Weekly Update: Wishing for more time doesn’t make it happen.
I often wish there were more hours in the day. Or perhaps I could find a cure for sleep so I don’t need to sleep and could gain those extra hours back in my day and get more things done that I want to get done. I have a lot of ambitions and sometimes I need to keep my excitement in check so I don’t go running around like a chicken with my head cut off and accomplish a whole lot of nothing.
So what have I done that’s making me wish for more time? Oh, a little of this, a little of that, and finishing the first draft of two books!
Golden West: Season 1 is now complete. I’ll be podcasting the last two episodes (the final episode is double-sized). I’ll also be doing re-writes as needed and getting it ready for podiobooks. Once the rewrites are done, it’ll be off to my awesome first readers who’ll tell me where it sucks and help me fix it, then I’ll get a cover for it and BAM! (it’s a Western, Bam! like a gun. get it? Oh, nevermind) it’ll be available in print and ebook formats.
What else did I finish? Oh yeah! V&A Shipping II is now complete! I’ll be doing the same thing with this (re-writes, edits, covers, pazowie! print and ebook). I’m excited about the end of both of these books. The climaxes took different turns than I had anticipated. Yes, I plotted ’em (even though it doesn’t seem like I did) and I knew how the books were supposed to end. That’s the joy of writing, things don’t always turn out the way you expect them to.
I won’t give up any details about the end of either of the books. You’ll have to wait until you get the stories into your hot little hands! Trust me, they’ll be worth it.
Needless to say both of these books left me emotionally drained. I mean wow! It was an exciting high finishing, but holy carp! I’m spent. I feel like a wrung out dishrag. I feel like I should take a week off.
Only thing is, I’m not going to! Why? Why? I have goals and targets and deadlines. I’m not just writing to have fun anymore (although I’m having a blast!) I’m writing to actually make a tiny profit. A big thank you to all who’ve bought any of my titles recently. You’ve bought me a wonderful dinner that I enjoyed immensely! Hopefully after this month I’ll have enough to buy another.
So what’s my current goal/target that I’m on? I’m on two, actually. The first is my annual goal. I’m shooting for 365,000 words of new fiction (last year I finished with 267,000 words of new fiction. The rest of the 450,000 words was blog posts). So yes, this may seem smaller than my 450,000 word goal of last year, but this is all new fiction. That means I’ll have more content by the end of this year. I’m forcing myself to complete books that have been rattling around inside my head for YEARS! These characters want out! I need to get them out.
Anyway, I’m currently 23,000 words behind on my annual goal. I’m a slacker and I know it. Regardless, I’m pressing on. Work is letting up enough that I can finish my day and have brain power left to write, relax with the fam, and enjoy what I’m doing. I still have a lot of catching up to do, so that’s why I’m happy to be on my Lent goal.
No, I don’t formally subscribe to the Lent thing. I just use it as an excuse to write more words! My annual goal is to average 1000 words per day. That’s not a lot. During Lent, JuNoWriMo, and NaNoWriMo I’ll be upping the ante to 2000 words per day. Yes, that’s going to be difficult, but think about this for one moment. If I hit those targets (or just get close) that’s 88,000 words for Lent, 60,000 words for JuNoWriMo, and 60,000 words for NaNoWriMo. That’s a huge chunk of my annual goal. For just those 3 months that’s nearly 55% of my annual goal. That means I don’t need to fight and kick and cry and scream. I just need to really focus for 3 months and I’m halfway there.
So, I’m going to get caught up during Lent if I stick to my writing schedule. Sure, something might derail me, but if I pound on the keyboard and knock out 2000 words per day when I can, I’ll still get close to that 88,000 word goal during Lent. Last year I didn’t hit my goal, but you know what? I got darned close. I got to nearly 80% of my target. That’s not too shabby considering I was just getting started with the whole “I’m going to get serious about this writing business.” I’m even more serious now and I’m going to do my damnedest to hit that target this year. I’m only 1100 words behind (missed the first two days because I’m stupid) but I’m getting caught up. Of course writing the end of two different books helped a bundle.
So what’s next on my list other than edits and re-writes for 6 different books (Billy Barbarian, Paradise Palms, Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Book 1: Chance Encounters, V & A Shipping II, Golden West, Astel (re-edits)). Well, let me tell you what’s next.
First off I’m going to write another My Teacher is a… This time it’ll be vampire. Depending on how well that goes I may do My Teachers is a Robot right after. Those will both weigh in around 15,000-20,000 words. Meaning I can get them both done during Lent. Awesome, right?
I also want to finally finish up To Fall From the Sky. Those characters have been banging on my head to get their stories complete since I dropped them last year. I know that book will require a lot of editing, cleaning up, and rewriting, but I’m anxious to get to it. I still think it’ll end up being a fun story.
After that I want to write Of Gnomes and Dwarves: Book 2: Mount Astoon (well, re-write really.) This was the second book I’d ever written and although it’s a good book, it is in desperate need of being 100% re-written.
THEN! I’m on to Life of Lists.
Okay, okay, I’ll slow down. Like I said, once I get started it’s hard to slow down.
So how am I keeping all this straight in my head? Well, I’m not. If you’re a writerly type then you’ve probably heard of the Magic Spreadsheet. yeah, neither had I. Okay, I’m lying. I’m good like that.
So the Magic Spreadsheet allows you to track your daily writing as a means to encourage yourself to write daily. It also shows you who else is writing, their numbers, and you can challenge another person to write more, it’s a social kind of thing. I get it. Writers are needy, they need interaction with others, etc. So this is a great place to see how you’re doing when you compare yourself with others.
Well, most people this is encouragement. Others might get frustrated when they put down 200 words one day, nothing the next, 120 words here, and peck away at their novel. Then they’d see someone like me pumping out 1000-4500 words a day and I’m not participating there because I don’t want to depress anyone or discourage anyone from writing. Any numbers are good numbers. If you’re using the magic spreadsheet or if you’ve got your own google doc going or you’re like me and you carry around your word count spreadsheet with you everywhere you go, write and track! Do you need help getting something set up? Get ahold of me. I’ll get you started!
I said write daily and track what you write. It’s the only way to keep yourself on track. Set a target and figure out how much you need to write daily to get to that target. Keep it in front of you! Open it every single day! Guilt yourself into writing if you don’t see your numbers going up. Reward yourself if you are ahead of target. Get those words written. GO GO GO! WRITE WRITE WRITE!
Speaking of going and writing, I’d better get at it. I’ve got a LOT of words I want to write this year and these blog posts no longer count toward that word goal.
Until Next Time!