Not quite there but better than average

I wrote 2,285 words yesterday in 3 hours. So although I came up short on my time and my quota for word count, I still did much better than my current all-time average daily word count of 665.

If I keep beating my average, my average will go up. ;)

Anyway, I’m getting a late start today and I have no excuse for that at all (and can’t actually understand how it happened either!) so I have to get started if I don’t want to fall even further behind with the day’s writing. I’d still like to finish at about 3 pm today!

Yesterday’s session log:

Minutes Words Session WPH
33 391 391 711
47 982 591 754
60 1,794 812 812
40 2,285 491 737
180 Total minutes
2,285 Total words
762 Total WPH

Slipped but didn’t fall

I had a headache yesterday. Even so, I still wrote for 2 hours and 10 minutes and wrote 1,842 words. I have to say, I’m on a fantastic pace with this book. I’m not sure why, but I’m really going to keep trying to keep it up.

Saturday’s session logs:

Minutes Words Session WPH
36 498 498 830
53 1,289 791 895
37 1,776 487 790
4 1,842 66 990
130 Total minutes
1,842 Total words
850 Total WPH

I could have finished if not for my headache and general malaise, because I was still on a great pace with the book.

4 Hours to write
1.83333 Hours left
759 WPH needed

But I didn’t, so no point dwelling on it.

Now, to get started for today before I get too far off my suggested schedule (it’s 8:19). I’d definitely like to get 3 hours in before 11:30 today and I still have time to do that if I get started right this moment.

No plan today: I’m already there

I decided last night that I needed to focus on writing about results instead of intentions, thinking that would mean I’d have a better chance of getting started on time this morning and staying on schedule.

That didn’t exactly work, although I did manage to get my 3 hours before lunch and get my last hour started during the two o’clock hour. :) I still had a good writing day, all told. But not blogging until I had results to report didn’t make any difference in my start time this morning. I started late today because I started reading some forum posts while I had breakfast and I didn’t stop when I should have.

Here are my session logs for today.

Minutes Words Session WPH
37 556 556 902
39 1,065 509 783
60 2,122 1,057 1,057
44 2,970 848 1,156
60 3,694 724 724
240 Total minutes
3,694 Total words
924 Total WPH

Sink that nail

I’m really into the construction analogies at the moment, apparently. :D But yes, today’s plan is to do my best to repeat yesterday’s excellent performance. The only thing I can really control is how much time I spend writing and if I spend that time when I plan to spend it. The WPH is a bit out of my hands, although I will try to push for the better word counts/pace.

My timer just went off saying it’s 8, so I’m going to get started and do my best to stay caught up with the schedule/routine today. Be back with a report when I’ve finished some writing. :D

Session logs:

Minutes Words Session WPH
60 567 567 567
17 747 180 635
60 2,064 1,317 1,317
43 2,967 903 1,260
60 3,927 960 960
240 Total minutes
3,927 Total words
982 Total WPH
4 Hours to write
0 Hours left
#DIV/0! WPH needed

The writing went really well today and the book is coming along great. I no longer hate it—I love it! :D Oh how fickle I am when the writing is going well. ;)

Already in motion

Finally, I seem to be on my way to nailing the schedule/routine today!

I made a note to myself this morning in Evernote:

Remember not to try to play catch up with the writing. Just work on getting my 4 hours during my routine and reaching 3233. If I want to write more or if I’m doing well, I can either quit at 3233 or keep going. My choice. But NOT catch up. Catch up will interfere with me setting my habits and getting into a routine.

I also set a goal to write in 1 hour blocks this morning.

The schedule was:
8:00–9:00
9:15–10:15
10:30–11:30

You can see that in the image below. :)

I wasted my first half hour figuring out some book titles for one of my series but then caught myself and got started, with the intent to catch up as quickly as I could. That was at 8:34.

Here are the morning numbers:

Minutes Words Session WPH
32 412 412 773
60 1,550 1,138 1,138
60 2,492 942 942
28 2,998 506 1,084

Now, it’s 1:07 pm and I’m having lunch and going to start an episode of Midsomer Murders I won’t get to finish. :D I’ll be back at 2 pm to finish my 4th hour.

One thing I’ve noticed that’s helped today is that I started adding “(+)” or “(-)” to my calendar after the event. It feels great to be able to see those pluses. :D
Calendar marks

Update:

I’ve just finished my 4th hour. I could go on, but I think I’m going to leave it here. I’d really like to get into this routine and if I push too hard, I could put myself off the routine entirely.

When I got back from lunch, but my battery was only at 39% charged. I ended up waiting until 2:30 to start writing to give it more time to charge.

I still finished a bit late, even for a 2:30 start, but I had several breaks. Too much tea this afternoon! Anyway, the pace slowed, but not too much, and I’m pretty happy with today’s progress.

Here are the final session logs.

Minutes Words Session WPH
32 412 412 773
60 1,550 1,138 1,138
60 2,492 942 942
28 2,998 506 1,084
60 3,723 725 725
240 Total minutes
3,723 Total words
931 Total WPH
4 Hours to write
0 Hours left
#DIV/0! WPH needed

I’ll be honest. The coffee and tea have helped tremendously. Mental fatigue isn’t setting in nearly as quickly as it has been. I don’t think I’m going to try to get off it again for a while. Maybe I’ll just give up on that entirely and stick to working on moderating my intake.

Now, to finish that episode of Midsomer Murders before I do some cover practice or start working on my federal taxes. I definitely need a break before tackling that last one. :D

Getting started when I have other things to do today

Today, I have a lunch date to keep. I find that when I have things to do, I usually have a lot more trouble focusing. I’m also getting started late, because I spent two hours on a thing that I was sure would take me no more than half an hour to do.

Also, I’ve had a bit of a change in thinking. I think because of the why of the how I write, it might be smart to stop focusing on my words per hour completely. The reason is that I have to do a lot of organizing of my thoughts as I write, because of how disorganized they often are—it’s not often that stuff comes out in the order it needs to be in or that even makes sense, and pushing against that limit could be entirely futile because it’s how I think. It’s something I really haven’t thought too much about, but there’s probably an upper limit to my writing speed (WPH) because of that.

Trying to change how I think—not my thoughts, but actually how I think—might be a huge waste of time. And even if I could change that—and who knows how possible that is?—why try to shore up weaknesses when I can focus on my strengths? I have a decent amount of willpower when I can see the sense in using it. A more effective plan to reach my goals might be to put 100% of my focus and effort on time.

(NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. Can’t do this right now. I really have to stick with my current plan. If I try to change things up right now, I’ll never get to 22,630 words each week. I have to have something to strive for besides just forcing myself to reach a certain number of hours of writing each day.)

It’s funny how I end up in places I’ve already visited, but maybe knowing why I keep ending up there will help me make it stick this time. :)

The fact is, every day is a new day. I can change my mind if it turns out I’ve made a mistake. (YES. I can. And I just changed it.)

I’m still not convinced a schedule should be anything more than a suggestion, but I am thinking a daily time quota should be.

Anyway, it’s 10:20 now and I’m NOT going to let myself keep screwing up today’s start. I have a lot to do, and waiting until tonight to write my first words of the day is not the right plan—it never is, tbh.

So, let’s see how much writing I can get done before I have to stop this morning. Onward!

 

Schedule is a suggestion, not a rule

This morning, I couldn’t seem to get started on my writing, and after thinking it over a bit, I decided that maybe I just had too much on my mind. I have an account at Dreamstime for stock photos and had signed up for a 5 images a month subscription in late December (usually I just buy credits) and it was set to renew later tonight. I didn’t want it to renew, but I couldn’t cancel it without downloading the images that had rolled over into this month or I’d have paid for January and February for nothing. :o

So I decided to get that taken care of. It took me a long, long time to pick out images!

In the end, I cancelled that subscription but decided that using credits isn’t going to be economically sound if I publish as much as I want to this year (if!), and I chose to buy their much more robust 150 images a month subscription instead.

Yes, it’s quite a bit more money. But 150(!) images a month, and I can download all in one day if I want (some stock sites won’t let you do that, instead imposing a daily download limit in addition to the monthly limit), and that means I don’t have to be so picky with images—the new subscription knocks the cost down to less than $1 each. With credits (or through the subscription I’ve been using for the last two months), those same images cost me about $8 each.

I’m going to spend a couple of months picking a wide selection of images and then see what I’ve got. But it’s a good deal and I need the stock if I’m going to keep trying to learn to design better covers for my books. :)

Now, with that many images at my disposal, I’m really looking forward to my cover design practice. Lots of great images to play around with without spending a fortune buying up credits—and I don’t have to spend time using comp images and then redo all my work when I hit on a clever design I want to use for real. :)

I didn’t end up getting any writing done today, and I’ve had to remind myself: the schedule is a suggestion, not a rule. My ultimate goal is 28 hours a week of timed writing and 22,630 words. I can have days where I just have to do other things.

See you back here tomorrow for some make up writing. :D

 

Write longer

I didn’t write for 4 hours yesterday. Not even close. Today I will try again. It really shouldn’t be as hard as it always seems to be. It doesn’t make sense.

So, today—even though I don’t like doing it this way—I’m setting my morning timer for 3 hours and I’m not doing separate sessions of shorter time periods. I’ll just pause (this is why I don’t like doing it this way, I either forget to pause or I forget to unpause) and restart when I need a quick break. But no actual stopping point until I’ve done my 8–11 time this morning.

It will also make it really easy to see how much time I lose to breaks, because I’ll be stopping when the 3 hours are up. The further from 11 that is, the more time I’ve wasted! Also, no WIFI this morning. It’s just asking for trouble and I’m not going to do that.

As soon as I’ve finished that first 3 hours I’ll update with my session logs.

See you then. :)

Updates:
403 words at 8:52 and 2:25 left on timer*
392 words at 10:32 and 1:31 left on timer**
863 words at 11:10 and 58 minutes left on timer***
1,145 words at 9:03 pm and finished 3 hours
1,439 words at 9:57 and finished 3.5 hours

Basically, my word count sucked today, but I got much closer to my 4 hours of writing goal. :D Progress is great, so I’ll take it! Maybe tomorrow I’ll conquer both time and speed.

Session logs:

Minutes Words Session WPH
180 1,145 1,145 382
30 1,439 294 588
Tomorrow I’m going to do 1 hour timers back to back. I don’t like not being able to track my progress and my pace. My goal will still be to get my 3 hours before lunch AND to get AT LEAST 3/4 of my word count goal done.
Random notes:

*Spent way too long on a break – back at 9:33.
**I seem to be going backwards but I rearranged some chapter breaks and tidied up some stuff. I’ve realized that there’s really no separation between edits and writing in my process. It’s all just writing and it’s all necessary for me to tell a story the way I want to tell it.
***I wanted to finish my 3 hours before I stopped, but crap, I’m really hungry. :o Yep, I’m stopping for lunch.

Pick up the hammer and try again

I didn’t nail it yesterday. I didn’t even come close. Today, I’m trying again. I’m not worrying about the schedule. I’m worrying about my 4 hours.

I want to get them done by 2 pm if I can. After that, I’ll coast, maybe even do some playing around with covers. :)

I’ll try to take as few breaks as possible this morning so I can get my 4 hours in as quickly as possible. The goal is 3,233 words plus a few extra to start chipping away at my deficit. I restarted the 1,180,000 words in 12 months challenge on Sunday, February 14, and I’m 18,244 words behind at this point. An extra hundred for 3,333 sounds like a good round number. :D

Okay, now time to get started. I’ve dragged this out long enough. :)

Session log:

Minutes Words Session WPH
10 219 219 1,314
10 335 116 696
10 554 219 1,314
10 648 94 564
40 868 220 330
25 893 25 60
5 984 91 1,092
5 1,150 166 1,992
4 1,229 79 1,185

Random notes:

I’ve done 4 sessions of 10 minutes each at this point and things are going well. 10 minute sessions seem to be working for me right now. Gonna stick with them for a bit.

Yeah. I didn’t nail it today either. 4 hours shouldn’t have been that hard, but I just couldn’t stay on task today. At least I broke the 1,000 word barrier. I’ll take it.

Nail it

It’s a beautiful day outside my window today. I’m sitting in my study / sitting room (no longer a library as I moved all the books out into my former office upstairs that’s about to become my library as soon as I can afford the bookcases I need for all those books!) and I have my music playing and I’m ready to get started on this pain in the ass scene that’s been stalling me for two months.

If I don’t get past it today, I’m deleting the whole thing and starting over with some other scene altogether. That’s a fact. That’s gonna happen and it’s a damn promise—to myself, to you, to the whole damn universe. :D

So here’s the writing plan for today. Write 3,233 words in 4 hours. It’s a challenge, but I’m certainly going to try to get it all done in 4 hours. If I can’t, then I’m going to work more hours today. Just one of those kinds of days. I feel a need to prove I can get the words when I want to.

8:30–11:30 am
2–3 pm

I’ll start with 15 minute sessions and keep an eye on my pace. I’ll update when I have something to report.

Session record:

Minutes Words Session WPH
15 99 99 396
30 358 259 518
15 516 158 632
5 602 86 1,032
5 607 5 60
10 845 238 1,428

Random notes:

Love triangle! I just created one for a secondary character (not the main characters). That’s something I hadn’t thought about before. I’ll see how it goes.

Okay, love the triangle. It’s going to work. Something else (!) came up that I’m very happy with too. :) The scene is moving again, and I’m speeding up. Considering how long I’ve been away, I can’t say I’m surprised I’m going so slow.

I’ve lost 45 minutes to breaks and a phone call. I’m going to try not to take a break between now and 11:30.

Okay, I’m really  behind, but I’ve finally got some momentum going and this pain in the ass scene has just ended! And it’s a strong, awesome ending too, I might add. ;) Now to keep up the momentum and try to catch up a bit. I need to hit and maintain a pace of 906 words to finish within the parameters of my goal (4 hours of writing, 3,233 words). I won’t finish within the parameters of my schedule, but I can live with that. Oh, and I’m on my second cup of coffee this morning. I can’t decide if I’m okay with that or not. Or, that’s not exactly true. I’m okay with it right now, but I can predict I won’t be okay with it later. So, yeah. :o

Okay, so I got excited about an idea I had and I called my sister. I shouldn’t have, because I was supposed to be writing, but I did and I can’t go back and undo it, so moving on… It’s 2:54 pm, I’ve had lunch, and I need to get back to my book. I also want another cup of coffee and I’m wondering just how badly I will regret that if I go for it. Might do green tea instead.

I did coffee.

Also, it’s kind of embarrassing that I’ve only recorded 1.33 hours of writing and it’s already 4:08 pm. :o