January: Cracking the WIP (Your monthly motivation thread)

Discussion in 'Writing' started by JRMurdock, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    A New Year has fallen down upon us! I'm already two days behind on my writing but getting farther and father ahead with my overdue editing. My goals I posted in mid-December have shifted slightly, but are still highly ambitions. I've always been of the mind that if you aim higher than you think you can achieve you'll force yourself to do more than you think is possible. Even though I might not hit all of my goals this year, I will still have a massive output compared to previous years where I just wrote when I felt my muse tickle my brain.

    This thread will be to post your success stories, your progress for the day/week/month/year, cheerleading, advice, motivation, and just keeping everyone involved and pushing each other toward whatever goal or target or resolution you've set for 2013. Drop in, say hello, give us your goal/target for whatever time frame you like. There will be no pointing and laughing when you miss as we're all likely to miss at some point. This is to encourage you to keep going forward. To look at what you have ahead for the short term, not the long term. Don't look back, just keep looking ahead.

    Just think about what I managed last year as an example. I intended to write 450,000 words and managed 490,000. I broke the task down into smaller, more manageable chunks. 1237 words a day on average. Some days I'd have 50 some days I'd have 4000. Some weeks I'd not write one word, others I'd knock out 25000. The biggest trick is to keep looking at the smallest possible number you need to achieve for that day. If you want to write 10,000 words a month, that's less than 400 words per day. For most that should be 30 minutes of typing per day. Some might get that done in 15 minutes. The biggest thing it to get yourself in the habit now, early in the year, of sitting down for those 15 or 30 or 60 minutes a day and actually writing and not putting it off until later.

    As I said, I'm already behind on one goal, but getting ahead on another. I know I'll be able to catch up. You can do the same thing. So stop in, relax here for a few minutes, and realize what your goal really is; to write and complete a work (or works) during 2013. We're all here to do the same thing. Let's get out there and make some words happen!

    P.S. if you'd like to use the google doc spreadsheet to track progress, leave a note in this thread and we'll hook you up. I do think it was posted in the 2012 results 2013 goals thread, but we can repost it here if you like.
     
  2. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Sweet holy awesomeness! I can't wait to get started. I've still go the spreadsheet from the other thread and I've been using it already this month! Thanks for restarting this JR! It was such a help before I don't know why we ever stopped.

    Ok, my goal, overall, is to write 300,000 words by the time 2014 comes around. That comes to 25,000 words per month, which can be further divided up to somewhere around 850 words per day.

    Most daily writing sessions for me produce anywhere between 1,500 and 2,500 words daily so this goal isn't a hard one for me for the day to day. What I'm really trying to do right now is to develop stamina, to consistently write 25,000 words per month for 12 months, a thing I have not done before. If I want to finish any of the epic, grandiose ideas dancing around my head then stamina is the thing I have to develop. Maybe I'll change that total, year goal later down the road but, right now, I feel that is a good, consistent number I can shoot for.
     
  3. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    This will be a blast. I can't wait to see just how many words we can write as a community. It's great to be back here and great to be writing like a madman once again! Woo Woo!
     
  4. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Ok, today I got 1,800 words exactly over 2.5 hours! I've been keeping track of where I was the last 2 days since this year began and, so far, I am at 5,136 words total. Wohoo!! I am far ahead of my needed daily 850 or so words. At this point I can see myself having no trouble at all making my goal. But in the past I've always made my goal and then take a small break to recover and that break just goes on forever. So, here's to continuing and not running out of steam!
     
  5. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    My yearly goal is 250,000 words, at least, a bit over 20,000 words a month. It actually sounds easy, which is a scary thought.
     
  6. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    I'm not going for any specific word-count, I just want to make sure that by the end of this year I have a working first draft of the novel that's been in my head for the last three and a half years.

    So far it's just a bunch of notes, character sketches with a thin vapour of a plot to hang on. I've got scenes and dialogue jotted down all over the shop, but the most concrete thing about it so far is a query I wrote near the start of the project. For some reason at the time I thought it was a good idea to write that out first. I know, I know.

    There is an abortive attempt at a first chapter which I'm not happy with. In fact, it's the opening chapter that's been my sticking point the whole time. In my head I've been pondering the best way to get the story set in motion all this damn time, as if once that gets written the rest will pour out with no effort.

    I've deliberately left the end of the story in question - I want to resolve it when I get there. What killed my previous major project in my head was too much plotting and planning. I knew what was coming at every turn, and writing it out became a boring chore. I'm not doing that again.

    I don't have any excuses not to do it this year. Work is manageable, family is amenable. Had a very unwelcome health development in the last couple of months, but if anything it's going to free up more writing time rather than less. If I don't get something substantial done towards this novel this year (not coincidentally the year I will turn 39) I'm going to have to face the fact that I'll never get it done.
     
  7. NilsDesperandum

    NilsDesperandum shire dweller

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    My aspirations are on a much smaller scale. My WIP has lain dormant for some 8 months, not because of any particular block. Just an extreme lack of spare time, the dictates of work and family life and generally doing other stuff. Chapters typically run at 3500 words and if I could knock out one per month it would move me a long way towards completing the first draft during 2014 (which realistically should be next year's goal).
    Coupled with that I intend to enter the monthly 1000 word flash and bi-monthly contests (say 2500 words). They are good practice, a useful diversion and a helpful means of interacting with all you like minded individuals.
    So that's 6k a month which doesn't sound a lot in itself but, when you have to scrabble around for every spare half hour the way I do, is plenty enough challenge!
    Here goes.

    ND
     
  8. SteveW

    SteveW Registered User

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    I am aiming for around 1250 words a day as a bench mark. More important for me is just making sure I put in the time each day. My plan is to write on my lunch hour (soul crushing corporate desk job) and to write for an hour in the evening after my daughter has gone to bed. I am trying to approach writing as my "hobby", not is the sense that I don't want to be serious about it, but in the sense that i want it to be how I spend my free time instead of watching tube or playing video games. I want to view it as an enjoyable way to spend my time, and not as work.

    I have one short story that i want t to finish up, and I have an outline for what I think should be around an 80, 000 word novel. That should keep me busy until the end of march. At the very least, if I have the short story polished and the complete 1st draft of the novel done by April, I will be a pretty happy camper.

    Good luck to everyone.
     
  9. RedMage

    RedMage There is no tomorrow

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    Zachariah, I know how you feel. I am working on the last third of the rough draft of one novel right now but, once it is finished, I plan to begin a novel which has maybe 4/5 of all its scenes already planned out and outlined. My problem with that one? I have no idea how to start! Start looking for sticks, my friend. Let's find something to use as paddles to get down this creek.
     
  10. Andrew Leon Hudson

    Andrew Leon Hudson and Noumenon was his name

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    I'm aiming for a modest 180,000 words this year, distributed across various projects. After a slow start, 500 in three days, I bashed out a very satisfying 1500 this morning which - technically - puts me ahead of deadline!
     
  11. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    I am not going to make any yearly goal. I'm just gonna take it month by month.

    So, for this month...

    Enter the flash fiction contest (1000 words)
    Finish up a story for Crossed Genres (5000 words)
    Two book reviews for SFFWorld.com and my blog (2000 words)

    So, that's 8000 for this month.

    I am off to a bad start. I got the flu and haven't written a thing, but I hope to make up for it this weekend.
     
  12. Wilson Geiger

    Wilson Geiger Greymane

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    After a rough beginning due to the holidays, I'm over 3,000 words and back on schedule. Currently writing a short story for a miniature gaming site, and working up ideas for the flash and short story contests here.
     
  13. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    Well, I did manage to finish a review, and write a bit on my short story...so maybe around 1000 words in so far. :)

    Now, to tackle that flash fiction!
     
  14. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    Finished read through of,"what be written so far of WIP". I also did a bit of editing and sorted out timeline blips in this first section. Very pleased with it, but frightened also. I am not sure if others will like it. It is a rather strange blend of genres. Anyway, my target for this month is to add at least 20,000 words if not more to this first draft. It is possible to do. I have no excuses. My overall target is to get this first draft done by the end of February. My aim is to have a polished draft well on the way by the time I go to Eastercon.
     
  15. zachariah

    zachariah Speaks fluent Bawehrf

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    Right, where do I go for someone to stand over me with a big stick? I think I've finally got an opening scene I'm happy with (or at least like enough to write). Good luck to everyone else who's in.
     
  16. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    And you will, Holbrook! I command it. Don't worry about the genre, you know your editor/publisher will probably decide that anyway. Any word on that front? Would love to see some of your awesome stories in print.
     
  17. N. E. White

    N. E. White Moderator Staff Member

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    Starting is a start! As for finding someone with a big stick to stand over you...hmmm...maybe DaddyDarth can stand over you and breath real hard?
     
  18. Holbrook

    Holbrook Edited for submission

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    It all depends on this manuscript. This is the crunch one.....
     
  19. JRMurdock

    JRMurdock Where have I been?

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    Over the years I've written a LOT of books. I sat down today and scheduled the next year and a half. If all goes according to plan and I finish 2 books I'm more than half way through with and complete the 4 new books I have yet to start, I'll have 14 novels out in 18 months time.

    I've already started working with the cover artist for the first. I've edited the first book and had three other editors hit it. They've also completed edits on the 2nd and 3rd and 4th books. I just need to apply those edits. Then I'll work with the cover artist on the 2nd book.

    This is a really exciting time. I've planned on releasing the ebooks one month, the print edition the following month. This will give me a 2 month window before I need to have the next book prepared where I need to do edits and get the cover prepared, order galleys, things like that.

    I have not written word one yet this year as I've been heavy into edits and re-write so far, but once I get the second book knocked out, I'll be writing fast and furious to complete V&A Shipping II (V&A Shipping will be my first book released this year) and then I'll complete To Fall From the Sky.

    I must say, it's scary to see this all laid out in a timeline. It looks more real. Working with editors and cover artists, even more real. Knowing I'm doing this on my own, frightening.

    Here's hoping I don't fall on my face!

    WOO WOO!
     
  20. Andrew Leon Hudson

    Andrew Leon Hudson and Noumenon was his name

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    Best of luck.

    I'm ahead of my word count goals so far this year. I deliberately aimed under my capacities/expectations using that nifty tracking spreadsheet, knowing that there would be days I'd not get anything down; there already have been, but I'm still ahead of the game. I've been doing the nu-bohemian thing, hitting a cafe with my laptop, drinking coffee and typing through the crowd noise.

    And enjoying myself.