Planning for a Higher Daily Word Count

For the next month or so, I’d like to start averaging around 3,000 words a day. I have deadlines that I’d really like to get ahead of if I can.

To do that, I’m going to need a plan. My experiments with the 5 minute sessions have proved to be very helpful with both focus and speed so I’m hoping I can increase my daily word counts by creating a daily plan based around them. Nothing so specific as a daily schedule because I am not going there again. :D

A general plan will let me set each day up however I need.

Hour 1
Hour 2
Hour 3
Hour 4

For each hour I have a goal of reaching 750 words. To start with I’m going to do ten 5 minute sessions per hour, with a goal of maintaining an average of 75 words for those 5 minute sessions. As long as I can stick to those goals, I can reach 3,000 words each day.

This is also today’s plan.

Hour 1 (did 8 sessions, reached 313 words, and yeah, I just deleted another chunk because this book is dragging right now and I can’t get any momentum going, also went over my hour)
Hour 2 (cancelled)
Hour 3 (cancelled)
Hour 4 (cancelled)

This is easier to type than the actual times I plan to do the writing, but I do have them scheduled just as I did in my previous planning posts. First hour starts at 3:30 p.m. See ya!

From 3:45 until now, I’ve reached 490 words. I couldn’t stop fixing stuff and never actually did but 2 sessions in that entire time because I kept getting distracted so…yeah. I’m just going to call that editing and move on.

Hour 1 to start shortly after a break.

Later…

Okay, today’s writing turned into a mess and I’m not sure how to prevent these kinds of days from happening, or if I can.

(1) My critical brain kicked in and that accounted for a lot of the time. Nothing I wrote was good enough. (2) I couldn’t get any momentum going because I couldn’t settle on a “next move” for the story. (3) The story wasn’t flowing, so when I tried to write I was constantly deleting, and again, no momentum.

All those have overlap with each other, of course, but that’s the best I can come up with for why things just wouldn’t move along tonight.

Honestly, I should have switched stories before it got so late that I’m now going to have to end the night with less than a third of the word count I needed today. I’m sitting at a net increase of 804 words, and they’re all on one novel (the one I’m supposed to publish in August).

Since I’d like to have a better day tomorrow, I’m not stopping tonight until I fix whatever’s wrong and start something that I can pick up and run with tomorrow.

A Dilemma

Faster writing, possibly more motivated writing (could be wrong, could be that I just finally got myself started again), definitely more typos, and definitely not as enamored of my own stuff as I should be when I re-read.

However, I was having an issue with that last item even before I started the 5 minute sessions, so maybe that’s not a result of the 5 minute sessions at all.

The mistakes? Definitely, absolutely, a result of the 5 minute sessions. I’m not taking time between each of them to tidy up when I’ve just written, which is exactly what I started out doing and should have kept doing but didn’t.

I just don’t know if I’m going to be able to work like this for an entire book. Part of me wants to keep it up, and part of me wants to go back to trying 1 hour blocks of a more leisurely nature so I can make sure what I’m writing satisfies me.

So, as mentioned, I have a dilemma, and I can’t decide what to do.

I said recently that I was going to try to make faster decisions, so … time to decide.

Before I set aside the 5 minute sessions, I should make a real effort to take the time between sessions to go over what I just wrote and correct any mistakes. Or, better yet, I should do it in the first few minutes of the my next hour long block I have planned, right before I start writing again as long as I can keep it short so it doesn’t take more than 5 to 10 minutes. Can I go over 800ish words in 5 to 10 minutes? Surely I can do that.

Alright then, that’s settled. Time to get to work. I’m starting about an hour and a half later than I’d planned to start today.

Later…

So that didn’t work. At all. I’ll have to rethink this. I spent nearly my entire first hour on the read through and fixes. I don’t know if I’m just in a really critical frame of mind or if every book I’ve written since January just really, really sucks.

I’m leaning toward the former, but maybe I should revisit one of my previous works just to see…

Truthfully, that isn’t likely to help and I’d like to stop needed that kind of reassurance from myself! :o

Anyway, gotta get to work or I’m going to end up with another day where I do the bare minimum, and I don’t want that.

Day 40 of No More Zero Word Days

Yesterday was my 40th consecutive day of writing, and it was the 3rd time I’ve ended the day with a negative number because of deleting more than I wrote.

I should have stayed at it longer, because I could have made up those words, but I let the day get away from me and I was too tired to keep going after I deleted that last chunk.

I ended the day with −176 words.

It’s definitely not a zero.

Sprintless Writing

I wanted to write today without sprinting, but I see the problem I run into now. I continue to get distracted. This is writing time and yet I was on the forums again, checking reports, fiddling with my laptop battery and settings, and checking the weather for the tenth time this morning (seriously).

I think I might need to use a timer even for the leisurely read throughs I want to do today to find and fix errors and catch myself up in the three novels I’m working on.

Hmm. Something to think about.

I need some decaf.

Also, I’m about half a day away from just giving in and buying some regular coffee next time at the store. Yikes. I must resist.

Plan for Another 5,000 Word Day

Gonna have to post my plan today, otherwise I’m probably not going to get started. It’s just one of those days.

And since I still need to practice writing more each day because I want to be more prolific in the coming months and years, I would like a few more 5,000 word days this month if I can manage them. I would like to know if I can write 5,000 on demand using almost the same plan that got me 5,000 words on Monday. And that’s the reason for today’s experiment.

The Plan

11:20–12:20 (finished at 12:20, did 5 sessions, reached 341 words) (ouch! writing’s going slow and I keep forgetting to reset the timer today, no idea why)
12:30–1:30 (started late, finished late, did 7 sessions, reached 471 words) (no idea what’s slowing me down, other than general sluggishness, seems I’ve got no pep today!)
4:40–5:40 (finished at 5:49, did 9 sessions, reached 703 words) (better, but still too slow)
6:20–7:20 (finished at 7:18, did 5 sessions, reached 433 words)
7:30–8:30 (cancelled)
8:40–9:40 (cancelled)
9:50–10:50 (cancelled)

For each hour I have a goal of reaching 725 words. To start with I’m going to do ten 5 minute sessions per hour, with a goal of maintaining an average of 73 words for those 5 minute sessions.

Now, off to get started. I have 4 minutes to make a fresh cup of tea. :)

I’ve had to make an adjustment to my start times for the remaining sessions. I’m not sure how I’ll fare trying for 5 hour sessions in a row, but we’ll see.

I cancelled my final three hours. I’m at 2,015. I might write more later tonight, but for the moment, I’m done.

Day 37 and 38 of No More Zero Word Days

Apparently after I do weed trimming (not being someone who usually does that) my arms feel like gelatin and all I want to do is lie on the couch. This was news to me. If I’d suspected I’d feel like that, I would have skipped the trimming, since I made yesterday’s writing plans the night before. Live and learn, as they say.

Day 37: 458 words
Day 38: 2,244 words

Today, on the other hand, I had life-outside-of-writing stuff to attend to and I was gone for a big chuck of the midday. I could have written more after I returned, but I just couldn’t write more. And the muscles in my arms are tight and sore from the previous day’s weed trimming.

Next time, I’ll just let the weeds grow. I always did like the wild look. :D

Day 36 of No More Zero Word Days

I slowed down yesterday (day 36) and ended the day with 650 words.

I started out the day with hopes that I would go for another 4,000 word day but within about half an hour of getting up I knew I wasn’t going to be doing any such thing. I was tired. Really tired.

But 650 words is way better than some of the words counts I’ve been doing in the past couple of months so I’m still very happy! I wrote those 650 words in one leisurely session that ended up being about 15 minutes long and seven 5 minute sessions during a one hour writing block.

5 minute sessions are making it possible for me to reach several hundred words even on my worst days. Happy? Make that thrilled. ;D

I have no way of knowing how permanent this is, but I feel like I could be on to something—the kind of thing that leads to lasting changes.

Day 35 of No More Zero Word Days

So today I put together another plan, this one to reach 4,000 words. Here’s how it went:

I ended the day with 4,047 words after 47 five minute sessions. I averaged 1,033 words per hour based on my totals.

As I’ve said before, the five minute sessions seem to be working really well for me.

Also, the planning obviously seems to be working really well too.

Planning for a 3,600 Word Day

I wasn’t going to post about my plan today but I’ve had a slow start to the day, have passed up 3 potential start times, and I still can’t seem to wake up and it’s verging on noon. So, I thought it might help to spell out my plan and post updates again today.

Today’s goal is a more modest 3,600 words. Yesterday, I had planned to write roughly 2,500 words on two different stories. It came out closer to 3,000 and 2,000 words.

Today I’m planning 1,500 words on two different stories and 600 words on another in 5 hours of writing. I’m going to stick with the 5 minute sessions.

12:20–1:20 (finished at 1:16, did 7 sessions, reached 780 words, plus 85, for 865 total)
1:30–2:30 (finished at 2:34, did 8 sessions, reached 813 words)
5:30–6:30 (stopped at 6:25 after 5 sessions, reached 281 words) (got lost in the story and had to stop, no idea where I’m going atm)
6:40–7:40 (finished at 8:13, did 10 sessions, reached 678 words)
7:50–8:50 (cancelled)

For each hour I have a goal of reaching 800 words. I’m aiming for ten 5 minute sessions per hour, with a goal of maintaining an average of 80 words for those 5 minute sessions.

Truth be told, I’m hoping to do well enough to cut my time today to 4 hour long blocks instead of 5, that’s why the increase to a goal of 800 words per session. Looking at yesterday’s numbers, I was almost there, but today I will need to focus on getting in a full 10 sessions per hour, 8 to 9 sessions seemed to be my limit yesterday.

Well, off to collect the decaf coffee I made a few minutes ago and get ready to start.

Off to a good start, but I had to make an adjustment to my start times after my break.

Well, I didn’t make it to 3,600 today. I don’t really know what the difference was between today and yesterday, but there was a marked difference in both how I felt (tired) and how fast I was writing.

I’m ending the day at 2,637 words. I don’t believe I’m at my best right now and I certainly don’t think the writing is going to go any better the rest of the night. I cancelled my last planned session.