That’s right. I made it past 100 days.
(Right now, the streak stands at 104 days with a 400 word daily quota)
Read on to see how it’s going.
My current WIP (Blood of a Vanquished God) now stands at 42355 words.
Based on where I am in the plot and what I’d like to do before I reach the end, I’m thinking this WIP will likely go above 100K. That’s ok. On the rewrite, I will slash and burn the weak parts and aim for 80K to 90k.
Current average words a day (since the beginning): 411 words a day.
That’s higher than my current daily quota right now. That’s pretty good when you consider that my original daily quota was 250 words at day at the start. I’m doing more than the bare minimum to reach my word count daily. This feels pretty good (I only calculated my average when writing this post).
Time spent writing daily: approx. 45 minutes to an hour.
This is mostly anecdotal guess work. I haven’t rigorously checked the numbers, although I think I’ll start. I do keep an eye on my time in general because when I write at the end of the day, I can’t wait to get to bed.
What I’ve noticed is that on good days I can easily crank out 500 decent words in 20 minutes and this has always been the case with me. There’s very little improvement there speed-wise. The interesting thing I’ve noticed is that on BAD days (i.e. days that in the past I would not write at all) my time spent writing is much less than it used to be to meet my goal. Early on, I have recorded a few days where it could take me as much as an hour to write 250 words, or even 90 minutes to get 350 or 400 words down.
Last week was a week of bad days (in a month of bad days) and I never spent more than 45 minutes writing despite going well above the 400 words in my daily goal.
How’s my writing? (Call 1-800-not sure I care)
This is a hard topic to address for many reasons. We are not likely the best judge of our performance in any situation. The shithead is strong. It’s also hard to average it out over a period of weeks. If I write badly for two days, then put out some great stuff for the next two, how is my writing? It’s not something that can be quantified really.
What the hell, let me try anyway.
I think my writing during the stretches of bad days that have hit me in these last three months is frankly, bad. It’s not good. I wrote an infodump scene inside a dream sequence for chrissakes! I read it again last night and I cringed. I wrote a scene between two characters that I had no idea where I wanted it to go, what I wanted it to say and consequently, I kept writing it for 2000 words while screaming to myself “Why won’t this scene END?”. I may have pulled my hair at some point. Ask my wife, I think she found it entertaining (my emo writer angst, not the scene, there’s no way in hell that scene is entertaining. Well, it could be if you like shoving toothpicks into your eyeballs.)
It was bad. It wasn’t ALL bad, not by half, but it was bad.
You know what, dear readers? You know what?
It’s a first draft. I am allowed to write the shittiest tripe possible because it will lead to some gold in the end.
My darling wife stopped me short during a particularly powerful tirade of writer angst (don’t you love those? We writers can be such emo brats.) by making a lot of sense.
Me: Argh! Angst! Dear god in heaven why does my writing suck so much! Argh! (Typical “woe is me” rant. Pay it no mind.)
Wife: Didn’t you quote some writer at me a while back that said you have to write a million bad words before you can get to the good ones?
Me: (Dubiously) yeeaaah. I may have said that at some point.
Wife: Well you’re getting the bad ones out of the way and when the good days come, you’ll be all set for writing like a pro.
Yeah. She’s pretty sharp. I hate when she scores like that with my own words but I deserve it and she’s super awesome that way.
I believe the actual quote is:
“Start early and work hard. A writer’s apprenticeship usually involves writing a million words (which are then discarded) before he’s almost ready to begin. That takes a while.” – David Eddings
Anyway, she’s right. The important part of this exercise is, and always will be, to write every goddamn day. I am a writer. Writers write. Period. No excuses. Point final.
Professional writers do that too, but they get paid. I’m working on that part, but the first step in being a pro is acting like one and that means writing like it’s your job.
Writing isn’t my hobby. It isn’t a way to relax (Hell, it really doesn’t relax me, writing is painful on a good day.). It isn’t a way to have fun (though writing IS fun in a lot of ways). Writing is what I do because I want to be a professional writer.
I want to make a living writing, or at least supplement my current living with writing.
I might not make it, but don’t let anyone mistake my aims or my commitment to it.
This weekend, I’m upping the daily quota to 450 words a day and I’m committing myself to up that again when I reach 150 days in a row.
I’ll update y’all then.
In the meantime, keep in touch, keep reading, and if you write, WRITE.