More than 1,000 words an hour? Longed for, reached, hated it

So, I spent a lot of time getting myself to the point of writing 1,000 words an hour. I longed for the days when I could easily associate 1 hour of writing time to 1,000 words. It makes math super easy when I’m trying to figure out how much longer I have on a book. I can guarantee 15–30 minutes downtime for every 1 hour I spend writing … so calculations are easy.

The problem is, the writing for those days read the same as my long-running 600 words an hour average, but the joy I got from writing the words decreased significantly. I felt an unaccountable level of pressure as I typed out every word, forcing myself to keep typing when I would have taken a break and let my fingers rest on the keys. I think the writing was the same, but the process was completely unnatural for me.

I write in bursts: I sit, think, my mind wanders, and then I type, type, type, and then I do the same thing all over again. Catch my wind, so to speak.

Was I just experiencing the natural phase of fatigue and pain as my metaphorical writing muscles stretch and burn before they strengthen? I have no idea. I’m not sure I want to find out. I actually found myself avoiding writing in the days following those 1,000 words an hour days, because I didn’t want to have to work that hard again.

Sigh. I think I need to push through though. I think of my family and friends working at their jobs and I imagine they’re not going to be that sympathetic to me not being able to keep my fingers moving at a rate of 16.6 words per minute. In fact, they might laugh at me.*

My typing speed is around 66–78 words a minute so if I were typing up a dictated report in a different kind of job, the 16.6 words per minute rate implies I’d be spending 13 minutes at my normal typing speed to write those 1000 words and do that 1 hour’s worth of work. Then I’d sit in the break room or surf the internet the other 47 minutes.

I definitely have to strengthen those muscles. It’s idiocy to settle for 600 words an hour. I just need more practice getting to 1,000 so it becomes as easy as the 600 has.**

*I’d laugh at me.

**Update: Failure with this goal has plagued me for most of the year! I wonder if I have what it takes to ever write more than 500–600 words an hour. :(

Read This Book: The Fiction Factory, 1912

http://archive.org/details/fictionfactoryb00compgoog

The Fiction Factory By John Milton Edwards, Being the Experience of a Writer who, for Twenty-two Years, has kept a Story-mill Grinding Successfully, William Wallace Cook, 1912

The Google Books version is the one I read because it was easiest. There are several fascinating chapters in that book, and the rest is at the very least interesting. I haven’t quite finished the book, but I’m very close. Give it a shot if you enjoy reading about writers’ lives or processes.

2000 Word Streak Fail

Okay, I had to restart this thing twice already. That sucks. Truly. But I’m now a day in on my restart. I did 2000+ today. Still, I didn’t do too badly this week, because I topped 16,000 words all together from Monday through Sunday. I can only weep at how awesome the week would have been if I hadn’t had 2 < 2000 word days and 1 < 1000 word day. And I’m still at it tonight. Although I admit, I’m about to fall asleep. Too much coffee apparently makes my caffeine sensitive body go into some kind of freefall. I sucked down another one less than an hour ago and I’m yawning more than ever now. I shouldn’t have wasted the coffee. :D

Going for a 2,000 Words a Day Streak

I’m starting a challenge for myself. I’d like to get on a streak of 2,000 words a day, and I’d like to keep it up for 30 uninterrupted days.

Why?

I am practicing the habit of consistency.

I need to produce a certain number of words this month and I don’t want to end-load the month.

I want to prove I can do it. To who? Myself. I have discipline, and it’s time I applied some of that to my writing.

It will be fun. Seriously. It is always fun when you do things you aren’t 100% sure you can do. :)

How will I handle setbacks?

Start over. The streak depends on me writing 2,000 words a day for 30 days in a row. There’s really no way around that, so if I miss my goal one day, the streak has to start over the next day. This will suck if I get to 28 days and screw up, so truthfully, the more invested I get, the more motivation I have to keep with it.

Feel free to join me in this challenge

Although I’m a notorious slowpoke of a writer (about 600 words an hour on my really good days), a lot of writers write a lot faster. I don’t mind. Brag about your 2,000 words in 20 minutes in the comments. I promise not to judge. ;)

You are my Writing Mastermind group

Didn’t know that? Oops. :)

I don’t hang with writers, or readers, these days. I hang all alone in my little house (a house that’s far too big when it comes chore time) and I write as much as I can.

I have been aiming for 5,000 words a day for almost 6 months now, but I’ve yet to achieve it on more than a couple of occasions. My usual output is more in the range of 2,000 a day.

Since January (a s.l.o.w. month) I have written 68,614 new words and rewritten in some fashion or another countless more. February on the other hand, wasn’t nearly as slow and of those 68,614 words, 51,396 belonged only to February. I feel like I have hit my stride.

Here’s what it looks like in my spreadsheet.

Fri, 2/1/13 17,218
Sat, 2/2/13 17,230 12
Sun, 2/3/13 17,540 310
Mon, 2/4/13 19,973 2,433
Tue, 2/5/13 22,301 2,328
Wed, 2/6/13 24,317 2,016
Thu, 2/7/13 26,803 2,486
Fri, 2/8/13 29,161 2,358
Sat, 2/9/13 31,180 2,019
Sun, 2/10/13 33,225 2,045
Mon, 2/11/13 35,567 2,342
Tue, 2/12/13 37,944 2,377
Wed, 2/13/13 40,790 2,846
Thu, 2/14/13 43,394 2,604
Fri, 2/15/13 44,892 1,498
Sat, 2/16/13 46,040 1,148
Sun, 2/17/13 47,106 1,066
Mon, 2/18/13 48,613 1,507
Tue, 2/19/13 50,098 1,485
Wed, 2/20/13 51,329 1,231
Thu, 2/21/13 53,891 2,562
Fri, 2/22/13 55,008 1,117
Sat, 2/23/13 57,454 2,446
Sun, 2/24/13 59,045 1,591
Mon, 2/25/13 61,244 2,199
Tue, 2/26/13 62,787 1,543
Wed, 2/27/13 66,064 3,277
Thu, 2/28/13 68,614 2,550

Now, why does this matter? Because it’s the most consistent production I’ve had since I started keeping track back in August of 2012. (Not the only time in my life I’ve tracked my daily writing numbers, but the other sheets were YEARS old and out of date.)

Consistency is something I’ve needed to work on for a long time. Finally getting there has been amazing. My experience also says that the more you write, the more you’ll want to write, and the faster and better you’ll get at reaching those daily goals.

I do daily goals because I’m a natural procrastinator. If I set weekly goals, I wouldn’t reach them because the goals are so large that I couldn’t accomplish them in one day. And yes, I already know I would put them off until the last day.

Know thyself: the only way to stomp destructive habits into the ground.

So, Random Person, welcome to my writing mastermind group, whoever you are. :)

Article Reading Suggestion: Harsh Truths

Here’s something for you to do this morning or afternoon or night, or whatever time it is where you’re at right now. Read this article called 6 Harsh Truths That Will Make You a Better Person” by David Wong, December 17, 2012, because it’s both hilarious and undeniably truthful. If you do click through, here’s your vulgar language warning. Warning: vulgar language resides at the end of that click.

Undoing Mistakes

So, I’ve spent a little time undoing a few mistakes I made. Not that the mistakes were huge or anything. (They really were. I really just don’t want to admit that, even though I now find myself admitting it anyway.)

What have I learned from this?

Static sites are great.

But I still love WordPress.

Getting over mental hurdles is a lot (LOT) harder than it ought to be and therefore I shouldn’t have wasted so much time trying to do so when the alternative was less work.

SO many things I think I’m going to do, I never do.

Writing blog posts is currently more fun than writing fiction. Even though I have a deadline of Friday and today is Wednesday night and I have another 10,000 words to write. Guess I’ll have to cut that ending short. :-o

Crap.

 

 

Twenty Twelve Theme

If you haven’t noticed (and I wonder why you would to be honest) I’ve changed from Thesis to WordPress’ own Twenty Twelve theme for this blog. I like Thesis, but it’s become such a hassle to deal with, with the updates and upgrade and the all new back end to learn, and I just couldn’t invest the time. Didn’t want, I should say. So when I realized how much more attractive I found the newest theme from WordPress straight out of the box, I gave it a try, and I must admit, I love it. I don’t need anything too fancy and I’m not a fan of excess images when words are more important to me than pictures most of the time.

I traded out a couple of sites using Thesis for the simpler Twenty Twelve theme and I think it’ll stick. :)

Letting Go

So, my collection of websites continues to shrink as I refuse to renew any that (1) aren’t earning enough to be profitable or (2) bore me. That said, I have purchased 5 new domain names this year in pursuit of my other business. So.

Soon, it will be time for a reorganization of epic proportions. I keep hanging on to the sites that are earning, even though the earnings are stagnant in the best cases, disappearing in the worst, now that I’m not putting any work into any of them.

I’ve moved on. It’s time I let a few things go. :)