Day 10 of NANO 2018

Very slow start today. I’m actually sitting here at 6:52 pm knowing that I haven’t started yet and that I need to write the full daily goal of 1,667 words just to stay caught up. I can do it, but I’m going to have to get in a hurry. I have a few things to finish first and time just keeps slipping away…

Will update this after I write.

Oh dear.

Day 10: I wrote 97 words for the NANO book.

I didn’t work on other books. Just those few words. Really, I’m not even sure I remember when I did those. It was not a productive night. I guess my brain just needed a day to contemplate the book or something. :)

Day 9 of NANO 2018

Slow start today, but a short nap turned things around. Naps are almost like little miracle cures.

Day 9: I wrote 1,521 words for the NANO book.

That means I am just where I need to be at 15,159 words total for the NANO book.

That also means I need to try to get ahead so I have a cushion in case I don’t write one day for whatever reason. I don’t want to be playing catch up. I want to win. :)

Day 7 of NANO 2018

Day 7: I wrote 1,207 words for the NANO book.

My NANO word count is now 12,619 words.

Here’s a screenshot I took a few minutes ago. It shows numbers as of today (day 8) but it also shows that I was still a little ahead as of last night. Since today’s writing is coming up, I’m very comfortable with my progress. :)

If my blog posts get a little more sloppy, it’s because I’m going to be using them to practice writing more intuitively and to stop self-censoring myself so much.

Maybe I’ll get better at getting it right the first time, or maybe I’ll just get to enjoy my blog a little more.

I don’t like taking a lot of time away from my writing to do the posts, and yet sometimes, I really just want to write a post. So I think making them quicker to write and less of a chore is the way to go.

Days 1–6 of NANO 2018

I forgot to post that I’m participating in NANO this year (NaNoWriMo, actually, meaning National Novel Writing Month, forever hereafter to be called NANO by me).

I’m actually doing pretty well. I got off to a strong start on a new(ish) book (nope, I haven’t finished the ending of the last book, still working on it).

Days 1–4: I wrote 11,412 words for the NANO book (12,299 words total for all my fiction).

Yeah, I know. It is crazy how I went from a few words a day to a 3,075 a day average without even trying.

(ETA 11/8/18: I think it’s because I might be a burst writer, even if I’m not a hugely productive burst writer.)

October 21-31 I wrote 616 words net of those I deleted, or 56 words a day average. Mostly because I had 7 days of zero writing, after making a note to myself that said: “Gave up on daily writing. It sucks.” (I wasn’t feeling well. I even went to my GP doctor—for the first time since 2010 apparently so I had to go in as a new patient. And yeah, even I was shocked by the length of time I’d managed to avoid my GP.)

Back to NANO.

I had my first bad day on Monday, day 5, but only because I spent the entire day working on that ending of the book I can’t seem to finish. I wrote 515 words that day while deleting stuff and moving some things around.

Once I realized on Monday night that I just wasn’t feeling up to writing anything for the new book, I decided to make it up on Tuesday, but, ack, tornadoes blew through the area at 2:05 am (ish) and my power went out. It stayed out until 8:20 (ish) Tuesday evening. So there went day 6.

I freely admit I could have written something on day 6 (yesterday) because I had at least an hour of charge in my laptop battery left, but I chose to sit huddled up on the couch for most of the day reading instead. :)

Days 5–6: I wrote 0 words for the NANO book (515 words total for all my fiction).

Par for NANO for days 1–6 is 1,667 x 6 = 10,002 words.

Today is day 7 and I’m just about to sit down to write. I’m still on track for a NANO win. All I have to do is keep writing. :)

I don’t have a plan. I just know I won’t be timing myself. I’ll write until I’m done for the day and that’s that. That’s what I’ve been doing since November 1st and I’m very happy with my progress.

I have adopted a new philosophy over the last week.

I’ve been writing fiction, wanting to write fiction, for most of my life. If I’m having trouble getting myself to write, there’s something wrong. I’ve decided enthusiasm is the problem. I’ve just not been focused on writing what I really want to write. It is essential that I always focus on writing what calls to me. Even if it doesn’t fit my own ideas about what I should want to write. :)

And, in all honestly, it seems to be working.

(Just to clarify, I’m still working on the same books, I’m just making sure I write what I want to write and not what I imagine someone else wants me to write or what I think I should write. Make sense?)

Day 16 of NANO 2014

I’ve been reading The War of Art the last couple of days in between writing sessions. It’s a lovely book. I’m almost at the end and I’ve highlighted several lines in the book that seemed especially relevant to me.

One particular section that I highlighted seemed a little more relevant at the moment than the others.

Resistance outwits the amateur with the oldest trick in the book: It uses his own enthusiasm against him. Resistance gets us to plunge into a project with an overambitious and unrealistic timetable for its completion. It knows we can’t sustain that level of intensity. We will hit the wall. We will crash.

It’s time I stop being apologetic for my speed. I understand that there are writers who are considerably faster, and there are writers who might look at my 500 words an hour and wonder what I’m doing wrong. I’ve thought the same. But I don’t care any longer what anyone else thinks, because my speed is what it is and after several years of collecting data and trying different things to try to speed up, I’ve accepted that how I write is how I like to write, and that means I write about 500 words an hour.

The unfortunate effect of this being that I’m looking at my numbers, thinking about how much effort I’ve put into the last 6 days of writing and knowing in my heart that I probably can’t reach the 2,866 words a day I’ll need to hit every day the rest of this month to reach 50,000 words in November.

These have been my word counts over the last 6 days (technically, today is still in progress but I doubt I’ll add much to my total).

And I’ve written for this many hours getting those word counts.

And these have been my average words per hour for the book I started for nanowrimo.

Meaning I’m only averaging 412 words an hour on this book so far. Meaning I’ll need to write for just over 97 more hours to reach the 50,000 words by the end of the month. I just don’t see it happening. That’s just a hair under 7 hours of writing every single day for the rest of this month. Daunting to say the least and knowing my history, probably a formula for burnout if I’m not careful. So this post is me being careful. I’m reminding myself that avoiding burnout is much more important than hitting some magical number by the end of the month.

I wish I could write for 7 or 8 hours a day, but I just don’t want to. I generally sit at the computer for 10 to 12 hours just to hit a 6 hour writing goal. I know that seems like an awfully low level of efficiency, but that’s what it takes. I’ve timed and tracked and it is what it is. And I’m willing to sacrifice a lot for my writing career, but I need what time I have left for my children and my life. If I were someone who could decide to write for 7 hours, sit down and write for 7 hours and then flit away to live the other parts of my life, things would be different. But if you’ve been reading any of my posts over the last couple of years, then you know how many times I’ve tried unsuccessfully to be that kind of person. It’s time to start putting the focus on working with myself, my abilities, and my limits instead of trying so hard to change them.

It’ll be a nice change of pace. ;)

All that said, I’m not dropping out of nanowrimo. But I am saying now that the likelihood of me finishing 50,000 this month is slim and I’m not going to be that worried about it if I don’t. If I can start getting closer to that 1,667 words per day average I set as a goal for myself back on the 5th of the month, I’m going to be very happy with my progress. Getting my daily word count average up is my number one priority going into the new year, and this post is really just a reaffirmation of that. I love the energy I get from nanowrimo, but I can live without the win if it means I don’t push myself so hard I start avoiding writing again.

Day 15 of NANO 2014

Today I’m hoping to stick to my plan to write abut 4,750 words. :)

My first session just ended (I started considerably late, but still managed to get 666 words!). I’m a bit iffy on how much time I spent writing because I didn’t note the time when I sat down to turn on the computer and type in my password so I’m just going to say about an hour and a half. (I wasn’t intending to write. I haven’t even had breakfast yet.)

Although I’m a little under 400 words short of my first 1,000 word goal, I definitely prefer to just stick to the plan I made last night instead of trying to rearrange the schedule I made up for today.

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words) – actual: 666 words, 1.5 hours

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words) – actual: 781 words, 2 hours

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words) – actual: 971 words, 2 hours

1.5 hours (goal: 750 words)

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words)

Update (5:32 p.m.)— Oh my. I took a much, much longer break midday than I’d planned. I’m still feeling a little icky and I’m going to blame that for the time-creep today. Now, to get back on track and finish up at a reasonable bed time tonight, I need to write for 5.5 hours straight and only take breaks if I reach my goals early. :( This makes me sad because I don’t have a good any track record for this kind of uninterrupted work. I’m going to try it anyway and start my first time the moment I press the “update” button on this post.

Day 14 of NANO 2014

And here it is, another beautiful but frigidly cold day in November, when it’s supposed to be fall but in actually feels a hell of a lot like winter around here. I mean, there aren’t that many 30 and 40 degree days in winter where I live and to have a week of them in November like this is horrible. I don’t like it. Too bad I don’t have a choice.

My plan to write 4,000 words today

Funny, that, right? I went from a 3,000 word goal that I haven’t yet been able to meet to a 4,000 word goal that I hope to meet two days in a row so I can have Sunday to get those paperbacks finished.

I’ve been trying to do a few hours of those paperbacks each night for weeks now and it just hasn’t happened. So last night I decided that what I really need is to get started on it and then have the time to keep with it until I’m done. This seems to be my pattern. When I finally manage to get into something, it’s hard to shift my mind into a different space. I have no trouble focusing deeply on something, but I have significant trouble focusing on what I think I should be focused on! And that statement deserves that exclamation point because it is key to understanding my problems with procrastination. I procrastinate so well because once I’m working on the wrong things, I can’t seem to break away from those things to put my focus on the right thing. Just like with this blog post. I wanted to start writing at 7:30, but decided I absolutely needed to start this post first and now it’s 7:51 but I could not stop until it was done (which it isn’t yet but will be as soon as I add my session goals).

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words) – actual: 565 words, 1.25 hours – If I want to make this goal today, I really need to get my speed up. I’m getting into flow, or at least I feel like I am, but I just can’t seem to go.

Interlude: I started my second session and 27 words into it, I needed to revisit one of the scenes from my last book in the series and bam, I read almost half the book. That’s the trouble with writing exactly what you enjoy reading! I need to have these scenes solid in my head for the sake of continuity (and to figure out how the hell this book and that book are going to work together) and I have mentioned I don’t do any advance plotting, haven’t I? Anyway, ideas are coming fast and furious and my brain is busy sifting through them to find the ones that might work, but this is complicated. The overarching plot has grown quite a bit through books one through four and I’ve got this book and the next that have plots concurrent to the one in book four.

I’d say it was a mistake, but I actually love it. One of my favorite things is to see characters I love from the perspective of others while showing that sometimes what one person sees in an event can be totally different than another’s perspective of the same event. I get to the play with that in this series so much that it actually makes me a little giddy when I think about it. Absolutely giddy, I say. :D

But all that said, this has thrown me off my game for today because I was supposed to have finished my second 2 hours/1,000 words and I used up 1.75 hours reading my previous book instead. I can’t count the time and now I’m going to be either trying to squeeze in another two hours somewhere or lower my expectations for today’s word count.

I really don’t want to do that, so I guess I’ll find some way to fit it in.

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words)

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words)

Update (7:26 pm)—

I’m just about to start my last session of the day. I went from feeling pretty good this morning to feeling not so good at all after lunch and so I’m sitting here hoping I’m going to feel up to at least 2 more hours of writing. I’d really rather just go to bed early and sleep for the next 10 hours. But I’d also really like to end the day with at least enough words to keep me from losing any more ground this month. Just over 1,000 words would get me to 1,667 for the day, and I know I should at least try to reach that amount. It’s just 2 hours.

2 hours (goal: 1,000 words)

Yeah, I know. I bailed. :(