Saturday, January 07, 2012

7 Day Check In

A week into the new year, I decided to stop and take a look at how I'm making out on my writing goals. I came up with a new strategy for the year. Because I know how depressing it is to not meet my daily word count goal, but because I also want to have LOTS of books finished this year, I decided I had to make a change.

My old method was to take the intended word count of a book I was working on, and divide it by the daily word count I set for myself. So, a 30K story, if I was writing 4K a day would take me 7 and a half days. (Not including polishing afterwards) Inevitably, I get stuck. I have days when I just can't spend more than an hour or two at the computer, and those hours are never peaceful, solid writing time. So, I'm testing out this new way I came up with. In each month, I pick 3 stories. I then divide the daily word count between them.

Sounds kind of foolish when you think about it. I mean, you're making very slow progress on 3 things, rather than quickly finishing each story. Plus, how do you move from story to story without getting mentally bogged down on one so it affects your other stories?

Like I said, it's an experiment. The reasoning behind it was that on those days when you can't get lots of solid writing time to do a full 4 or 5K you may be able to bang out the 1K goal on at one of those stories, and at least then you've met one goal. Some days you might get all three, somedays only 2, but maybe it would feel better to say you hit 2 out of 3 instead of a big "fail" I also realized I had to take into account that I wouldn't get to write every day, so figured on at least 6 days in the month where I would get no writing done.

As for the mental aspect, well it's rare for me to actually get the chance to get totally immersed into a story. In the time it took me to get this far in this blog post, I've had to stop to hear about my daughter's plans for her birthday party, feed the dogs, let the dogs out (twice) and watch my son demonstrate his prowess at a video game.

Now, a week in, how is it working out for me?
WIP #1 Starting word count was 4370, and my goal was 1400 words a day for at least 6 days which would put me at 12,770. Current word count 8719. I only managed to make my word count on 3 of the six days.

WIP #2 Starting word count 0, with a goal of 1400 words a day for 6 days. Should be at 8400 am only at 2824. I had some trouble with this one, and really struggled the first few days.

WIP #3 Starting word count 819 goal of 1000 words a day for 3 days. I've surpassed my intended place of 3819 and am currently at 5794 words.

Thoughts: WIP #3 is intended to be short, and because I'm hoping to submit it ASAP (Valentine story) I've put a bit more effort into it than the others. Once it's done, I'll up the other two to 2K a day. Flexibility is the key here. I'm also hoping once the kids go back to school, I will get a bit more of that uninterrupted writing time.

I'll check back in next week for another update.

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