Posted by jrmurdock
So it’s the end of May. Yes, I know I missed my Monday update, but it’s for a good reason. Today is May 31st and I figured I’d get to the end of May and let you know how my 3K a Day in May challenge ended.
Let’s get that out of the way first. I hate long, drawn out conclusions.
I missed…by that much. I was close and if I were to stay awake until midnight I could probably still get there. But I’ve got work in the morning and sleep still sounds like a good idea.
How close? My target was 93,000 words over the 31 days of May (3000 words a day, you know, it’s that math stuff). What I actually accomplished was 89,296. I missed by 3700 words. About 4% away from my target. Yes, I got to 96%. If that were a grade, it’d still be an A.
So, I failed amazingly well. Honestly, as I said before, if I’d gotten to 50%, I would have called it a success. Getting to 75% a huge success. I never thought I’d hit 93,000 words in one month. That’s crazy talk right there.
And I didn’t change much in the way of my habits. I still did stuff, watched TV shows, saw movies, went to a dance show, spent Sundays with the family and went to church. All the normal things. I worked. Oh, and I got food poisoning which dragged me under for a couple days where I thought I might be able to get caught up but wow, do room spins and writing NOT go together.
I learned a lot about my writing and myself over this past month. Like what? I’m so glad you asked.
- I waste a lot of time. Like wow do I spend too much time watching the news and thinking “I should be writing.”
- No matter how late I would start, I would usually finish around the same time. Usually around 10pm. Yes, I waste a lot of time.
- I can write, on average, 1000 words every 30 minutes if I write and don’t allow myself to get distracted. Tonight, for example, I started around 8pm and finished my 3000 words before 9:30pm AND I cooked dinner in the middle.
- Communication is key. My favorite daughter and my wife both knew what I was trying to do, understood, and were supportive. I’ve talked with them about my short term (3k a day in May) and long term (see my 1, 5, 10 year plan post). If I hadn’t done that, they wouldn’t have known what I was up to and would have wondered why I’m typing away like a madman all the time.
- Starting a book in the middle of a large challenge like this is difficult. I completed Golden West 3 on May 12th and started Almost-Super Heroes 2 on May 13th. Two very different books with totally different plots, casts, and goals. Wow did my brain not want to start a new book that way. I’ll be going back to the first couple of chapters and doing a lot of cleanup, but it’s a good start and got me back into the character’s heads.
- Writing takes a LOT of energy. It’s mentally taxing. I wouldn’t have tried this challenge if I hadn’t completed my Lent goal and written 2000 words a day during Lent, and started 3K a day ‘Til May before running into May. It’s like any form of exercise, to maintain that kind of pace is challenging and you need to work up to it.
At this point, all I can say, I’m super excited for what I got completed in May. I’m happy with what I wrote and where the new book is going. I’m VERY happy with how Golden West turned out. I’m excited to hit June running though there will be a slight bump.
I’ll be taking a short break. I’ve been going non-stop on writing daily for 130 days. I’ve written 296,000 words over that time. I need a break, so I’m taking one. When I’m back, I’ll be writing like a fury once more. My goal to complete 5 books this year is out the door. I plan on going for 8 books. I plan on writing at least 8 books next year as well. Though I’ll only be releasing a book every other month, this will give me a backlog. That’s what I’m going for is a backlog of books so should something happen that knocks me off the rails, I’ll still be able to continue to drop a book every other month on schedule.
If I get far enough ahead, I’ll start to drop monthly, but let’s cross that bridge when we come to it. I don’t want to get ahead of myself. Instead, I’ll focus on this year and seeing what other challenges I can set up and actually complete or at least get close to.
So how is your writing going? Have you set any challenges for yourself? Any targets you’re hoping to hit? Let me know how you’re doing. I’d love to hear from you. For now, May is done. I’m taking a break and will return with tales of adventures.
Until Next Time
Posted by jrmurdock
Call me nuts. Call me crazy. I spent the last two weeks of April trying to write 3K per day. And failed. I did write a lot of words over those two weeks and had a LOT of fun. Even though I failed, I still succeeded by writing more words than I thought I would. Percentagewise, I made it to 77% of my objective. 42000 words in two weeks. Sheer madness!
So, I thought, why not try to do that for an entire month! Even if I fail, I’ll still have written a lot of words. Right? Why not try and see how close I can get. 21,000 words a week for 4 full weeks? I must be off my rocker.
How did the first week of May go?
I’m glad you asked.
Total doomed failure yet again.
um… Jay…no, it wasn’t.
Wait…What do you mean it wasn’t a failure?
Just that, you succeeded.
What? I hit my target of 21,000 words for the first week of May?
Well, not really.
I told you! FAILURE!
You overshot it by 3200 words.
*double take* Wait…what?
Yes, you read that right. I didn’t hit 21,000 words. I passed 21,000 words in the first week. 24,165 words to be exact. I know, I know! I’m shocked as well. After missing badly the first two weeks, I ran past it on the third week. Who’d’a thunk?
Here’s the breakdown of week 1
I crossed 67,000 words in Golden West 3. I’m around 20,000 words from the end. That means, if I stay on pace, I’ll blow past the end this week! I started the book just 29 days ago. I’ll be done with the first draft in less than 40 days. I’m flabbergasted.
Now, I knew I could write quickly. I know I type faster than average. But with life, work, family time, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, friends, etc. I honestly didn’t think I’d hit my target, but I thought it would be fun to try.
If all goes well, I’ll be done with GW3 in 7 days. So far this month I’ve written 24,165 words. So far this year I’ve written 230,982 words. I’m more than half-way past my annual goal I set at the beginning of the year. Remember that? 438,000 words on the year. 1200 words per day. I thought it would be challenging. Averaging that many words a day for an entire year? I didn’t think I’d make it. Now I’m contemplating how far beyond that initial goal I’ll make it.
Not only that, how many books I’ll get written at this pace. I’ve already finished two books this year. I’m coming up on the end of a third. Mike and I will have Jack Kane 2 done soon. Before the end of the month, I’ll have these books done and unpublished.
Jack Kane 2: Jack Kane and the Kaiser
Golden West 3
Of Gnomes and Dwarves 1: Chance Encounters
Giant Robot Planetary Competition 2: Villain
That’s 5 titles under my belt, ready to go. One will require publisher edits and timeline. The others are mine, all mine, to do with as I please. And I shall. In my own time. I was planning on starting my release cycle in July. I may postpone that slightly. I don’t mean to tease or not give you stories to read. I’m still working through how to best do this for maximum impact. As you can see, all of these titles are different series. They’re scattered all over. My brain wants to just drop them and move on. But I need to think about the business aspect of all this.
OGAD is a fantasy series. GW is steampunk. Jack Kane is steampunk/humor. ASH and GRPC are both set in the V&A Shipping universe.
What I’ve done is spread my efforts among many titles. I had the theory of “write one of each, see what sticks” and I didn’t give any of them a chance to make an impact by continuing my efforts in one direction. So I’m having to rethink my entire gameplan.
Yes, Golden West 3 will come out first. That’ll end that trilogy. It was always intended as a trilogy, it’ll be finished as a trilogy and I’ll be done with that story line. Jack Kane will come out when the publisher is ready to put it out. When I finish GW3, I’ll start work on Almost-Super Heroes 2 (already have the entire plot in my head). Then I’ll go ASH3, then GRPC3, and V&A3. Why? Well, let me fill you in.
All three of those titles, V&A, GRPC, and ASH, all are set in the same Universe and if you follow along with those stories, I’m leading into a major event. That major event will be a new trilogy that I’ve been planning for over a decade, but my brain was never to the point I thought I could pull off the storyline. Now I think I can. With those titles, I’ll be leading into a Military SciFi trilogy. I plan on making it epic and there will also be tie-in novels with the three other titles giving different perspectives of the event that will occur.
That means I want to get deeper into those books before I start dropping so I can release faster (one every two months). So you will see a couple of titles drop this year. Of Gnomes and Dwarves will have to wait until I get through my SciFi phase.
When I start dropping fantasy, I want to be knee deep into fantasy and drop that series all in a row. Not one book, then two years later, the next. I want to drop series titles in rapid succession. I’ll do the same with my Supernatural Learning series. I’ll do the same with <top secret series title>. I’ve picked up a head of steam. I have a direction. I have the motivation and the power of momentum behind me.
What I’ve always lacked over the years has been focus and direction. I’m somewhat confident I have both of those now and going into 2018, I plan to make a big splash…finally. It’ll be an exciting time and I’m glad you’re here at the beginning of it all. I’ve had many false starts over the years, but this time, I’m ready.
I’ve got a LOT of words to write over the next few years. If I don’t write ’em, no one else will. Stick around. Watch this space. In a couple months, things will start to get interesting.
Until Next Time!