Writing Progress: Week Ending February 23, 2013

What made last week a poor week for wordcount wasn’t dome with me this week…

Book of M:

  • Background Notes Wordcount: 100ish words
  • First Draft Wordcount: 240ish words

Story of V:

  • Wordcount: 0 words

Grand Total: 340ish words

Granted, that’s still better than last week. I’m grateful for that, as I was just this side of having a zero-wordcount week. I expect writing time will continue to be slim pickings for a few more weeks at least, so weeks like the prior week will be more common than not in the near-term future.

That’s just life right now. You’ve got to live it. I really want to be writing more – I want to dive deep into “Book of M” – but it’s just not an option. Other priorities take precedence. I’m being evasive, of course, but hey: Privacy. It matters.

What I did write last week I don’t have an exact count on. I’ll update this post after I’ve been able to confirm the actual total. But it was roughly in this neighborhood. (ETA: Finally had a chance to look up the actual numbers: 131 words of background, 205 in new draft.)

The background stuff was a few short notes about the “Book of M” short stories I mentioned last week. The rest was new material. It could’ve been more, but I actually spent most of what little writing time I had available last week reading. As in reading what I’d already written. Hey, it’s been something like over three months since I’d written anything new for “Book of M”, and I had to re-familiarize myself with the characters and situations they’d found themselves in. The downside? Since I’m likely to spend the next few weeks not writing – or at least not writing much – I’ll probably have to do all that re-familiarizing again. Which slows me down even more. Sigh.

Well… as I said last week… that’s why I gave myself fourteen weeks off.  (Which, incidentally, I’ve already burned through five of those fourteen weeks – and if this week goes as expected, I’ll soon be at six.  I’m really counting on the middle-stretch of the  year being a little more friendly to me, writing-time wise.  I know the holidays will be here again before I know it, and with them yet another highly probable dearth of writing activity.)

So, how about you, this week?  How are things going?  For you writers out there (which is most of my readers here), how do you handle those times when life and its necessities and priorities literally leave you no time for writing?

6 thoughts on “Writing Progress: Week Ending February 23, 2013

  1. I’m pretty much in the same boat. There is time (a little) but too much going on to really be able to concentrate on writing anything new. So, I’m devoting my limited time and attention to revisions. I’ve been reposting one mystery story per month, but this Friday there will be two. So, that’s something.

  2. It’s hard sometimes. Definitely. But over the last couple of months I’m come to realise that sometimes it’s hard because we don’t make use of all the short bits of spare time we have. I remember hearing that Max Barry wrote his first novel during his lunch-breaks of his day job. He’d grab a sandwich, go to his car, and fire up the laptop for 30 minutes every weekday. Eight months later, the first draft was finished. When I first heard that I thought to myself, “I could never write like that.”


    These days I write for an hour every evening after the kids are in bed, and make sure that no matter what else is going on in my life I get that time. But what that’s really taught me is that it doesn’t matter how much time I spend every day, it matters that I spend SOME time every day. Because I don’t have to re-familiarise myself with the work, I don’t have to get back into the mood, and my sub-conscious is consistently working on the story. About a week after I started this system, I realised that if I’d just allocated 20 minutes a day to my writing, I would have finished my first draft almost a year earlier.

    Twenty minutes.

    Anyway, I hope this doesn’t sound all evangelical or anything. This is what worked for me when it feels like there’s no time for writing. Good luck!

    • Oh I’ve heard that message uncounted times before. And there’s a kernel of truth to it, of course. But sometimes, you really don’t have twenty free minutes a day. For instance, at work I’ve mostly been using my lunch breaks to… work . I just have that much going on there… There isn’t time for something like writing. Home life, off late, had been much the same.

  3. I’d like to offer the flip side of time efficiency… while we can usually find some time to squeeze out of the day, our creative brains do benefit from a little down time. To be doing something at all moments of the day is a recipe for CRAZY. I know. I’ve tried. Its usually those quiet distracted moments when ideas come, for me… in the shower, while taking a walk, staring out the window. Sometimes not writing, is still writing work 🙂 You may not even realize it.

    That said, there are some story problems that only writing can solve. I finally wrote a couple pages of the new novel… not much, just under 500 words for this week… but it’s something.

    • Right now I get those moments while walking the dog. The smartphone is nice, but I can’t really use it top write fiction while walking the dog. Do I get quiet, thinking about writing things time. Actual time for writing those things down? Not do much…

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