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Writing Progress: Week Ending May 19, 2012

May 21, 2012

It’s been a slow climb back to normalcy – or at least back to a good writing productivity level – and there’s still a long way to go:

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 0 words
  • First Draft Wordcount: 470 words

Grand Total: 470 words

While I had certainly expected the past two weeks to be at-or-near-zero in terms of my wordcount productivity, I had honestly hoped this week would look a little better. In reality-land, though, I only had an opportunity to sit down and write once this past week.  While Home Project Phase II is mostly behind us now, there were still a few minor after-shocks.  And there were other things going on.  And, bigger than that, there was some serious timeline and project planning for Home Project Phase III.

Yes, there is a Phase III coming, which I’ve known for a while.  But I finally have a sense of the timing of Phase III, and it’s coming up pretty soon.  There will likely be some preliminary work here and there in the next several weeks.  But the real work, during which I expect another cessation of writing activity for a period of some several weeks, should get underway in the latter half of July, with some tremors likely lasting into early August.  Of course, things will come up, as they do.

On the balance, I think my initial expectation, at the start of the year, of losing only 7 weeks of regular writing productivity due to Home Projects, Holidays, etc. was probably a bit optimistic.  So far this year I’ve had 5 weeks in which my productivity for the week was 0 words.  That leaves 2 weeks left on my original goal/plan.  Frankly… between Home Project Phase III and the holidays later in the year… I can kiss as many as 4 or 5 more weeks good-bye, writing-wise.

But that’s not all!  Of the remaining 14 weeks so far this year in which I did write anything, I met my minimum weekly goal of 2,000 words on only 6 of them: i.e. less than half the time.  If I don’t count the five non-productive weeks, I should have written at least 28,000 words worth of fiction material so far this year (including background notes).  But I have written only 25,532 words so far: I’m off my target by about 9%, and the year is quickly approaching the halfway-point.

Basically, I’ve written an average of 1,300 words per week so far this year, or 1,800 words per week on weeks I actually spent time writing.  It’ll take quite a few 2,000+ weeks to bring that average back up to my goal for the year.  And, hey, I knew that 2,000 words a week was a stretch goal.  It wouldn’t have been a really useful goal if it wasn’t a bit of a stretch.  But it’s still disappointing.  And it’s disappointing to know that with the other non-writing projects still on the horizon for the year that it’s unlikely I’ll get back on track for the year.

Anyway.  I’m just grateful for the time I did have writing this past week, and hope for more in the next few weeks before things get really busy again.

The writing I did do was split roughly evenly between some new material on the next scene in the story and some revisions and additions to an earlier-written scene.  I have some more revisions and additions to earlier-written scenes sitting on the back of my mind – mainly to the purpose of ironing out the protagonist’s motivations for certain actions early in the story.  When we first encounter her, we find her embarked upon a certain undertaking.  But she hesitates and turns back – and I realized that the reasons for her turning back aren’t particularly clear.  Nor for her later turning forward once again.  She’s seemed kind of erratic – which, yes, people can be erratic sometimes.  But I do want her character to be clear from the reader’s perspective, and I think that means clearing up her motives so that her course reversals make sense.  So that’s what’s up for next week, plus hopefully more on the recently started 4th scene of the book – after the first true mid-chapter scene break of the book.

So, then, how was your week?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. May 21, 2012 11:09 pm

    It was a wonderful week! No writing to speak of save a return to my blog which was just as much of a conquest. The week also included a few hours of studying videos of robots which was a necessary step in preparing for the opening scene. After all that, I’ve finally found myself with the desire and urge to start writing the novel. That is a very welcome thing after its disappearance a little over two weeks ago.

    Keep up the good work! You may not be where you want to be, but you continue to walk forward and that is something to be celebrated. Cheers!

    • May 23, 2012 11:04 am

      That feeling… that’s important. I think it’s an integral element in what motivates us to write. I’m glad you found it again. 🙂

  2. May 22, 2012 5:26 pm

    Well, nine percent off your target isn’t _that_ bad. 25.5k is a fair amount of words written after all. Slightly more than I’ve written in my current story, by coincidence (23.8k). I just finished posting part five (I didn’t post anything last week — the particular scene was tricky — but I posted a big chunk this week).

    The weird thing so far is that each part has been shorter than the one before it. Not just a little shorter — around a thousand words shorter, and in one case 1,500 words shorter. But part five was actually a little longer than part four, so that’s good. I was afraid that the story was going to end by the parts just gradually wasting away to nothing. 🙂

    • May 23, 2012 11:07 am

      Well, I suppose it’s not terrible, no… but if the novel is aiming at between 150-200K words (I’m still not sure yet, and I won’t be revising my length estimates yet until I’m a little further along), 25K in half a year (which should translate to 50K in a year) makes writing this one book a very long, multi-year deal. I’d intended to do it in 2 years if possible. But at this rate that seems… unlikely. Anyway, glad your story stopped it’s shrinking/disappearing act. 😉

  3. May 22, 2012 6:11 pm

    Disappointed, but not discouraged, I hope! The year’s not over, and sometimes “life happens” in what can be easily viewed as our favor. The fat lady has yet to sing. Keep trying your best!

    My revisions for Part 1 of my last project completed (I think; I still have to read through the whole thing again to my #1 fan/critic, to make sure it passes muster), I’m taking a break from that megawork to brainstorm what I intend to be my project for Camp NaNo in August (as I’d only just gotten the memo about it maybe a week ago, the session in June would have been cutting it a little close to suit my plotter’s soul). I know that my August weekends are going to be too packed to get any writing done, so that leaves only 4/7ths of the month in which to make that 50K first draft happen. Looking at the numbers, the goal feels slightly insane. I guess that at least partly explains why I’m going for it. (:

    • May 23, 2012 11:09 am

      No, ultimately not discouraged. But a little saddened/wistful. I’m doing what I can, though. Anyway… Camp NaNo? That’s a new one on me. Isn’t one crazy-stupid-fast-novel-in-a-month month per year enough? 😉 Good luck with it, though!

  4. May 22, 2012 10:29 pm

    I agree with Anthony. I think you did well, and your estimate doesn’t seem too far off the mark. Maybe its time to readjust your goals? I do that once in a while, taking into account how much I really have ended up writing.

    For me though, last week I did nothing writing wise. I’ve just come back from a much needed quiet holiday… It’s still going to be very busy non-writing wise for me until the end of June. I’ve even got ‘freedom day’ marked in my agenda book LOL Maybe then I can finally get back to it. I’m starting to miss it…

    • May 23, 2012 11:11 am

      Yeah, I’ll probably do an actual re-adjustment of my goals when I get closer to the midpoint of the year, so more like the end of June. We’ll see where I am at that point and revisit my goals then. I’ll will that time to go faster so you can beck back to writing, too. I know when I start to miss writing… it’s usually not a good thing for me to let that go for too long.

  5. May 23, 2012 6:54 am

    Well, a start is a start, and sometimes it isn’t about the quantity written, but the quality – at least that’s what I tell myself 🙂
    As far as my own week goes, my novel is on virtual hold this week because I hace a couple of articles I need to get finished that I have been putting off for far too long!!

    By the way, how do you find blogging your progress? I only ask as I’m doing a similar thing. I hoped it would spur me into action (I am world class at procrastination), which it does to a point, but the guilt, ah the guilt, when I don’t do as much as I had intended…

    • May 23, 2012 11:26 am

      Heh. Well, yes, there’s the guilt. But by and large I’ve enjoyed blogging my writing progress. I’ve been doing it now for… what… wow, almost a year, now. (My first “Writing Progress” update is here.) I’ve had a lot of setbacks since then. (Wow… reviewing some of those old “writing progress” reports… I was supposed to be done with my current novel WIP as of last month. Now I’m looking at another year-and-a-half or more to completion, and I’m only in chapter 3 of the first draft. That’s a big missed target.) But overall, blogging my progress has made me more encouraged to keep on going when I experience those setbacks. I wrote a guest-blog about this recently here.

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