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