Thursday update #1: at 641 words

I’m now at 641 words for the day. I’m still trying to write through the mess that is chapter 12 in this book. :o

I have about 4 hours to write 4.5–5 hours worth of speedy words and I’m not doing speedy today apparently.

But I’m getting back to it now and hopefully I’ll get through this sooner rather than later.

Excited to be writing again, slow progress, and timer woes

I’ve been writing, but I keep forgetting to start the timer, so I have no idea how long I’ve been at it. It’s been excruciatingly slow going though.

I’m at 522 words for the day.

I input all the fixes I’ve had sitting around on my Kindles. I send my docs to Kindle (Kindle Fires to be specific) so I can read them on there (easier reading than on the computer) and I highlight problems to fix later. I had multiple versions of multiple docs on multiple Kindles waiting on me to get around to it. So that’s done. Docs are deleted and I actually discovered a bit of excitement for every one of my books in progress as I read through them looking for the highlights.

Then I turned to my main book, the one I’m trying so hard to finish, and I’ve been working on that problem scene again. It’s a mess. Just no other way to put it. I have no idea what was going on when I wrote it, but I do remember not liking it much at the time. It was the scene stopping me from getting back to writing back in December. I got past it in February (?) finally, but obviously I shouldn’t have ignored my issues with it. I’m paying for that now.

But now I’m going to quit forgetting to start my timer so I can at least track my speed for the rest of those 3,933 words I expect from myself today.

And all in all, I’m quite happy. I’m back at work on my books and I’m not feeling a lot of angst about it. (Yes, books. If I get stuck on this one, I’m moving to another. I’ve even opened all those files so it won’t take any effort at all. It’s really time I quit holding myself back because I’m afraid it’ll take too long to finish anything if I let myself switch projects like that. I have a much better chance of meeting my challenges if I don’t let myself stand still, so to speak.)

Next up: get to 3,933 words today in as little time as possible today.

Even without the timer to back me up, I’d say I’ve been writing for at least 2–3 hours already. That’s not great considering my word count, but when I get moving on this story again, I know I can do better.

Accountability check-in: 12-month 1,180,000 words challenge

Time for some accountability for my 12-month 1,180,000 words challenge.

So far, I’ve made a ridiculously small amount of progress towards that big challenge.

My 2016 word count to date is 34,615.

That’s, uh, not good. If 2016 was the beginning of that challenge (and originally it was) I should be sitting at 290,958 words.

So, uh, yeah.

But that’s okay, because I can fail but that doesn’t mean I have to give up, and I’m not giving up. I’m restarting this challenge as of today, and I’m not going to let myself down this time. I’m feeling optimistic today, after a day when I was definitely not feeling optimistic yesterday.

I can do this.

And I don’t need a schedule to do it. I just need to focus on writing what I want (that’s where I find joy and motivation in writing) and I need to remember I do have something to prove, but only to myself.

I can do this.

Yesterday was a day of more time, less words; let’s avoid a repeat

More time, less words is exactly opposite of my plan, but yesterday, that’s exactly what happened. I made very little progress on my word count for this book, but I did make progress. I don’t like rewriting stuff, but that’s what happened with the scene where I’d like to just ax everything and start fresh (but that’d mean losing 35,000 words and some of them I don’t actually want to lose).

I didn’t ax it, and I tried to avoid rewriting sentences in the vein of just trying to make things sound better, because that wasn’t the kind of rewriting it needed at all. It was about the scene itself. It’s just never really worked for me, and I gave some people some additional dialogue, tried to clear up some actions and movements, and stuff like that.

I’m actually still going to be working on this same scene this morning, at least for a bit, because I still need to finish that part up. I’ll be expanding a bit on an element I ignored so that I can tie things up at the end of the book. Honest to God, I don’t actually know what this is yet, and that’s why this is dragging so bad, but I’m going to come up with something if I have to gut this damn scene. (I’m actually very close to the end of this book, I think, but this scene takes place 35,000 words before where I’m at with the writing. If I don’t want to have to drag out the ending to clear all this stuff up, I need to set something up here so I can more easily deal with it there.)

Maybe I should just say I tried to fix the scene to do more of the things I want it to do—even if I don’t know what those things are yet, because I definitely didn’t go at it worried that the writing was bad, except in the sense that the actual scene didn’t read right to me. It doesn’t carry its weight and doesn’t do much but take up space, and yet it can’t be excised because it does have a purpose.

Gah. It’s all so hard to explain. Anyway, time to get to it. I have some enthusiasm going for the writing this morning and I plan to take advantage of it. I have one quick post to write about accountability and then it’s on to the writing. See you later for an update. :D

A couple more thoughts on the last post

I’ve had a couple more thoughts on the last post I want to clarify.

The schedule is really a “routine” suggestion.

The routine I want is to start writing early enough every day that I can guarantee I’ll finish 5 hours of writing every day, because I need 98,333 words every month to meet my “1,180,000 words in 12 months” challenge and I can’t get them if I don’t.

That’s the real purpose of the schedule.

So, as before, the schedule is more of a suggestion than a rule, but I do need to get that 5 hours of writing in every day so that my publishing days don’t make it impossible for me to meet my challenge. The best way to make that happen is to get started every day either on schedule at 9 or before.

…which brings me back to the idea that I’m really just doing this so I don’t forget that I want to write in 4 blocks of 1.25 hours, and that I want to get started early enough so I actually have a chance of getting them all done.

So why do I need a schedule? I have no idea.

…which realization caused me to delete the schedule. What I need is a reminder I can’t ignore (which I just put on my daily word count spreadsheet) that I want to write 5 hours every day.

This is one day where my bad mood might have just rewarded me with some clear thinking.

Alright. Moving on. Tomorrow I will write for 5 hours.

Today I will write for about 2 (more), then call it a night.

New plan, same goal

I haven’t been writing much lately. I’m just not happy with this book I have going and I’m going to have to choose to move on soon before I lose every bit of enthusiasm I have for writing. :o

On that note, I made a new schedule for myself today. I decided that although daily writing is still the routine I want, I know when publishing time comes, I won’t be writing, so I need to allow for that in my daily writing goal. I decided 5 days a month is a good estimate of the number of days I usually spend obsessed with publishing tasks.

1,180,000 ÷ 12 ÷ 25 = 3,933 words

I can’t write 3,933 words in 4 hours. I’d love to be able to, and maybe someday I’ll get there, but right now, if I aim for that, I’m setting myself up to fall short every time. I can write 3,933 words in 5 hours. It’ll require a bit of the “less time, more words” mentality, but I can do it consistently enough that I don’t believe I’m setting myself up for failure. :)

So, I split 5 hours into 4 blocks of 1.25 hours apiece. When I was drinking coffee and tea, this would have been a really bad idea, but I’m thinking I can do it now. Might as well take advantage of some of the benefits of being coffee and tea free, right?

Back when I had found what I believed was my ideal schedule, I started my writing day at 9 am and kept my lunch break as short as possible so I didn’t feel like it was an interruption. I decided to revisit that idea, and used it to hone my schedule. I want my midday break long enough, but not too long.

9:00–10:15 (need 984 words)
30 minute break
10:45–12:00 (need 984 words)
1 hour break
1:00–2:15 (need 983 words)
30 minute break
2:45–4:00 (need 983 words)

I usually get up between 6 and 7 in the morning. That gives me plenty of time to ease into my day, which I much prefer to rushing around and sitting down as soon as possible to write. I don’t like getting started first thing in the morning unless I’m really struggling to hold in some thought I woke up with. I remember really liking my 9 am start time. So I’m going back to it.

On the other hand, I would love to write through the evening, but I need to be done with my daily writing by 4 because I just can’t count on getting more words in later. So 4 is the cut off. Of course, if I want to write outside these times, I certainly won’t stop myself from doing it just because of the schedule.

Finally, I know a schedule isn’t something a lot of people need or want. I don’t even want it. (I really don’t.) But I do need it. I’m not good at visualizing how much time I have left in a day, and I’ve definitely found that without the schedule, I get lost in my days.

I spend more time making schedules than following them. I let myself down a lot when it comes to these things I don’t really want to do.* I don’t really know how to change that, because I want to but nothing I do seems to give me the push I need to actually change.

Heavy thoughts for the day, and I’m ready to end this post. There’s the schedule and I’m going to start tomorrow trying to stick to it.

Today I’m going for a shortened, modified version that starts at 4:30 pm. See ya when I get some writing done.

*I want to write, so I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean, but it’s how the thought came out so I’m leaving it. Or maybe it’s that I want to want to write, but I really only want to write what I want and since I’m bored or otherwise unhappy with what I’m working on, I don’t want to write it. I usually stop myself from writing anything else when I’m going through this kind of thing with self-talk about how if I’m going to write, I should just push through what I’m working on and get it done. Then, of course, I avoid writing altogether because it all feels too damn hard.

No plan, no way; goal is 4 hours of writing and 3,233 words

After yesterday, I don’t think “no plan” is going to work. I’m already fighting the urge to work on more covers, but I’m determined to resist. I want to get my 4 hours of writing in, and then obsess over covers some more.

Writing schedule

So that’s the plan. No covers until I’ve done my 4 hours. And if I get close enough to the end of the book to finish, I am going to do my best to push on through. The sooner it’s done, the sooner I can get those covers finished up. Win, win. :D

Also, I’m trying to break my back and neck cracking habit. That’s no fun. :o

Now I must get to work. I’m already late to my first session!

Update: And 869 words later I ended up obsessing on covers again!

No plan today; just write

Hour 1: 737 words

I didn’t plan this hour, it just happened because I had words that came to me in the shower and had to sit down and get them out right away before I forgot them. Turns out I spent almost exactly an hour doing that. :D (I think I’m about 5,000 words or less away from the end of the book!)

I did a bit of cover design tweaking despite my new rule. I have that stuff on my brain and I just can’t get it out of there. I did stop, though, so I could go eat breakfast, and now I’m back and I’m going to stick to the rule until I’ve hit my word count goal for the day. Which even though I said above “no plan” is actually already planned out. I have that 3,233 daily quota. After that, if I want to get lost in some cover design practice, that’s fine by me as long as I don’t stay up too late again. That can’t happen again for a while. I have too much sleep to catch up on already. I don’t need to add to that.

Now, off to clip my fingernails so I can start hour 2.

I want 1,000 WPH with the next one!

And the next day…

HA! That first session was the last session I wrote during yesterday. I ended with 737 words and spent the rest of the day working on a book cover.

You see, I’m obsessed. :o I had to know if I could create a series of covers from the one I’d partially designed the night before. After an ENTIRE day of it (I finished at 9:30 last night), I succeeded! I have two complete covers now, (one needs a tiny tweak on text color but I really think it turned out very nice) and I’ve cracked the “people” issue. I can now say that if I work at it, I can get a person to look all right on a cover. People have by far been my weakest area. Typography is still up there, but it’s coming along. Buying that font (license) turned out to be a good idea. I’ve used that font for this series of covers and I really like the distinctive, but very crisp and clean, look it gives to the books’ titles.

Anyway, that’s the final word on yesterday. Today is something else. :D

Less time, more words_v2

Today’s plan is 8 hours of writing. 4 are my normal daily 4 hours. The other 4 are extra that I’d like to do to make up for some of the time I didn’t write this past week and because I’m just getting so close to finishing this book, I’d like to get on with it! Also, I’m dying without my tv. (I can’t crack on that rule and I won’t; it’s a practice in self-discipline. I said I wouldn’t watch tv until the book was done and I meant it.)

Sessions Log:
Hour 1: 443
Hour 2
Hour 3
Hour 4
Hour 5
Hour 6 (extra) (Seriously unlikely to happen at this point)
Hour 7 (extra)
Hour 8 (extra)

I want a minimum of 4,526 in 5 hours today.

If I write for 8, I could hit 6,464 words. That would be might highest one-day word count on one of my books in a day. It’s probably not going to happen but there’s absolutely no reason I can’t try. :D

Both goals will require writing more and writing faster.

Now, time to get to it. :) Will update as I have progress to report.

Update: final numbers were 788 words, 1.46 hours.