Ramping Up the Writing

I’ve written already about how much my writing slipped in the fall last year. It was for a variety of reasons, but I tried to give myself the leeway to have that slow time and not beat myself up about it too much. For the most part, I was successful.

However, it also means that I’m not as far into my current novel as I would like to be. That’s not really going to fly for me right now, so I’m pretty set on getting caught up with this book. If there’s one thing I don’t like, it’s having a deadline constantly looming over me that I feel like I’m not going to make. Not that I have a hard deadline on this just yet, but I’m treating it as if I did, for reasons that will become clear later. (Besides, it’s totally in my normal MO to make up deadlines only I care about.)

What this means is that I’m shooting for 2,000 words a day (4,000 words if I’m revising). That’s . . . a lot of words, especially with all the other things I’ve got going on. (And especially when two months ago, I felt like I couldn’t get any words done at all each day.) I’ve only done it for this week so far, but it’s actually gone better than I expected it to. For the longest time, I’ve had my goal at 1,000 words a day. I had always noticed that the second 500 words went faster than the first 500, but I also thought by 1,000 words, I was pretty much out of things to say.

Judging from these first few days, that 1,000 word wall was largely only in my mind. Actually, it feels like writing (for me) is most difficult at the beginning each day, but by the time I get through those first 500 words, the hard part’s done. I’ve got momentum going, and I can plow through the next 1,500 without too much trouble. It’s taking me around an hour and a half, give or take.

If you’re not a writer, that probably sounds like a lot, and honestly, it is. 2,000 words is what many full-time writers shoot for. Stephen King, Brandon Sanderson, and others all cite that as their goal, give or take, and those are some (very) prolific authors. I’m not saying my writing is up to King or Sanderson levels (they have way more books under their belt than I do, which makes a real difference), but I do feel like I’m getting better at the craft as a whole. This would/will be very good news if/when I can get more book contracts. So far, I’ve been shooting for a book a year. Two books a year would be fantastic . . .

In any case, I’m trying not to get too far ahead of myself just yet. There are plenty of people who started a marathon and thought, “This running thing really is much easier than I figured,” only to end up gasping three miles later. We’ll see how this goes for now. All I really need to do is keep it up for a few weeks, and I won’t just have recovered the lost words I didn’t get in the fall, but I’ll be ahead of the game.

Wish me luck.


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