Recap: Week 39

2013-2014 Writing

Week 39

There are changes in the format, and the purpose of this. See the post HERE for the reason.

Here are my totals for the week–

  • Journal 1,755
  • MPs 5,460
  • Letters 1,321
  • Total 8,536
  • YTD 586,269

Recap: Week 38

2013-2014 Writing

Week 38

There are changes in the format, and the purpose of this. See the post HERE for the reason.

Here are my totals for the week–

  • Journal 1,095
  • MPs 5,040
  • Letters 550
  • Avon 3,030
  • Blog 469
  • Total 10,184
  • YTD 577,733



My quest to write 1,000,000 words in a year is over.

I’ve not updated my blog in two weeks because I didn’t want to admit it, even to myself, but today I finally faced the facts. I am too far behind.

The pace I was writing in Nov was doable, and had I done that from the start I would have easily made it. However, the first three or four months I consistently did not make weekly goals. Part of it was the fact that it didn’t feel real, part of it was the very difficult transition to writing a significant amount every day. It was a hard adjustment.

Now, however, as much as I am screaming at myself to not give up, I can’t do it. To hit my goal at this point I’d have to write about 4,800 words a day. Every day. Until mid-March. On top of a full time job, a (hopefully) part time job, class, and life. While I think that’s a reasonable word count for a professional writer it is not for me if I’m working 40-60 hours a week. Especially with no break days.

This experiment, failed as it is, has taught me so much about writing and, more specifically, myself as a writer.

  • I do better with multiple projects at once, that I can switch between.
  • My productivity is uneven. I get more words done in four days of writing with three off than I do if I write every day.
  • Journaling/morning pages are exempt from that rule, and something I need to do every day. For my mental health if no other reason.
  • I am capable of turning out large numbers of words in a day, that the hurtles are mental only. That 1,100-1,300 words in 30 minutes is a reasonable goal, and that I can do that about 4-6 times in a row before there is a noticeable slump in my speed. That there’s no point going on after that, it’s best to leave and come back in a few hours. Do another 4-6 sets then.
  • I work better out in a coffee shop or even a fast food joint than I do at home. I do NOT work well on planes/buses/etc.
  • Music is useful for focusing, but if it’s Top 40 stuff I’ll end up singing along instead of writing. Best bet is either film scores or heavy rock.
  • I write fiction best in the late morning, afternoon, or evening. Early to mid-mornings and late nights are better for non-fiction.
  • Reading before I write is hit or miss. It might inspire me, but it also might depress me with the difference in quality. Votes still out on that one. However, reading the same short piece (one by Anne Lamott) about writing before each session is grounding and puts me in the mood to write.
  • My writing style is a reflection of what drove me to embrace improv. I enjoy chasing the unknown. More experiments with plotting have left me just as frustrated as before. I want to chase the story. Maybe I have an end scene in mind, or at least a theme, but the actual events are best found in the moment.
  • I enjoy both writing and editing. I’ve found that most people claim it’s only possible to like one of them but I truly look forward to both. I love creating stories, and I love tightening what I’ve written. I do find editing to be more overwhelming and thus more difficult to work on for long lengths of time.

So the project has been very useful. I may try it again one day. Maybe. But for now it is over. I will keep posting my word counts every week, just not against where I should be. Both for the accountability and for the knowledge of the ground I am covering. I want to keep tracking my word counts, I just know they aren’t going to hit 1,000,000 this year.

Thanks for coming on this journey with me, and hopefully big things will be coming soon! I am going to be putting more time into editing my novel Raising Trouble, since I won’t feel guilty for not using that time to work on my goal. And I’m going to finish my current novel, Avon, pretty soon. Also, I’m getting back into fan fiction as a way to get some feedback and do some shorter pieces. When I get something new up I’ll put a link on here.

Lots of changes, and yet my focus is the same. Writing, acting, creating. Failing forward. Which this failure has been.

Recap: Week 37

One Million Words Challenge

Week 37

Low week. Which is not great news on the challenge front.

However, I’m going to cut myself a little slack. I finally, finally, broke down and went to the clinic on Friday afternoon. That’s a big deal for me. Even when I had insurance I normally took the “tough it out and it’ll heal on it’s own” route. Without insurance I avoid doctors at all costs. That’s what Google and ingenuity are for. However, I finally gave in this time. I just couldn’t function any more, and nothing was helping.

It was just a sinus infection. However, she said it was a nasty one, in deep, and added, “You’re in a lot of pain, aren’t you?” To which I nodded and coughed everywhere.

Five days of antibiotics later and I feel like a human again. I mean, I’ve felt HORRIBLE for two weeks but I’ve been sick longer than that. I just didn’t realize it. Fifteen doses of antibiotics and I can breath easily again. Through my nose! I sleep, instead of waking up exhausted in the morning. My nose bleeds have stopped. My head doesn’t throb all afternoon and evening every day. Walking to work doesn’t leave me so tired that the idea of working is overwhelming.

Thing is, it kinda snuck up on me. I didn’t know I felt so bad. I mean, the past two weeks, sure. But looking back it’s been at least two before that, maybe longer, that I’ve been sick. And I didn’t notice. A little more every day until finally my body gave up and refused to pretend any more.

So, while I got further behind on my word counts, something I can ill afford at this point, I was also truly miserable. Today I mailed packages at the post office (then walked, rather than bus, the mile and a half home. For fun) and picked-up a table at the SA (drug it home on hand trucks) and I cleaned my room and I put up/decorated the Christmas tree and I wrote several thousand words on my novel (planning more later tonight), and I got a library card, and more besides that. Not exaggerating here- if you’d told me a week ago that I needed to do all that in one day I would have cried. And halfway through I would have slumped in a corner and berated myself for being so weak.

I am so thankful that I live in a time and a place where a $8 bottle of pills can make such a rapid and dramatic improvement.

Here are my totals for the week–

  • Journal 1,149
  • MPs 6,804
  • Letters 180
  • Avon 7,267
  • Total 15,400
  • YTD 567,549
  • Where I should be 709,660

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