February 18th, 2012, 08:07 AM
That's pretty much what I do, Fung Koo. For instance, yesterday morning I got up and got started late and only had about 40 minutes before my two daughters were up and rampaging (they're 3 and 6). I wasn't feeling inspired to continue with the text so I jotted down a few bullets points for each of the next ten chapters, worked a bit on my encyclopedia/glossary for the world, and then managed to squeeze out about 400 words of the text once the girls were off to school.
Now some days I just decide to sleep in, but even then I try to sit down and work on something, whether it is notes for an idea, further plotting, or the encyclopedia...oh yeah, and maps - I'm working on maps.
All that said, I totally get the bits and starts thing - and it works in micro as well as macro cycles. What I mean is not only are there larger cycles of, say, not writing for a few weeks or months (or, as was my case, years) and then bursts of productivity, this also works week by week and day by day. In the five complete weeks of my recent writing phase I've averaged exactly 4.4 days a week (which an increase over the last couple weeks, so I'm settling into 5-6 days a week). In total (including this week so far) I've written 27,520 words in 24 days of writing, for an average of 1,147 words per session. But the daily word-counts have ranged widely; here is how they break down in terms of number of days within each range:
Great days (1,500+ words): 5
Good days (1,000-1,500 words): 11
OK days (500-1,000 words): 5
Not-so-great days (<500 words): 3
My goal, obviously, is to both write as many days per week as possible, and have as many "good" days as possible.
Now this sort of tracking might seem unnecessary and a bit nerdy, but it helps to keep me on track. The weekly goal of 5,000 words helps me pace myself and not only gives me a push if I'm starting to lag a bit, but also helps me relax and not stress if I'm doing well. The only down-side is that I've found that I'm more prone to take a day off towards the end of my writing week (which starts on Wednesday - that's just the first day I started), which has kept me from breaking the 6,000 word/week mark. But I guess I shouldn't complain, given that I've reached my weekly goal in four out of five weeks!
Last edited by Alchemist; February 18th, 2012 at 08:34 AM.
February 18th, 2012, 08:23 AM
Another thing to note is that I've also found that as I've stabilized my routine, I am writing more frequently but less words per day. Here are the weeks so far:
Week One (4 days, 5696 words): 1424 words per session
Week Two (3 days, 5690 words): 1897 wps
Week Three (4 days, 3691 words): 923 wps
Week Four (5 days, 5757 words): 1151 wps
Week Five (6 days, 5194 words): 866 wps
I had a much higher word count per session in the first two weeks, but only wrote 3 or 4 days a week. I haven't had any "mega-sessions" (2,000+ words) in almost a month, but I've been writing more frequently. And the reason the word count was lower in Week Five is that I had three relatively weak days (344, 408, and 617 word counts) - on account of "pushing out" the writing. In other words, rather than get discouraged or not bother, I still managed to push something out on those relatively off days.
So my adjusted goals are:
A) I write at least five days a week
B) I have more "good days" (1,000+ words) than not
C) I write at least 5,000 words a week
D) I sometimes break 6,000 words, and occasionally even 7,000 words
Last edited by Alchemist; February 18th, 2012 at 08:33 AM.
February 22nd, 2012, 09:04 AM
Riyria Revelations Author
My routine...I write 6 of 7 days a week and start first thing in the morning and go until lunch. After lunch if I'm "really into" something I'll return. In general I shoot for 2000 words a day.
The 7th day is Wednesday and is my day of reflection. I usually go out of the house and think about my WIP while I walk and at a coffee shop. I take only a notepad and consider where the book is now and where it is going. This is where I might add scenes, adjust the outline, or decide that something written just isn't cuting the grade.
March 14th, 2012, 10:28 PM
I typically start writing around 11:30 - 12:00 and will keep at it until I've written at least 150 words. I don't set myself time-based goals, because these just make me feel trapped and stressed, and trying for a word count goal of anything more than 150 words tends to be just as unhelpful for me.
At this point in the day, for me, it's usually just a case of forcing myself to settle down and write. Once I've gotten those 150 words done, I can heave a sigh of relief and know that if I want, I can give myself a pat on the back (actually, I usually reward myself with a cookie or some other such treat) and quit for the day.
Typically, what happens is that by the time I've gotten those 150 words down, I'm well into the swing of things and will keep on going to about 300 or 400 words.
Sometimes, writing ends for the day there, but oftentimes, once I've gotten my brain "warmed up", I'll go back to the computer to write a bit more throughout the rest of the day.