Blog No. 219
Over the last few months, I found myself in a situation where I had to push my writing in order to reach my goal. It was my fifth (or eighth?) goal of the year for the same project, but I was determined to get the first draft of Pilot done before 2017 started. The result was a continued increase in my writing productivity. I was feeling pretty good about it. I went from churning out a pathetic five to eight thousand words over the previous few months to a respectable ten thousand (plus) words in October, November, and December. I even made a last day thirty-five hundred word push to get the first draft done. It was the icing on the cake, even thought it was way over my initial plan (in time and word count). The consistency and increase in volume, even at the end of the year, helped get me on the right path. then January happened. Cliff Hanger!
At the start of January, I had the first draft of Pilot done, but all the edits to do. I also had two novellas to get done as quickly as possible. In the fall, Adventure Worlds Press is releasing a Crime anthology with Ed Gagnon. Fittingly, he is a crime author, but Christian and I are the ones filling in the other stories. I had the idea milling around in my head since we started discussing the project last summer, but until the start of the year, I hadn’t written anything. I figured, based on my improved writing schedule, I would be able to get the first draft done within a couple months. I knew I could do better, though. Every time I sit down to write, I try to do better than the last. It’s the path to eventually living off my writing, so I make plans and set goals and work to achieve them. I thought that if I could manage twelve thousand words in a month, that sixteen shouldn’t be too hard. That’s four thousand words a week, very achievable with commitment. I had my plan and I got to work.
The first week started slowly. I hadn’t faced a blank page in over a year and I wasn’t sure I even remembers how to start a story. I got going a day late, totally missed my third scheduled writing day, and left a lot to be done at the end of the week. I wasn’t sure I’d make it. Then, with the assistance of scheduled writing with friends, I managed five thousand words. That was it, I was stuck. The initial goal was already forgotten and now I had to match the word count every week. With a lot of hustle, I actually did it. Managing five thousand words a week, in January of 2017, I wrote over twenty-one thousand words. Some of you may scoff at such a paltry number, but it’s a big increase for me. It’s close to full time writer territory. With the first push done, I have only a few thousand more words to knock out on the first draft, then it’s down to edit town where I give it a second draft and get to work on Pilot too. Plus, now that I’m ahead of schedule, I can get to work on my second novella. I’m not going into details yet, but I hope to squeeze out the finished book in June.
I’m feeling pretty good about January, and I hope to keep it going in February. It’s going to be a little tougher since my schedule is so much busier. I do have the Adventure Worlds Summit to help out though. Three straight days of planning out 2017 and the start of 2018 with plenty of time for writing and editing. If I’m lucky, I’ll have my second draft off to Ed and Christian and the first draft of my other novella done by the end. Edits, layout, design, and printing is going to take a lot of time. The sooner I’m done, the more time I have to do all that work. I may even have a few freelance layouts to do. To top it all off, I have another non-writing based project starting at the end of February. It’s going to be a crazy year, but I’ve started it off right. Thanks for tagging along for it all.