Now that I’ve been writing 20k words per month recently, I decided to take a look back at how fast I really am writing. Now that we’ve got some data, let’s play with it!
Unfortunately, sometimes I do a terrible job of accounting, and let writing carry me away without glancing at the clock first. So none of those (no doubt fantastic) writing sessions are factored into the data below. I also threw out the first couple weeks of “writing sprints” as Chris calls them, because I consider those more like practice runs. Continue reading
Due to a certain wedding and honeymoon, I got a little behind on The Ageless, my post-apocalyptic novel with fantasy elements. But my writing is back on track now.
I’d planned to jump back to 4 sessions a week after the wedding, but I’ve actually been fitting in 5 writing sessions a week!
As for 2013 word counts, since most of the year was review and revisions, I only wrote about 50,000 words. That doesn’t count a lot of in-line revisions, but it does count entire scene rewrites (e.g. if switching POV).
You can follow along with my progress on my writing calendar.
I finished my review of The Ageless, and am deep into rewrites. I had hoped to finish them by February, but now it looks like it’ll be closer to the end of February or mid to late March.
In December 2013, I completed a business plan for Worldbinding, based on an episode of the Rocking Self-Publishing podcast. I think it’ll help make my goals clearer in times of uncertainty.
Now, let’s talk about 2014.
2014 Writing and Publishing Goals
In order to better predict when I’ll be ready to publish The Ageless and The Century, I started used a Gantt chart in Google Drive. It’s really helped illuminate how unrealistically optimistic I was being about my publishing dates.
For instance, I thought that I’d be able to publish The Ageless in late 2014. But finding a cover designer, developmental editor, copy editor, proofreader, and formatter will take time, working with them will take time, and putting it all together will take time. Which I’d not fully considered. With a Gantt chart, you can really see how dependent upon one another all these tasks are.
I’m now focusing on the following goals:
Complete Pass 1 and Pass 2 revisions to The Ageless and hand it off to beta readers by late February to late March
Finish incorporating feedback from alpha and beta readers and submit to my future developmental editor by mid June
Finish incorporating feedback from my editor and submit to my future copy editor by mid August
Finish incorporating copy edits and submit to my future proofreader by mid September
Submit concept ideas to my future cover designer by mid September
Review proofreader’s changes and submit to my future interior formatter by mid October
Receive first draft and send feedback of cover by mid October
Compare and choose final cover by early November
Give cover designer final page count for spine width, give formatter digital cover for ebook, other administrative stuff, upload to Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Smashwords, CreateSpace, etc.
Release around the first of the year, 2015.
And while The Ageless is away with other people (beta readers, editors, etc.), I can be working on Pass 1 revisions to The Century.
I’ve been a steady writer for over a year now, and I’m a little over halfway done with writing my futuristic science fiction novel, The Century. See my goals for 2013 and my thoughts about my progress so far after the jump.
Write four times a week (on track)
Except around certain holidays and vacations (honeymoon!)
Try to keep weekly wordcount closer to 5,000 (on track)
Finish the first draft of The Century by March (on track)
Figure out what to do with that short story set in the universe of The Ageless (on track)
Hiatus for at least half of October as I make wedding and honeymoon preparations
The past week or so I’ve been wavering on whether I’ll write Part 3 of the Century before beginning revisions on The Ageless. Some of these goals may be flipped if I decide I need more time to let Part 3 marinate.
Brief History of Conventions
The first conventions I ever went to were JACON and Necronomicon when I was in college. I went with groups of friends, then didn’t really attend any cons again until last year, when I went to ConCarolinas (see my 2012 recap), ConTemporal, and MACE.
However, I didn’t have any real conversations with anyone at those except for a brief chat with James Tuck and a longer conversation with Bill Hatfield. This year I want to try to get out of my shell a little and really talk to other writers, even if they are published authors and therefore intimidating.
Last year I was one month late (see six-month checkup) finishing up the The Ageless on July 10. I’m hoping to keep on track with The Century this time around, especially since I now devote an additional day a week to writing compared to most of last year.
It took me about a month and a half to finish the main research and extrapolation I needed to get the ideas for The Century lined up. Actual writing on The Century didn’t begin until September. Since then, I’ve written an average of 3,669 words a week. I’d like to get that a little closer to 5,000.
In December I began hosting the Speculative Fiction Writers community on Google+, which has been great in helping me get out of my shell and talk with other writers in the genre. I hope to really connect with more people in 2013. And I’d really like to get more involved on Goodreads.
I’ve mostly abandoned chasing Facebook and Twitter, though I will continue to post stuff there on occasion.
In November, I decided to try to start writing four times a week as an ante-up instead of NaNoWriMo. As expected, everything fell apart around Thanksgiving. But it should also be noted there were other times I wasn’t able to write as much, such as when the day job interfered (sending me to a conference in October) or when I was simply stressed around the holidays.
If making a distinction between writing nights and research nights… In terms of actual writing, I wrote four nights per week once. There have been several weeks in which I worked on The Century four nights a week, doing research and whatnot. I’ve tended to average about three nights of actual writing per week since The Century got underway in September.
So, unlike some writers, I do count research, outlining, blocking out scenes, and so on as “work time.” Maybe if I didn’t have a day job, I could afford to only count actual writing days toward my four-times-a-week goals, but that’s a luxury I don’t have. I’d probably scare myself off researching and then the work would be worse for it.
My average words written per week (not counting the weeks in which no writing was done) was 3,669. Total word count since I began writing The Century is about 58,700. With those kinds of numbers, it would take me six months to write a novel, if I already had everything outlined and ready to go. Too bad it never quite works out that way!
Writing Is a Marathon
In past years, when I’d miss a few days writing, I’d beat myself up and give into a self-defeating attitude, which ultimately resulted in not writing for months. But now that I’m treating my writing more seriously and holding myself accountable, I’ve decided not to let life’s little stumbles get in my way. This has kept me going even when I had an abysmal week here and there.
You can see my writing calendar (where I record my progress) on the Current Projects page. I also put the dates of published blog posts along with conventions and writing groups I attended on the calendar to chart my growth as a writer.
If you’ve checked out my Projects and found them interesting, you can sign up for my newsletter, which will only be mailed out when I have an announcement about an upcoming book or story. That might be a while, and I promise to only email you once a month anyway.