Good month, bad day

I’ve reached one new record this month: April 2016 has now become the month in which I’ve written the most words since I started tracking. Fiction words, of course, because if I counted these blogs posts and other stuff, who knows what it’d be? Just know that when I talk about records, I’m always talking about fiction I plan to publish.

I’ve written 55,810 words this month. Then there’s today.

It’s unlikely I’ll reach my 3,933 word count goal for today, but I have written a few more words that I’ll add to that number, and I might write a few more on top of that. We’ll see. More below on that topic.

I feel like I’ve slowed down these last few days, but I think it’s because I’ve been so tired from lack of adequate sleep. I want to write more, but I just don’t have a lot of energy for it.

I’ve already made a pact with myself to get into bed early tonight. I really have to stop staying up late for stupid reasons!

Unfortunately, that resolution doesn’t help the fact that I’m dog tired today, and it’s 3:52 and all I’ve written so far is 302 words. I didn’t use the timer for those words either, so I have no notion what my writing speed is—I think it’s slow. Like, really slow.

The big problem seems to be my natural affinity for morning light. It’s getting light outside very early in the mornings here, a little before 5:30 am. I’m just not getting to bed in time to get a good night’s sleep considering how difficult it is for me to sleep after daylight comes. I’ve been waking up around 5–5:30 am and not getting back to sleep. That’d be fine if I was going to sleep before 11:30–12:00, but I’m not. I don’t believe I’ve gone to sleep before 11:30 once this past week, and it’s been much closer to midnight many of those nights.

I need more sleep.

If I don’t make myself get it, I’m going to stall out again on the writing. I can tell. Today proves it. I feel the desire to write, but I can’t even keep my eyes focused on the screen as I’m trying to write. (I sometimes get headaches if I don’t get enough sleep and today is one of those times. My eyes don’t focus well when I have a headache and I don’t work through headaches well.)

Anyway, all that to say today kind of sucks for writing.

But—I want to keep trying. I’m about to start an actual session on one of my books. Maybe knowing the timer is going will help.

I could be reading the book I finished yesterday, searching for mistakes, but yeah… I’m sure that’d go great with this headache. I’ll save that for tomorrow.

By the way, lack of sleep really can feel like inebriation. I have that same floaty head feeling and it’s dogged me all day. And there’s one reason why I don’t drink alcohol very often. I hate that feeling.

Let’s try this again

Today is not a good day for breaking my record, but I think I’m going to try again anyway. Here’s the deal: I have things to do today that mean I’ll be away for at least 4 hours, probably more than 5.

But to break my record, if I can maintain my current speeds (average of about 835 words an hour, or 922 if I only count this last week’s work*), I can write 6,000 words in about 7 hours of writing. I think I can keep those speeds up with the way the writing’s been going.

So here’s the plan: write for 3 hours before lunch, take a short lunch, and write 3 more hours before I have to stop. Then, if I’m close, I think I can find the motivation to write for 1 more hour before I call it a night, and I’ll sleep in tomorrow morning.

Then, of course, do it all over again. :D (I wish. But why not dream big?)

So here goes. I have to get started, because it’s already 8:40 and I’m terribly bad at losing time to breaks. Lunch will be here before I’m ready, guaranteed!

Hour 1: 1,067 words
Hour 2: 1,392 words | 2,459 cumulative 1
Hour 3: 756 words | 3,215 cumulative 2

1 Whoa! Also, I’m less than one session away from finishing that troublesome novel I’ve mentioned in several previous posts. Yay!

2 I totally screwed up by not finishing 3 sessions before lunch, and then watching tv during lunch. It was not a short lunch. :o Hour 3 dragged on and on, but I finished one of my novels! I’m not sure about the last couple of lines, but I think it’s going to work. Either way, I’m saying it’s done. I’ve sent it to my Kindle for a read through later. :D

Final count: 3,228. I added a few words but I’m definitely not going to be able to write for another hour because it’s much later than I expected it would be. So that’s it for today.

*Why am I writing so much faster than my previous speeds? I credit the high level of interest I’m maintaining in my work by switching freely between projects. It’s been a magic pill, really it has. Also, I don’t know. Something might have changed in me.

Multiple stories at once: third week

Thursday—Wednesday, April 21–27

245 (4 stories) (was not a writing day, just inputting error corrections after a read through)
2,245 (1 story)
2,863 (1 story)
149 (3 stories)
2,831 (2 stories)
4,858 (1 story)
3,736 (2 stories)

Total: 16,927 words.

It was a good week—really good, in all honesty, but I didn’t really come close to my goal of 27,533 for a full week of writing.

Still, I cannot deny that something has changed. I’m giving all credit to the things I mentioned in two posts I’ve written since I started this latest experiment (key to success, multiple stories first week).

I worked on 5 distinct stories this week.

Having another go at the record today

Yes, I’m having another go at the record today, after an unfortunately bad night of sleep again, so no promises that I won’t make it half the day and conk out.

But, for the moment, I feel like I could do this today. 6,000 words is the number I’m taking aim at, although I only have to get past 5,758 to break my current one-day record. In the vein of “more words, less time,” I’m hoping to do it in 7 hours or less. See ya when I have some numbers to report.

Update: TOTAL BUST. Okay, not a total bust. But I’ve been so, so tired today. I’ve spent one hour writing, and I’m hoping to get another two before I stop for the night, but there’s no chance I’ll break any records today, except (maybe) my monthly best record.

Final numbers.

Hours Words Session WPH
1 858 858 858
1 1725 867 867
0.5 2260 535 1070

Trying again to break my record

Yesterday I failed to break my one-day word count record. Since today is another day like yesterday, where there’s no real reason why I shouldn’t be able to devote most of my day to writing, I’m trying again.

Bonus? I’m only 6,253 words away from April becoming my highest word count month since I started in 2012.

Session logs:

Hours Words Session WPH
1 944 944 944
1 1966 1022 1022
1 3004 1038 1038
1 3736 732 732

I didn’t make it again today, mostly because I just felt bad. I had a headache off and on all day, and I’m frankly amazed that I wrote as many words as I did!

And now I’m only 2,516 words shy of my current record for my best month.

This “writing only what I’m interested in writing” thing is starting to look like the best method I’ve ever come up with.

I think I might try to break my one-day record again tomorrow. The only thing I can see stopping me is another headache, but I’ll wait to commit to the idea of the challenge until tomorrow. Good night!

Major push today for record

I’m going to use my 1 hour sessions and cycle through my stories in progress today to try to beat my one-day word count record and break through the 6,000 word ceiling I seem to have.

I might fail, but today seems to be a good day for trying, so I’m going to. :)

I’m about to start hour #1 and I’ll be working on Story Gf. It’s the one I’ve been most interested in the last couple of days and I think it’ll get me warmed up for the rest.

Even if it’s going really well, I think I’m going to make myself switch to Story O for hour 2. That’s the one I’m supposed to finish as quickly as I can. I really haven’t been devoting the amount of time to it as I need if I want to finish it as soon as I’d like, but it is what it is. I like the book, but it’s just not as interesting to me at the moment as Story Gf.

I’d like to avoid getting sucked into working on just one book for the moment. And although Gf is really attractive to me right now, I’m afraid I’ll slip back into bad habits if I stay on one book for all my sessions for too many days in a row, even if I’m driven to it by interest the first few days. I’m hoping to spread out my interest today and make a little progress on all my stories. :)

Finally, I am hoping to perk up my interest in Story O, and if that does happen, I’m going to try to slip in an extra hour or two for it between my other sessions.

So we’ll see how today goes. I’d like to write for 7–8 hours today and that’s asking a lot from myself! So I’d better get to work. :)

Hour 1: 929 words
Hour 2: 972 words | 1,901 cumulative 1
Hour 3: 967 words | 2,868 cumulative
Hour 4: 1,096 words | 3,964 cumulative
Hour 5: 894 words | 4,858 cumulative 2

1 Things are going slow. By this time, I’d hoped to be starting my 5th session, instead I’m about to start my 3rd. 6 more hours of writing tonight doesn’t seem likely. I’m not giving up yet though. :) If I can keep up my high wph, I could break through 6,000 with as few as 6 sessions (meaning only 4 more hours). If I can increase it, I could be done in as few as 3 more sessions. That’s asking a lot from myself, but it’s definitely something to aim for!

2 Well, I didn’t make it as far as I’d hoped today. I’m happy with what I got, of course, but I just ran out of steam earlier in the day and took too long to get back to writing, so I ran out of time. It’s bedtime, so maybe I’ll try this again tomorrow. Also, I’m a little disappointed that I ended up writing all those words on one book! And not the book I needed to write them for. So, bummer. But yay, too. Because 4,858 is a lot of words and I just can’t believe how it’s starting to feel normal for me to reach these kinds of numbers.

Gathering speed, but not there yet

Yesterday I wrote 2,863 words, in 3 hours. My goal was 5 hours and 3,933 words, but I didn’t make it. I started much too late yesterday and never really recovered.

I’m hoping to do much better today! Unfortunately, I spent a bit of time this morning adding some corrections to 3 stories, found when I read through my current works on my Kindle last night and this morning. (I send to Kindle my Word docs each night when I’m working for that very reason, and highlighting mistakes works great to keep me from getting heavy handed with changes.)

I added 149 words this morning so that’s where I’m starting. I had wanted to get in 3 hours before lunch, but now it’s looking like I’ll be good to get in 2. Anyway, getting started now. Not sure which story I want to work on first, but I’ll figure it out!

Update: I never really could get going on anything, and I don’t know why exactly—I was tired, feeling fuzzy headed, blah blah—so I took a break to watch an episode of Telenovela (which I’m hoping doesn’t get canceled but I’m not holding out much hope) and ended up binge watching the entire season 2 of How to Get Away With Murder. That’s a lot of television. :o I certainly don’t plan to do that again. But no, I didn’t end up doing any more writing yesterday at all.

Multiple stories at once: second week

Another week has gone by—already—and I have another week of data to support my growing belief that writing on multiple stories in the particular way I’m doing it now is the best thing I’ve done for my writing in a long while.

Thursday—Wednesday, April 14–20
4,185 (3 stories)
4,798 (3 stories)
1,752 (3 stories)
242 (2 stories)
0
(18)
0

Total: 10,959 words

Despite my five days off writing, I’ve still managed to make this a great week, relatively speaking. Two of those days will end up affecting the next week’s numbers, but I have to say, I’m really pleased with what I accomplished this week. I wrote 10,959 words, and that’s a good number for me based on my historical performance.

As long as I let myself write what I want, I still feel the excitement to get going. I had a moment today where I slipped and was making myself write something, and I finally noticed how it was affecting me. I felt a great deal of resistance. But once I realized what was going on, I opened a different book, read a bit of it, and then ended up writing on the one that had been bothering me at the outset anyway, just because I wanted to.

That’s where the real power of this method has shown itself.

Get rid of the need, and I’m left with want. And want is powerful.

Two days off writing? Make that five, but it’s over now

On the 16th, I posted about my stumble. I finished that day with 1,752 words, and I was pretty happy with that, considering. Since then, I’ve worked on some publishing tasks, read a bunch of books (seriously, 3 in just one day this week), and—well, that’s it. When I haven’t been working on the publishing stuff, I’ve been reading. I binge. Read, write, whatever. I work best when I binge on work.

So my planned 2 day break for publishing stuff turned into a 5 day break, because of all that reading and my own reluctance to dig into the publishing stuff.

But it’s finally done. I finished up the last of the publishing stuff today, and although it’s a bit late to really go for a lot of words, I’d still like to write more than the 172 words I wrote the moment I finished the publishing stuff. I was anxious to get back to it—and I’d like to hang on to that feeling. I worry that if I relax too much right now, tomorrow I’ll feel pressured to get started again. I don’t want pressure. I want desire. Right now, despite the fact that I’m feeling kind of pooped and stressed, I have desire. So writing it is. :)

I think I’ll aim for a solid hour of writing. Maybe two, but one for sure. I’d just like to cross the 1,000 word mark for the day.

Update—

Unfortunately for my writing, I had an unexpected interruption that pretty much finished my day for me. I was bummed, but hey, it wasn’t the end of the world. I finished with 245 words.

A bit of a stumble

It’s 7:35 pm and I’ve written only 766 words today, in one hour of writing that I did before lunch today. I’m not really sure where the day went, tbh. I started writing late today and stopped for lunch early. I slept badly last night and have had a headache most of the day.

I’d like to go to bed early tonight to make up for that bad sleep, but… I haven’t actually had much energy for writing at all until within the last half hour, which doesn’t bode well for an early bedtime.

So now, I’m going to cut this short and go to work on one of my books. My goal is to write for an hour and see where I end up. My plans to take tomorrow and Monday off writing to work on preparing some stories for publishing hasn’t changed, so I want to end today in a good place. If I can manage another 1,000 words in the next hour, I’ll be happy enough. Less won’t kill me, but why not try for better instead of good enough, huh? ;)