How I’d like to end 2015 and start 2016

I’m not going to try today to break my newest one-day word count record. I will try instead to just end the 2015 year on a day where I wrote a reasonable number of words and start 2016 off by doing the same again tomorrow.

So, next two days’ goals are simple: write 4,558 words each day.

Now I have to get off the WIFI and get started, so I’ll be back later with details. :D

December has become my best sales month

I didn’t think December would make it, not with how quickly sales slowed down toward the end of the month, but it does now appear that December has become my best earning month to date for my self-publishing business (highest revenue and most units sold). The numbers are preliminary and do not include my international sales because I don’t know what they’ll come to once currency conversion happens.

If I had wanted to make this claim a few days ago, I could have, but I wanted it solid, with U.S. dollars. Now it is. :)

This is one reason I’m trying so hard to write more books in the coming year. I’m very close to a milestone earnings number and I would like to reach it within the next six months.

Currently, I earn a modest full-time living off sales of my fiction.

I want more. :D


Yesterday was not the start to the new year I wanted it to be

I ended the day with 1,467 words, and that’s only because I pushed myself to get started again despite really not wanting to. The story was boring me! That’s what I ultimately decided, so I’ve tried to pep it up with some really crazy detours. I can’t stand being bored and I can’t write when I’m bored with a story.

I’m doing better today, so maybe it worked to get me interested again. :)

Now I just have to figure out how to get my main characters together again instead of off doing their own things. I don’t like story lines where my main characters are split up for long stretches of time.

Anyway, updates later on today’s progress (new post probably), because this was really just a follow up post regarding yesterday’s goal.

An early beginning for the new year

I’m hoping for a successful return to work today. This isn’t January 1, but it’s the beginning of the new year to me, and I want to start off strong. My plan is to aim for 4,558 words on every day that I’m supposed to be writing. That’s most days.

Here’s my schedule of days off for the next 12 months.

Holidays – 4 days a year
Unexpected – 12 (sick days mostly)
Vacation – 14
Occasional weekend – 48 (that’s 4 days a month)

Total days off – 78
Total working days – 287

Publishing days – 36 (3 days each month I won’t be writing)
Writing days – 251 (21 approx writing days each month)

Some months will have more, some months should have less, because of the fall of holidays, sickness, vacation time, and weekend days, but overall, I’m aiming for 95,333 words each month, and that’s what I’ll push for each month.

This works for me because I don’t have a lot of leisure activities I like as much as I like writing, and I cannot stand telling myself I can’t write because someone else thinks I should be doing something besides “working” (yet I have a history of taking way too much time away, but that’s another issue!). And seriously, 21+3=24 work days a month on average, and that’s just a bit more than a regular work week, but not when you take into consideration that I almost never get in 8 hours of work time a day.

I’d say this schedule is very average for number of hours of work each month. The only time I’m really pushing myself is during publishing weeks, and that I have to admit usually has me working 16 hour days. On the other hand, recently, that’s only happened about 4 times a year (definitely happened more when I was just starting out because I spent so much time learning). Going forward, I’ll be trying to cut those days down into more reasonable chunks.

I have never written that many (fiction) words in one month (95,333), but I want January to be the first month I do it. The month has very few holidays (none for which I plan to take time away from writing), and it’s a long month. I’m feeling good about it right now.

So, time to get started. I will post about today’s progress at the end of the day today. My aim is to have 4,558 words finished as early in the day as possible today. I’d aim for a record but I can’t. I have some important things to do, so when I hit 4,558 words, I’m stopping until all those other things are done.

Another nice day but not quite there

I’ve ended tonight with 3,577 words. I’d really like to make it to my 4,558 words but it’s just not going to happen. I’m tired and I screwed up today not getting my words done earlier. Still, the gift wrapping had to be done!

It was the lunch break and movie that I should have skipped. :o

I’m still not sure how I ended up watching Deep Impact for the umpteenth time. Great movie, but I had a headache when it was over from trying not to cry so much. ;) It’s a tearjerker there at the end and it gets me every time! Anyway, I might have time to write a bit in the morning, but only if I call it a night right now. So… that’s what I’m going to do.

Today’s final numbers

It was a fantastic day for writing, I have to say. I made a great recovery after yesterday’s apparent self-sabotage (I did get 720 words yesterday so it wasn’t a total loss).

Minutes Words Session WPH
45 863 863 1,151
45 1,713 850 1,133
45 2,312 599 799
45 3,452 1,140 1,520
45 4,241 789 1,052
25 4,951 710 1,704
250 Total minutes 4.16667 Hours completed
4,951 Total words
1,188 Total WPH -0.3307 Hours to finish

The biggest success today was how quickly I did this. Almost every one of my breaks came in under 15 minutes (not all, but most) and I was done by 3:56 pm. :)

One thing I will say, writing faster like this made my forearms hurt. I don’t usually have pain from writing, and I’m not liking this at all. I think I’ll stick to writing more instead of trying to write faster.

I was pushing, today, to finish early enough to go shopping so that anxiety would ease up, and I made it. :) I shopped, and now I’m finally done with that.

Also, I wrapped presents during my breaks—just one or two at a time, but it also helped me get a start on that. Tomorrow I’ll do the same thing and maybe get all the presents wrapped up!

Self-sabotage or anxiety, can’t decide

I kind of hate the holidays. I can’t decide if I’m self-sabotaging by not writing or just not dealing well with the anxiety of shopping left undone.

Yeah, you got that right. I still haven’t finished shopping. I’m not even close to being done, and I don’t want to go tonight, and I don’t want to do it tomorrow because I want to write, but that was also what I told myself today, and yet here I am, having not written anything!

I did go on a Star Wars spoiler binge, but only because I need to decide if I’m going to watch it now or after the last movie in this set (trilogy?) comes out. I think I’ve decided. Later. I hate cliffhangers and it sounds as if a lot of stuff is left up in the air at the end of the The Force Awakens. I’d rather just save it and savor them all at once. Plus, if it gets screwed up somewhere in the middle, I don’t have to watch at all.

Anyway, I’m going to have to try to write something, because if I don’t… today will have been a major waste. I’ve really done nothing of note except talk on the telephone for about three hours. Ugh.

I really don’t understand why I’m having such a hard time getting started again, unless it’s just the change in routine caused by the holidays throwing me off. That could be it.

I wish… no, I don’t wish. I’m just going to have to deal with this. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be writing right now.

Attemping to break my one-day word count record—in a record short time

It’s 5:42 pm. I’ve never started writing so late in the day and successfully written a lot of words. I can’t say what my upper limit is for such a late start, but I’d say it’s in the 2,000–3,000 word range. Definitely not 5,950 words, which is where I’m planning to end today. (Because, confession time, I totally screwed up yesterday too and wrote only the words I got as I made a couple of fixes I needed to make in my book. Or, you know, 318 words.)

I will need to write super fast tonight, much faster than my usual average. I will also need to write freely and not get hung up on anything as I go. Deep breath. I can do that. I’ve written 5,000 words in 6 hours before, so all I need to do is write fast, take super short breaks, and stick with it until I’m done.

No more tea, water, or other drinks at the computer. I take too many breaks when I have them.

I’m doing two quick things and then I’m getting started. I’m going to get this done tonight if I have to stay up half the night. Bad idea, I know, so I’m going to finish before that happens. You can’t see me, but I’m wearing my serious face. :-|

I can do this.

Update: I got started at 6:39 pm. I’m currently at 2,273 words. My pace isn’t anywhere near where I’d like it, but surprisingly it’s actually not bad either at 921 WPH. Normally I’d be thrilled at that pace. It’s 10:11 pm though and I’m not staying up until 2 am, which is how late I’ll need to stay up to write 5,950 at my current pace, so I must get faster because I do not want to stop until I’ve reached that word count! :o

Update (next morning): I reached 2,625 words, and although I called it a night after that, I think this little challenge served its purpose: I wrote more words than I would have if I hadn’t tried it! Today I try again, but this time, I have the time to make this a success. :)

Off to a slow start today

I’m off to a very slow start today with writing, but I do have another chunk of my Christmas shopping done and am feeling a lot of relief about that!

I don’t know if I’ll be able to break a record today, because it’s now 1:02 pm, but I am going to aim to get my 4,558 words done. I’ve decided today is a restart for my 1,144,000 word goal for the next 12 months, and I don’t want to end up behind on my first day back at it.

I’m restarting because playing catch up is nothing but a sure fire way to end up procrastinating the rest of the year away.

It’s been a disappointing few days for writing

Today is the 18th. I still have Christmas shopping to do. I really am a last minute shopper. Unfortunately, I’ve also been unable/unwilling to do the writing I need to do this month too. I have reasons, but I’m not really pleased with myself about them. They’re legitimate, when I think objectively about them, but they don’t feel legitimate. It’s that emotion versus rationality thing. Humans aren’t rational beings, and I am human. ;)

But . . . I’m going to have a few days to myself now, and I’m really hoping I can get back on track.

Today, however, might be a lost cause. I’m hoping to get something written, but I’m running out of steam fast and the night has come much more quickly than I expected. So… I’ll be back tomorrow to get moving on this book and maybe try for a word count record again. See you then. :)