Tag Archives: word count

Just…Keep…Writing!

Okay, a week has gone by so I thought I’d put out a little update on how things are going.

Day 8Didn’t start writing until around 1pm but managed to put down 980 in an hour of writing time.  Quit around 2pm to run errands, added a few paragraphs before dinner but didn’t get back on until the kids went to bed.  Wrote another 1,100.

Totals for the day are: 2,080.

Day 9 – Not much writing done today.  Sat down for a few minutes after lunch and got in 250 words.  Kids are in bed now but I don’t feel like writing at all.  I’ll deploy the egg timer technique and see how far it gets me.

Total for the day: 804

Not a good day.  I’ll have to make up for it tomorrow.

Day 10 – Some days, my words are uninspired duds.  Like today.  I wrote a few hundred this morning and hopped back on around 1pm and read through what I wrote in the morning.  It was all terrible and I had to scrap it and start over.  I was able to clean it up a bit, but now I’m actually a little negative.  haha!  

Now that the newness of my novel is wearing off, some days it’s just going to feel like work and it’s just something I have to push through.  And if you are able to push through, you gain just a little more tenacity, and a bit more stamina that will serve you well on the days to come.  On the hard days like today, I learn more about being a writer then on the easy days.

Well, going to go at it again for 30 minutes and we’ll see what happens. 

Wrote after the kids went to bed.  Got in another 900 bringing today’s totals to: 1,550

Not reaching my daily word count goals, but considering how uninspired I felt earlier, It feels like an accomplishment, never the less.

Day 11Nothing.  Busy day. Also the weekend where I planned to not write as much.

Day 12Mother’s Day.  Hung out with family then visited my mom – so no new words.

Day 13I have no idea where this day went. 0 new words. No excuses – just being a total slacker…(bad writer!)

Day 14Totally lost momentum and came to a halt as far as plot.  Employed the ‘Notebook technique and wrote out scenes by hand for the next couple of chapters.  Sometimes the only way to get through writers block is by writing my way out by hand.  Anyway, obstruction has been loosed.  Wrote 600+.  Ugh. Still way behind!

Day 15Suck it up, Buttercup!

Haven’t done writing all day.  It’s now 4:30 and I’ve got some (unexpected errands to run for my son’s project for school)  Writing will have to wait until kids go to bed.  Good news is I’ve gotten past my plot problems and know where I’m headed for the next couple of writing sessions.

10:pm and I’m calling it a night.  Only added 640+ words.

Grand total: 16,100  (I’m about 10,00 words behind at this point, but still moving forward one word at a time.)  

So, obviously, this last week was pretty bad as far as word count goals go, but these things happen.  Either I get sick, kids get sick, or there’s unexpected life ‘things’ that happen or other responsibilities take over.  I can either beat myself up for not keeping pace or I can just pick myself up and keep going – even if it’s only a crawl.  The important thing is to keep moving.  That’s the only way I know how to finish a book –  just keep writing!

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How I write: Day seven

This will be the last of my daily updates on this journal.  I’ll now be moving to updates every few days or maybe even weekly.  This is because it’s going to get really repetitive, really fast.  I know I would get bored reading about someone making a pot a coffee and tinkering around on a keyboard seven days a week!  If something exciting happens, I’ll let you know.  But for now, I think you get the gist.

Alright, that said, here’s how day seven went.

9:35 am – Dropped son off at school (daughter is sick today), made a pot of coffee, read a little from my daily devotional and now sitting down to write.

10:05 amWrote 400 words.  Taking a break to make some breakfast and pick up the kitchen.

12:20 pmGot some chores done,  made lunch for my daughter goofed off too long on the internet. Now time to write.

1:50 pmwrote 369 more.  Story is coming along fine.  Just my back hates my office chair and I need to move around. Time to fold laundry.

2:30 pmGot some laundry folded, hung out with hubby a little bit and then got really distracted by the internet.  (the internet has got to be the biggest challenge for me to overcome as a writer.  Haha.)  Writing now…

3:30 pmOnly 350 new words.  I had to go back into the manuscript and change a few things to fit a new idea.  Then did a little on the fly google research and had to help my daughter with a few things, a call from school about my son – thank god it wasn’t anything bad! A call from the school get my blood pressure up every time! (haha)

9:00 – 10:50 pmAfter picking up son from school, I went shopping.  Got home, made dinner, hung out with family, and finally started writing again after kids went to bed.  Wrote  623 more words.  

So, today’s totals are: 1,838 which meets my daily goals.  But, I’m feeling like I have some more words in me and might give it another 15 minutes, but I’ll be done journaling for the day.

Overall total: 10,040  

I’ve got some catching up to do, but there’s still three weeks to go.

I hope some of this has been inspiring to some of you.  It has been a fun experiment and probably more of a benefit for me than for anyone else.  As I mentioned above, I’ll keep updating but just not as often.  Thanks for reading!

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: Day number six

A few notes about today:

Today wasn’t the greatest as far as how I felt.  I dealt with a lot of fatigue issues which was frustrating for me and my family, but life happens and learning how to write in the midst of it is one of the reasons why I started this journal and why I’m being open about a lot of things I usually don’t like to share on a public blog. (haha!)

Also, writing is a funny thing.  For most of us who do it, we spend a lot of time on it with no guarantee of ever making a dime.  I know I haven’t turned a profit yet and I’ve been doing this (indie publishing) for over a year. So you can imagine how a spouse must feel when we are cloistered away writing and there is nothing to show for it.  As much as I want to be able to complete a book this month, it’s not as important as time spent with my family.  If I find myself getting crabby with my spouse or kids because I’m not meeting some word count, it’s simply time for me to stop, take a deep breath and remember what’s really important in life.  Now, if I was getting paid and this was my job, that would be a totally different story and there would be different boundaries set up for my writing time/ job.  But until that happens, remaining super flexible is key to me and my family’s well-being.

Okay, that said, here’s what happened today:

11: 05 amVery late start today.  After dropping the kids off school I just couldn’t keep my eyes open.  I had a full nights sleep but woke up feeling beat up, sore and stiff.  (Husband thinks I might have sleep apnea, which would be a nice addition to thyroid issues.  Except, it’s not.). So, laid down on the couch and didn’t wake up until 11.  Trying not to get super frustrated or down on myself about it, but I am anyway.  Wrote 220 words.  blech.  Leaving to pick up daughter.

12:05Back home.  Feeling much better about life now.  As much as I hate having wasted the whole morning falling asleep on the couch – I feel great now.  Also, I remembered that I used to feel as crappy as I did this morning every day until I went to the doctor and modified my diet.  Now, it’s just down to a couple of days a month.  So, I’m going to be happy about that and move on.  Going to write until 12:30 then run some errands.

12:30Only got in 100 words.   Daughter needed more hugs than usual. (maybe I did too. haha)  Time to run errands.  When I get back, I’ll be hitting the keyboard hard.  I need to try to reach my word count by 4 pm because husband and I have planned yard work this evening.

2:30Back from errands.  Time to get serious.

3:30Wrote 638.  Was hoping for at least 1,000, but oh, well.  Going to take a small break and head out to pick up son from bus stop.

4:40Came home and wrote 300 more.  It’s getting pretty hot inside the house and now me and hubby are going to pull some weeds for a little bit.  

6:30 pmDinner.  Hubby and I work out a little conflict, both of us are frustrated with my fatigue issues, writing and balancing time with family. ( Message received, hon!)

9:10: pm  After dinner, struggled with keeping my eyes open –  again!  Hubby took the daughter to the store while son stayed home with me.  I laid down for about twenty minutes while he played a video game.  I didn’t sleep, but just laying there seemed to give me a second wind.  I ended up writing some more and put down 700 words.

Also, hubby and daughter surprised me with flowers, planted them in our big planters for an early Mother’s Day gift!  Awwwww!  Son helped plant them, too!  Can’t forget his contribution.

So, totals so far for the day are 1,658.

See you tomorrow!

Cheers!

~R

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A great post by super prolific Indie author, Elle Casey

I was checking out one of my favorite indie author forums, Writer’s Cafe on the KB boards when I came upon a post put up by Indie author Elle Casey.  Elle Casey, for those who don’t know, has started writing 15 months ago and has written 18 books since. EIGHTEEN BOOKS! IN FIFTEEN MONTHS! Her average is a book or more a month!

She explains how she does it here.  She is a powerhouse, some say a freak, and yet for most professional writers (those who make their living writing novels) this is what they do.  You may not know that some of your favorite authors have multiple pen names in different genres – but a lot of them do.

For first time authors, just starting out – this is extremely rare.  Most of us start out thinking it takes years to write a good book.  But Elle and other prolific authors are shattering those myths.

I’ll never produce the numbers she does, but just knowing it can be done, and done well and consistently gives me something to aspire to.  She’s my inspiration!

Also, check out her books.  She writes YA and she’s good, too!

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: Day Numbah Two

Okay, here’s day number two.  Unfortunately, my life is boring.  Sorry about that!  Feel free to watch this video instead and then skip to the bottom.  😉

  • 7:45 – 10:30 amTook kids to school, stayed and helped in daughter’s kindergarten class until 9:30 am.  Got home around 10:00 am, hung out with hubby watching YouTube videos of Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. Not sure why.  Ate breakfast, made coffee, and ready to write.
  • 11:15 amWrote for 45 minutes and got in 657 words.  Time for a small internet break before picking up my daughter.
  • 12:30 pmHad a picnic lunch with daughter on the front porch bcause…sunshine!  Now to catch up on housework that I didn’t do yesterday.  Goal for today is to see the bottom of my kitchen sink and to chip away at clean laundry pile in the living room.  Also need to wash some whites today and plan dinners for the month.    (I don’t  always plan meals but when I’m writing a book it helps keep  my stress around dinner time at a minimum.  I should probably always plan meals, hmm…)  Well, time for dishes.
  • 1:45 -2:10Kitchen is picked up but still not fit for guests. ( haha) Laundry pile has been significantly cut down and managed to catch up on one of my pastors sermons via mp3.  After wasting a half hour on Facebook it’s time to write while daughter finishes watching Toy story 3 (bad parenting? I’ll let you decide. haha)
  • 2:45Movie over, daughter fell down and bumped head and needed some hugs.  Now I’m really hungry and about to eat a late lunch.  Managed to write 500 more words.  Total so far today is 1,162.  This is good for me, so far.
  • 6:15Dinner was Aloo Gobi (potatoes, cauliflower, rice and lots of spices) read with daughter, son is doing homework and hubby is watching a little t.v. before work.  Feeling a bit cotton-headed right now. Not sure how much I’ll be able to write during this session, but we’ll see how it goes.
  • 6:30Only got a few sentences before back and hip made me get out of the office chair. Also, too many disruptions.  Decided to wait until after kids go to bed to finish up my word count.
  • 9:15– I’m calling it a night. Had some disciplinary issues with one of my kids which kind of drained me a bit.  But I did manage to write another 400 words bringing today’s total 1,758.

Total word count so far: 4,036

This number is excellent for me.  I wish I could have done more, of course, but I’ll be very happy if I can find a way to maintain this average throughout the month.

See you tomorrow!  Also, feel free to ask questions if you have any.  😉

Cheers!

~R

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How I write: A Journal

I thought I would try something different this month.  I was reading one of my favorite writer blogs, Dean Wesley Smith, and he wrote about his process of writing a 70,000 word novel in a WEEK.

That’s right,  I said WEEK.

A book in a week? OMG How? I can’t even…what. !??!

If you are a fellow writer or are just curious about the process of a professional writer – check out his amazing blog.

So, I’d been planning on writing another novel in May anyway, but I never thought about keeping a journal during the process.  I’m not pretending it will be interesting to most people, but I think it might help me keep motivated and focused.  Plus, it might be interesting to see how a normal person with kids and daily responsibilities can still find time to write.  I’m hoping  it’ll be inspirational to some of you who have that book inside of you, but are wondering how to not only get started, but finish the darn thing.

Also, before I continue, let me first say that I plot out my novels in a really rough outline.  A lot of writers don’t plot out their books (Stephen King, for the most famous example) and that’s awesome and I wish I could do that, but I need guideposts along the way.  It’s what works best for me but I’m in no way saying everyone should use the same process.  Experiment and find what works best for you.

And, not only do I plot, but I usually do a sloppy bullet point list of scenes per chapter with a little description of the action for the scene.  I’ve found that I don’t necessarily follow the bullet points, but the security of having them there frees up my creative process. I guess it’s my security blankie.  😛

For some authors, planning ahead kills their creative process.  Strange how we’re all different, isn’t it?

So, I’ve already completed my first day of writing this novel and here’s how my day went!

Day 1:

  • 7:30 amMade kids breakfast and lunches, got them ready for school, drank a giant glass of water with lemon and drove kids to school
  • 9:00 amPaid bills, made coffee, ate some breakfast
  • 9:35 am  Came up with names for characters and started writing
  • 10:50 am Off to a great start so far.  Wrote 1,000 words.  So far, so good!  Now to catch up on morning devotions which I forgot to do earlier, and clean up back yard for mowing.  (we have a dog.)
  • 11:15 amSmall internet break before picking up daughter from kindergarten.  From there go shopping, get home, make lunch then mow lawn.
  • 1:45 pmFinally home from shopping.  I actually went shopping, filled up the cart and realized I brought the wrong credit card to the store.  I tried out other card but it didn’t work.  Really embarrassing leaving the store without the groceries.  But, take daughter home, feed her and head back to store with the right card.  disappointed I wasted an hour because I didn’t take 30 seconds to check my wallet.  Mowing lawn now.  
  • 3:00 pmSitting down for lunch & internet break.  Cucumber sandwiches seem to be my go to lunch these days. Saw a nice frosty can of diet coke in the fridge and actually managed to pass it up for water.  Very proud moment for me! (I’ve been trying to kick my diet coke habit for years)
  • 3:30 pmBack to writing. Added 300 words.  Total now 1,300.
  • 3:50 pm –  Pick up son from bus-stop.
  • 4:15 pmSuddenly run out of steam.  Take a 20 minute nap while kids watch T.V. 
  • 4:45 pmCouldn’t sleep because my hip was bothering me, but closing my eyes and laying down refreshed me a bit.  Took Advil for hip pain.
  • 5:15Wrote another 300 hundred words.  Total now 1,600.  Checking out news before making dinner.  Thankfully, daughter gets to pick dinner tonight and chose eggs, toast and fruit salad.  Yay for easy dinner!
  • 7:20 pmAfter dinner, hung out with hubby and daughter while son was at church youth group.  Read and played video games with daughter before sitting down to write for 15 min before picking up son.
  • 7:55 pmWrote 600 more words. Total is now 2,232.  Leaving to pick up son.
  • 8:25 pmPutting kids to bed.  Wrote a few more sentences before finally calling it a night on my book.  Total is now 2,297.  Now for a little video game time (Fallout: Vegas) and to bed.

So far, this was an exceptionally good first day.  (Nothing compared to the great Dean Wesely Smith, I know!)

Normally, when I’m focused, 1,000 words a day is a good day for me.  But for my goal, to finish this story by the end of May, I need to put in about 1,8000 words a day.  I know that some days are going to be better than others, and then there’s the dreaded ‘middle’ of the book that I really hate but just have to push through.  But, for now, I’m celebrating a great start!

Cheers!

~R

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