Last year had some ups and downs and I did not weather the downs nearly as well as I would have liked. Months would pass and I would peck away at random stories or ideas, never getting anywhere, never completing anything, not especially liking stuff I did write. December in particular was a very bad month, as my professional career had me traveling back and forth to Mississippi and working some long hours. Add to that of course the family requirements of the holidays and a need to sometimes just do nothing and suddenly the end of the year was here and I was looking back at 2014 wondering what happened.
Things I accomplished in 2014 for my writing include publishing a novella, republishing novels under my own company instead of myself, and almost publishing a new novel (this one is in limbo awaiting some ISBN fixes).
That brings me to January 1st, 2015. A day that many are sleeping off hangovers with as much reckless abandon as they acquired those hangovers. I however found myself in an airport at 6 a.m., sober and sleepy and traveling out of state for work. I missed my connecting flight in Houston by about three minutes and ended up with a three-hour layover in the George Bush Intercontinental airport in Houston. The wi-fi in the airport wasn’t working, probably because the IT guys were also sleeping off some kind of New Year’s Eve LAN party where they took shots every time they got a headshot in Call of Duty.
Naturally I could browse on my phone’s 4G, or just read a book, but neither was proving very engaging for me. The book in particular, while good, was making my eyes droop like a sleepy kitten in an internet video. So it was that I grabbed my laptop, a six year old Gateway that I turn on maybe three times a year, and started perusing old word files, just seeing what there was and what I may have never transferred off to other PCs or cloud storage.
I found one from 2009 that had maybe 4,000 words. 8 pages roughly. I read through it, cringing at some of the stuff I’d written back then, and then just as suddenly realized I could work on it.
I had two and a half hours left on my layover by this point and I resolved to get to work. What the hell, I said, might as well make use of this unexpected layover.
So I edited, and rewrote, and then wrote new. I thought it appropriate to break my no editing rule since I was pulling a file from the vault and it was pretty short. By the end of the layover I had 6,000 words (1,800 brand new) that I felt pretty good about. And the seed was planted. By the time I went to sleep that night I was already plotting the Year of Writing.
2015 – My Year of Writing
A New Year’s Resolution, if you will. A modified version of NaNoWriMo but for the entire year. Here’s how it works:
Every single day in 2015, I will write a minimum of 1,000 words of fiction. If I miss a day, or even if I write 999 words instead of 1,000, it is a failure. If I write 2,000 words on Monday but none on Tuesday, Tuesday is still a failure. It is not a cumulative average of 1,000 words a day, but a minimum per day.
I will make a weekly post called 1KaDay and you can keep track of my daily progress with the hashtag #1kaday2015 on Facebook or Twitter.
The reason I’m doing this is because I absolutely need to get a lot of work done this year, and even on days when I don’t feel like writing, there is shame and punishment that will spur me on. If I can manage a few weeks of this, I believe it will be easier to keep it going beyond that.
So my stats for Days 1 through 10 are as follows:
Day 1 – 1,789 words.
Day 2 – 1,255 words
Day 3 – 1,176 words
Day 4 – 4,028 words
Day 5 – 1,364 words
Day 6 – 1,324 words
Day 7 – 1,025 words
Day 8 – 1,052 words
Day 9 – 1,019 words
Day 10 – 1,513 words
Total count for the year thus far is 15,545 words. Average daily word count is 1,554.5 words. The novel I’m working on is at 20,098 words. Based on my projections for the story, it is 10% finished.
You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter to see my progress, and join in if you like!
Write on, writers, write the hell on.