What Was I Thinking?

So, yesterday I tried a 5,000 in a day challenge, not even realizing until this morning, when I was thinking about making another attempt at that challenge, that I was taking a huge step backward in my thinking.

A words per day goal has no place  in my 2014 strategy.

In my better way of looking at the numbers post, I detail how the time I spend writing is a lot more important to manage than setting daily word count goals because if I spend the time, I’ll get the words. Averages, you know. They all work out in the end.

Yesterday, I was panicking a little, thinking about how slow my writing has been going and how I haven’t been hitting anywhere near the average I’ve been counting on. But see, this was a great opportunity for me to keep going anyway and let things settle into place, and instead I immediately set myself a word count goal.

I’m really glad I realized this while I was doing a few dishes this morning, because I can course-correct before I veer off into the bushes. :D

So, I’m still going to do another challenge today, but it’s definitely not going to be “5,000 In a Day Redux.”

5,000 In a Day Challenge

Did I make it? Hahahahaha!

So, I’m starting a new challenge today. It’s a one day challenge and it’s simple. Get 5,000 words today before 10:30 pm.* (If I stay up late doing it, tomorrow will suffer and I don’t want that.)

Getting a bit of a late start, but I’ve actually already been writing this morning. That’s why I needed to find something to motivate me. I’m barely trucking along at 300 words an hour and I want to break out of this <300 words an hour streak I’ve got going on. :D This book might be a little more challenging to write, but I sure didn’t find the first one of the series to be quite this slow! So this one shouldn’t be either. I think it’s the dark side of the whole time is all that matters mindset. Because of course there’s a dark side—there’s always a dark side! :D

I’ll update as the day goes on.

10:35 am: 297
5:06 pm: 790
7:44 pm: 1,369

I Did Not Count on Distractions!

But they are everywhere! Along with exclamation points!

I’m sitting at my highest Amazon Author Rank ever at the moment, and as I noticed my rank climbing that little extra bit to put it there, I found myself starting to get really distracted. I’m updating this post and hoping that it will let me release this distraction into the ether so I can regain my focus. I’m about to have my last big block of free time tonight in about six minutes and I want to get my mind cleared out of these distractions before that happens.

And not to put too pointy a point on it, but the increased author rank really doesn’t mean a lot. The new book’s selling about the same as it’s been selling since I put it up. It’s just a nice little blip in my day. :D

Alrighty, time to get back to my story.

*And of course, if it were to happen (but we know it won’t) that I completed the 5,000 words before my daily writing time ended, I will continue to write until I meet my time goal.

Here’s a Dilemma

Well. Here’s a dilemma. I have this nifty new schedule for 2014 (that I mostly really like) but today I had a lot of trouble with procrastination. So now I have to decide what’s more important. Stick to the schedule so I write when I’m supposed to and deal with some missing writing time here in the beginning as I get used to making myself write only during that time? Or stick to my time goal? What’s more important? Why’d I create the schedule?

As a guideline, not a straitjacket, that’s what. I need to remember that. Note to self: remember that!

I came up with the schedule as a part of a strategy to help me write more. So maybe this isn’t really that big a dilemma after all. I mean, I don’t want to fall into a habit of never doing my writing during my writing time, because then I just feel guilty when I take time out for living. But let’s face it, I have a love/hate relationship with schedules and there are probably going to be a lot of days like today. I’m not sure how trainable I am. I’ve already dumped the time tracking, because well, let’s be honest, time tracking is ridiculous. It reminds me of Phileas Fogg* and I don’t want to be a Phileas Fogg. :D

So, I guess tonight I’ll be writing again later.

Whew! Glad I got that all worked out in my head. :D

*Main fella in Around the World in Eighty Days. Love that guy, but I definitely do not want to be him.

Procrastination Station

My new writing spot has become just what the title of this blog post says, a procrastination station. The sun makes me sleepy and I lose all my motivation to do anything but sit and bask.

It’s such a cozy spot too. :(

Today, my 2014 total is stuck at 18,234 which is a harrowing 23,000 words behind for the month.

I announced that I was going to try for 4,000 again today but I’ve self-sabotaged myself completely out of that unless I plan to write all evening. My pace has been slower than normal for the last week, barely hitting 500 words an hour at my top speed. Today I’m sitting at 297 words an hour. 4,000 words at 297 an hour? That’s like … be right back, I need my calculator … 13 and a half hours! Yikes! So technically if I stayed at that pace, I won’t even hit 4,000 before midnight and the day is officially over.

I’m also struggling to not worry about how much everyone probably hates my books. Which is stupid. I have some lovely emails from fans and blog comments and 5-star Amazon reviews and 5-star ratings on Goodreads, so all I’m doing by doubting that my books are any good is doubting the intelligence and truthfulness of those fans, which is not something I want to do. But I’m still doing it! Apparently.

Why can’t I just write and not think of all this stuff?

Why does it all have to be so hard?*

*Fake hard, because really, my dad was a mason who went out and lifted blocks and bricks and squatted in the mud and slapped mortar down and made things that looked pretty out of that mess in scalding hot weather and breath-stealing cold for many years and that was hard. This isn’t hard. Just mentally frustrating. Or I’m just a whiner today. I blame it on the sun.

Now I feel kind of like I need to show some grit, because everybody knows grit is what makes the world go round.

Slow Day

So, it’s 7:53 pm and I haven’t written for the hours I was supposed to write today. Not even close. The little time I did spend today I spent on the wrong book (probably about an hour, but that’s just a guess based on the number of words I got and how fast I felt I was writing this morning).

One thing I know: I need a new workspace. I spend too much time relocating throughout the day trying to get comfortable, and I just don’t see how that’s helping me. Can’t be. So I need to prioritize setting up some decent workspace.*

*I just moved a desk so I’d have a nice place to sit in the sun and write in the early mornings. :) So, I either wasted an hour doing it (procrastination), or I—yeah. Procrastination. But hey, it might help tomorrow!

 

Started 2014 Novella #1

I’m writing 2014 novella #1 instead of 2014 novel #1 because I wanted to write something short but I couldn’t get into 2014 short story #1. :o Technically, I started this novella back in 2012, but only made it about 600 words in before I set it aside. I do that a lot, write one or two pages and then move on. I track the words, and some stories get picked up later and some get deleted when I finally decide I’m never going to write that one after all.

My pace could be better. I’ve spent the majority of the time I’ve been at the computer either goofing off, reading the previous stories in the novella’s series, or writing s.l.o.w.l.y and wishing I could write faster.

I’m really letting myself fall behind here on the one million words challenge, and I’m kind of sad about that. And mad. At myself. So tomorrow (because it’s always easiest to say tomorrow) I’m going to watch my time diligently* and do what needs to be done. I will aim to write at least 4,000 words tomorrow. Maybe I’ll be very dedicated (and lucky) and hit one of my rare 5,000 word days.

But for tonight, this is it, because I need to spend at least the rest of the time between now and sleepy time writing what I can. I already know the chance of me writing my full 2,750 words today is slim to none. I’d have to write six times my normal speed to get what I still needed in half an hour. But I might be able to hit 500 more before I crash.

I’ve averaged 1,096 words per day so far. I need to average 2,750.

*I installed a time tracking app on my phone, set it up, and started tracking my time into work (writing, learning, publishing) and personal (leisure, chores, personal) categories. This is ridiculous and I know it, but I’m willing to try anything if I think it will increase my chances of writing more! I plan to use this for at least a few days, maybe a week, and if it works, who knows? Maybe all year. :)

One Million Words Challenge One Week In

I joined the One Million Words community on Google+. We’re a group of writers who are trying to write one million words in 2014. It’s a great place if you’re seriously trying to write a lot of words this year! Which is something I’m working on. The group is great. I love it. It’s very motivational to be around other writers striving for the same goal.

Current total: 10,837
Should be:  24,750 (actually 24,194 but I’m rounding to a daily average of 2,750)

So … I’m behind. But if I can stick to my schedule going forward most days, I should make it up by the end of the month assuming my 500 wph averages out and I do most of the hours I’m supposed to do between then and now.

Why am I already behind?

I published a book! And wow, did that take some serious time away from writing. It was the fastest I’ve ever published a novel length book, but my deadline hit and it had to be done. And wow again, but that was something I don’t ever want to repeat. The stress! The worry! The tossing and turning! Also, the weather forced schools to close, so my schedule’s been hit and miss this week—mostly miss. But that ends tomorrow, so we’ll see how I do getting back into the groove.

It’s completely obvious to me now that I need one place to write about writing and as long as I have that place, I’m a happy person. :-) I used to send long, meandering emails to a friend, but decided the time had come to cut that out. No sense piling up someone’s email like that when a blog would work just fine. And lo and behold, I happened to have a couple of them available for whatever I wanted to post. :D

Finally, I’m having trouble settling on my next project. There are a couple of novels I want to write before spring, but I also wanted to take a short break and write something short, but nothing is really working for me except one of the novels. So. Sigh. I’ll eventually figure it out. I hope. You know, before spring. :o

Oh My! I’m Almost Done With 2013 Novel #5

This week’s been weird. I’d hoped desperately to finish 2013 novel #5 in, you know, 2013. :D Didn’t happen. But! I finally figured out my problem, chopped off 2,844 words at the end, and started over and now—nowfinally!—I think I’m just about at the end. I have a bit more wrap up to do, but I’m really, really hopeful it will be done by 8pm tonight.

Why 8pm? Because if I don’t finish by 8pm, I’m going to be late on this book, that’s why. I’ve squeezed my publishing tasks into the tiniest realistic allotment of hours possible and I have to start meeting those deadlines with a precision that’d scare a computer.

So. Deep breath and back to work for me. But I was so excited to realize the end was actually happening that I had to share. :D