Thursday, September 18, 2014

Wrapping Up

And here we go, the final 7 days of my 100 Day Write More Than 500 Words Every Damn Day Unless I've Got A Real Good Excuse Challenge:

534, 539, 687, 797, 845, 670, and 520.

Average amount of words per day: 727. Median: 694.

Good to see the average and the median matching up. My blog entries tend to skew the totals a bit, since I tend to, uh, ramble on quite a bit.

Next up? Same old thing. Archived the old spreadsheet and started up another 100 days. It seems to work for me. Even though I think of it as a challenge, it's more of an accountability thing. Kind of like that Seinfeld don't-break-the-chain thing you hear lifehacker types rattle on about every once in a while.

For some reason, adding that number next to today's date is more important than actually sitting down and getting the writing done. I feel real stress when I can't make a given day's entry. Weird how that works. It's not like I'm being graded or anything.

My daily totals are pretty long this time around. I'm not sure if it's the fact that I spent a week recharging, or if it's that I'm really close to the end of my book or if it's simply what I'm writing: action sequences tend to go fast and there's a lot of action where I am right now. Book-wise, that is. Not in my real life.

But they're trending pretty large for the moment. I suspect this will go back down when I start the next book. Outlining and brainstorming aren't tremendously formal, so there's nothing really limiting my writing speed, but it's pretty hard to wrack up large word counts on them while still remaining productive.

Looking back over the totals for the last hundred days, I can actually remember some of the sessions (I occasionally leave notes next to the numbers).

Weird how mood and your actual ability to write aren't related. I've had days where I've drug myself kicking and screaming into a writing session, started ten minutes later than usual. Maybe I'm sick, maybe I didn't get very good sleep. And...I crank out a cool thousand awesome words with no problem at all and find myself not wanting to stop. I start late, no idea what I'm going to put down other than the bare minimum of what's next on the outline and...magic happens.

Other days I'm full of energy and ready to go. Fire shooting out of my nostrils. The righteous fist of God clenched down tight upon my medulla oblongata. I'm having full-on prophetic visions of all the incredible things my characters are doing. Words are trickling out of my ears. I sit down...and barely squeeze out a mere 500 words of sheer crap. I can hear a palpable whiffing noise coming from the keyboard. It's awful. I come in the next day, laugh contemptuously, delete half of it and then rewrite the rest.

If I were ten percent more of a math nerd, I'd actually track the perceived quality of work versus word length versus level of procrastination/perceived enthusiasm. It would come out looking a bit like one of those biorhythm charts you used to see a lot of back in the 80's: colored sine waves which don't mean diddly squat. But I could probably pull out a lot of spurious correlated facts (like how the price of bananas in Madagascar are linked to the global stock market). Maybe correlate my daily writing ability with the number of times people on Twitter say the word "armadillo."


Progress is great. Back on track. The simple fact that I had a week off and now I'm drinking awesome coffee again is doing wonders for my energy levels. Onward and downward.

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