing in the afternoons.

For today, though, I’ll be revisiting the writing at 2 PM when I’m supposed to do publishing stuff and reading, and write until 6 PM, because I must get in 4 hours of writing today or I owe someone some money. :D Because yeah, I made a bet I could get in my 4 hours today.


Daily Writing Streak—Day 3 Summary

Day #3: 30 words

Seriously, I did those words just to keep the streak alive. It’s embarrassing.

Next up, setting a minimum word count to qualify for the streak!

100? It is a minimum, after all.

Maybe I’ll go up to 250 eventually!

I’d say tomorrow is going to be a much better day, but I have no idea, and technically, I’m writing this on Sunday morning anyway, so it’s already today instead of tomorrow. ;)

Just Another Routine Experiment

I’ve created a new routine for myself to start tomorrow. It’s a schedule—but I’m calling it a routine. For reasons.

I’ve been having a bit of trouble with fatigue, and I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not as active as I should be or because of other reasons, but the new routine adds in some time for me to exercise daily. I’m going to do it, because if I don’t, I’m going to keep feeling too old for my age, and who wants that?

I’ve been mulling over the quote I found so inspiring the other day and a few other things besides, and I’ve managed to come up with what looks to be a nice little routine. It addresses my entire day, gives me plenty of time for family, reading, exercise, eating, writing, and publishing. It’s probably not going to get me to one million words, unless I miraculously start writing 1,000 WPH, but it’s a nice, livable routine that will make every day a joy to live and work. I can’t ask for more than that.

It’s an experiment, and failure’s always an option, so none of that neener neener crap if I crash and burn, okay? ;)

The routine

I’m highlighting writing related items, mentioning when I expect to exercise, and leaving the rest out.

8 to 12 : writing
2 to 4 : publishing (or extra writing time) (or extra reading time)
4 to 6 : reading

When I’m racing a deadline, I can convert both the publishing and reading time to writing time. But my real goal? To become so enmeshed in my daily routine that I never need to do that.

Four hours of writing every day will get me a book a month at the length I’m most fond of and at my current average 552 words per hour. Also, the more into the routine I get, my hope is that my hourly average will increase—more words, same amount of time.