Last week was a failure. I only wrote 7,819 words towards the 2nd novel of my series. To hit my deadlines I’ll need to bump that up to a minimum of 12,500. I broke down how many words I think I need to write a day to make writing a full-time career, you can read that here.
Based on the math, I’ve improved my productivity since the first novel, but I still need to improve more if I want to write fast enough for the market, and thus make a full-time income. Given my growth, I suspect that I’ll be up to the 12,500+ words a week by the end of this novel, but there’s no reason not to push myself now and speed the growth process up a bit.
I’m 20,954 words into the novel, or about 30% in. If you like to think of stories in the three act structure, then I’m well into act two. There were several points last week where I had to stop and think through where the story was going. I outline before I start writing a novel, but my outlines are usually less than 500 words, and mostly consist of one sentence descriptions of major plot points. This means that when I get into the weeds, I usually have to stop and think through what’s going to happen in a few scenes and what I need to write to make it logically line up. My plots also morph as I write taking fun side paths that I’d never have been able to plot ahead of time. However, I’m always working towards the same end point no matter what, so it sometimes requires a lot of reflections on how to get there after my characters choose to go in a different way than I originally expected.
Last week was rough with both for story crafting and when it come to motivation for me to sit down and write. This week should be several times better. I’m almost to the middle of the story, and I know what to write next for probably the next 10,000 words or more. They should fly by this week. When I look over my writing history, I can see that I usually have a low week, followed by a high week. This cycle of low and high word counts, seems to be my natural rhythm. I think my goal as an author, is to maximize my good weeks, and do my best to minimize my bad weeks. If I focus on that, rather than fighting the process entirely, I think I’ll have more success. “Rome wasn’t built in a day.”
Goals From This Week: (Score: 3.5/5)
1. Write 2,500 words every day, for a grand total of 17,500.
(I fell short of this by nearly 10,000 words. I only wrote 7,819 words for the novel. I also skipped writing 3 days last week.)
2. Keep using the timer approach.
(I did this. However, I’m going to discontinue it. My problem is more about creating the habit of starting the writing, rather than keeping my fingers on the keyboard.)
3A. Keep my Writing Logs as I write, rather than waiting until the end of the day to make them.
(I did this for every day that I wrote.)
3B. Post my Writing Logs daily, and included more helpful advice for fellow authors.
(I did this except for Saturday, where I gave up and went to bed early.)
4. Cook diner every night, and do the dishes immediately after. I know this isn’t about writing, but I’m hoping a little public shaming will help me on this one.
(I did this for 5 out of the 6 times we cooked dinner last week.)
5. Read five books.
(I only finished 2 novel. However, I think I’ll be able to finish 5 novels this week.)
Goals For Next Week:
1. Write Monday through Friday, 2,000+ words a day. Write from 12:00 to 16:30.
2. Write and publish my Writing Logs.
3. Finish 4 Novels.
4. Start Wednesday Writing Advice blog post.
5. Go to bed by midnight.
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Nicholi A. K. Baldron
@NAKBaldron on twitter