It’s January 25th, 2015. It is time for the Week Three update!
Days 18 through 24 have been successes, with a minimum of 1,000 words per day written. There were no major events that just kept me from getting the words in this time, save for Day 24 in which I didn’t plan my time around a birthday party, but more on that in the motivational series!
Stats for Days 18 to 24:
Day 18 – 1073 words
Day 19 – 1741 words
Day 20 – 1333 words
Day 21 – 1081 words
Day 22 – 1077 words
Day 23 – 1039 words
Day 24 – 1096 words
Total count for the year thus far is 40,179 words. Average daily word count is 1,674 words. The novel I’m working on is at 38,408 words. Based on my projections for the story, it is 18% finished.
Last week I talked about the origin of the novel I’m working on, working title Gridfall. This week I’d like to give you the elevator pitch. For those unfamiliar with the elevator pitch, it is your attempt to pitch your story to, presumably, someone of importance in an effort to sell the story. As, generally speaking, you probably have less than a minute to make your pitch before you’ve lost them, you have to get very good at explaining the essence of your story in a paragraph or less, often in just a sentence or two. You already know the genre, but that doesn’t really explain anything about the story, only the setting.
So here it is, the elevator pitch!
Nella and Kurt are almost siblings that barely tolerate each other as they struggle to survive after the collapse of their technologically-driven society. Nella never learned a useful skill before the fall, and Kurt’s expertise in grid technology is all but useless after the fall. Join them on their journey to survive and thrive in a world that has no use for them, as they learn to stop hating each other and everyone else. No one knows why the grid collapsed, or why it can’t be made to work again, but Nella knows one thing.
Kurt inadvertently caused the collapse, killing untold thousands, including his fiance, Nella’s sister. Can she survive long enough to forgive him? Can he live with the guilt? Do they want to?
You can follow me on Facebook or Twitter to see my progress and little daily anecdotes, and join in if you like!
And remember, writing is a skill. So write the hell on, writers.
Ok I want to know your secret to writing 1,000 words a day.
Oops! I replied too quick. How do you cope with things like work demands, family time and noise? Those are the big three for me. I wrote about 1,000 words in my novel today, but the next time might be a week from now. With all that time in between, I end up hating what I wrote last time and the details of my story changed. Presently I have a new chapter 1 which I like, but it doesn’t match the old chapters (1-3). So I have to rewrite them. Fortunately, I have a very detailed plot outline to work from. It’s just a matter of sitting down and writing it.
Hey Gene! Thanks for taking an interest.
To respond, I can tell you my scenario and how I am making it work for me personally, but it might be better to inquire as to specifics of your situation and I can offer advice based on that.
I for instance have no significant other, no children. I have a day job that requires 50 hours of every week including commute time. I have weekly social obligations I have committed to, and there are always family and friend events ongoing (birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).
On top of all that, I try to set aside time for myself for relaxation and entertainment every day. It’s not easy, and my proof of concept is only 25 days in, so it’ll become more impressive the longer I go.
The main advice I can give is to talk with your family or whomever makes calls upon your time, and be very insistent that you want to be serious about writing and you need time every day. Even if it is only an hour, you have to carve that time out. Make it a priority. And if you have to compromise on something else to get it, that is the price. But you have to commit to it and guard that time.
Thanks Rick. I have a wife and a young son, so unless I get up at 4:30-5:00 am it won’t happen. I’ve been cranky lately if I miss a good opportunity to write, and Facebook is a big distraction. I’ll try to put some of that into practice. I was thinking before I read your post that 1,000 words would be a rockin’ goal.
One of the things I’ve found helpful when dealing with family (in this case, brothers, sisters, nephews, nieces), is that everybody you know is a potential time sink for your available leisure hours. And I don’t say that in the negative sense where it’s a waste of time spending that time with family or friends or television or video games or whatever. When you have kids or a spouse, those “leisure hours” become something else, though, and it becomes more difficult to carve out some time that is “your time” especially on a daily basis.
One scenario that I have heard that works for a writer friend of mind is to trade hours with the spouse. One hour of your day is exclusively yours, barring emergency. Then the next hour is exclusively your spouse’s. You take the kid and you get out of the house if you have to to give them their hour. This only works if both parties are willing to commit to it. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing in that hour so long as you’re contributing to the hobby you want to take seriously. Ideally you’re always outlining or writing or editing or critiquing or researching or something in an active sense with that hour that helps you in your craft.
Daily word counts are all well and good, but they’re not for everyone. The idea behind a daily word count is not the words themselves. Words are great, though. it’s the time investment that’s important, and a word count is a good way to measure that you’ve spent some amount of time every single day on your craft. Right now I’m not actively editing or critiquing or researching anything, so it’s doubly easy to use that time I’ve carved out for myself (especially on workdays) for writing those 1,000 words.
Ultimately, Gene, it’s up to you to figure out ways to prioritize your craft above all else, at least for a little while, every day. Whatever pays the bills and whatever you’re paying bills for (your health and your family) are always going to have to come first. But that doesn’t mean you have to just completely ignore your craft.
The other point I wanted to raise was about noise. You mentioned it in your first comment and for a lot of people it’s a big issue. Noise cancels concentration. It’s absolutely true for me. When I go into writing mode, I get noise-canceling headphones and I keep them on. Noise-canceling headphones (if you get the right kind) don’t eliminate all noise, so you’ll still be able to hear high-pitched screams or calls for help or what-have-you for cases of emergency. You don’t want to be so unavailable that nothing can get through to you, but you want to cut the noises that serve only to distract. If you can get away to a coffee shop, or the park, or a nice quiet place in your office building after hours (with permission from bosses, etc.) same rules apply.
Pingback: 1K a Day Challenge – Week Four | Panning For Clouds