Challenge,  On Writing

Day Four…

Book One…

The move and workshop stuff won the day completely, along with holiday stuff. I expected it some, because I knew the move was getting close to being in a good spot and I just wanted to get it done.  But then I also got out all the emails for the special workshops and also recorded one week of another.

Scary busy.

How Did It Go…

I had every plan on getting to the writing today, more than likely in the middle of the afternoon after lunch. Ended up unloading and moving hundreds of boxes, securing shelves on walls, moving furniture into place, unloading books, and so on and so on.  Wow, did I get a lot done.

And also got out all the letters for the special workshops starting up on Tuesday, recorded the first week of one of them in the run-up to the big celebration display here, and then watched that celebration with Kris and Lisa. It was amazing and I pretty much hate fireworks when in the hands of stupid people. But this was a professional display from the big hotels and it was amazing. First time in my memory I have actually enjoyed this really stupid holiday.

So by the time I got to my writing computer to even think of moving the novel forward, it was already 12:30 am and I was exhausted, physically from all the labor. I managed just over a thousand words before producing words just became a joke.

Tomorrow will be another day of low word count, then from Tuesday on I will have full days. So not worried in the slightest.

Some Observations

For some reason, more than likely just experience, I am not feeling any kind of ticking clock from the challenge. And interestingly enough, it has been a long time since I actually really pushed on a book. I don’t mean push in comparison to what others consider normal or very fast, I mean push for me.

Over the years, through many books, I sort of set up a range of speeds for my novel writing. I learned to trust that range.

Back in the contract deadline days of traditional publishing, I would look at what was needed (usually around 80,000 to 90,000 words), back that due date up to a suggested start writing date, add a few days for misses, and that would be when I would start a book. Other book deadlines influenced that amount of time as well.

A comfortable speed for me back then under a medium deadline was about 10,000 words a day. I could maintain that for an entire novel without issue, but with some focus. So a novel from sputtering start to finish would take about ten days.

These days, my just puttering-along speed ranges from 0 words to 3,000 words a day, depending on the day and the project. I sort of think of it like driving through a city on the regular streets. Lots of stopping and starting is perfectly normal. Not as much fun, but normal.

My speed on the other end was upwards of 15,000 to 20,000 words a day. (Remember, this was all clean, finished copy. I never did rewrite a novel.)

Now I only write 40,000 word novels on average. Never had a need to try that upper speed.

Remember, I wrote that novel in 5 days in a hotel room while traveling and playing poker with friends. Those 8,000 words a day didn’t seem that hard. I have a book of blogs about doing that if you want to see how I managed it.

So now, because of a lot of life stuff, I find myself at around 11,000 words in four days starting this challenge. That by all measure is my normal sputtering start. And I am not worried.

See why I am not.

After hundreds of novels (think about that number for a moment), I know my speeds and have tested the upper and middle ranges a lot over the years. Might be fun to test a middle-upper range at some point along this challenge. Just for kicks and giggles. Haven’t done that in a lot of years.


One Comment

  • Kate+Pavelle

    Wow, you are getting some serious exercise with this move! Who needs the gym, right? (Yeah I know, it’s different.) How are you guys managing in the heat? I know everything is AC’d, but still.
    As for your writing speed, congratulations. Your word count is kind of like mine (grin). Yes, I am working on speeding things up, but its a process.
    Referring to Kris’s post on Patreon, I find that ever since the state of crisis got more or less handled (vaccinations, improved cash flow), I sort of imploded, as though all my stress got released all at once. I’m working on rebooting most parts of my life, which includes writing. Also, I’m trying really hard not to manufacture an emergency just to feed my adrenaline junkie needs. That kind of a boost comes at a cost.
    But yes, onward!