Word Count Progress
This project is going fantastically. DAY 1 I wrote over 800 words, DAY 2 over 1,500 words, and today I’m already over 1,500 words and that doesn’t include this blog post.
Thank you to all of you out there. I’m so grateful for being able to post my goals and progress publicly, which forced me to be accountable. This public accountability, and the possibility of public shame if I fail is enough of a looming threat over my head that I’m pushed to be productive.
To anyone else out there who finds it hard to be productive, I hope you follow my example and post your goals publicly. Jus the act of posting clear goals publicly forces you into action.
For those of you don’t know, I work with my girlfriend at Aconite Café. A virtual café where we talk about books and coffee anything else that comes to mind. This past week I’ve done a complete overhaul of the site design. She did all the graphics while I did all the coding. While the site is not 100% where I want it to be, it’s better than it was. (Shipped is better than perfect.) I’m pleased with the way it has turned out so far.
The site will be one of those projects that’s never done, it’s okay because we’re off to a great start. So far Aconite Café has published three of my books, and one of hers. I plan to ramp that way up over the next year. I plan to publish six books in 2019. We’re also considering selling coffee along with our current mugs, and some other unique things for authors and readers. You can visit Aconite Café here if you want to check out what we’re doing.
This may be the most important new goal/habit I’ve set for myself and Aconite Café. By sitting down with her every week and having a powwow about our progress, it keeps me and her accountable. Consistent accountability to each other ensures Aconite Café stays on track and we get more done. In the last two weeks, we’ve accomplished than we had in the previous three months.
First, we had to set clearly defined, tangible, goals so we would know if we succeeded or failed. We managed an 85% success rate, which I think is the perfect percentage. Above 90% most likely means we set the bar to low for ourselves. Under 80% means we may have under estimated the required effort. However, it is important to remember that shit happens and sometimes you miss goals because of unforeseen circumstances. Learn more on how to deal with this at the end of the post, Personal Recovery Strategy.
Second, we’ve made a feedback loop. There’s no point making goals, if we don’t check in on them and see if we’re on track. If I don’t track my progress, then my goals are nothing more than dreams. The powwow is now the main feedback loop. In the future, I’d like to add a mentor to the process so I can have an unbiased opinion and outside input. Plus a mentor would have wisdom they could bestow upon me.
New Project Outline
I’ve made amazing progress on this outline. I should have it finished by the end of the week, which means I can start the first draft before November. Since my book will be over 50,000 words, I’m not considering it cheating for NaNoWriMo. Either way what matters is getting the words on the page, not getting them down during November.
For the outlining I’m using what I’ve learned from The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. It’s simplistic at first glance, but when you dig into it it’s complex. It’s like the game of Go, where the rules sound simple but once you see them in action, you understand that the variations become infinite.
The basic lesson of The Story Grid is about dividing every aspect of the book into five key points.
- Inciting Incident
This applies to the smallest story element to the largest. At the smallest level you have a beat which together create scenes, then sequences, then acts, and finally the whole story.
If there’s interest I’d be willing to make a video, and blog post about my basic notes over the story grid.
However, if you want to learn more, you should check out the book it’s well worth the price. I’d argue it’s a Masters course is story construction.
First Writing Advice Blog Post
A Personal Recovery Strategy is a way to prepare yourself for that inevitable failures down the road. Failures are a good thing if you’re prepared. Failures are learning opportunities. What’s more by having a recovery strategy, you minimize the time spent recovering before getting back in the game.
The purpose of the recovery strategy is to get my mind back to a productive place and start working.
I wrote my personal recovery strategy yesterday, and I’d like to share it with all of you—hopefully you can learn from mine and make your own Personal Recovery Strategy here.