Monday, April 1, 2019

No Fooling ~ A Writer's Month

Current Project:  To Wield the Wind
Writing Stage:  Sketching Ideas
Today’s Word Count:  200 ~~ Total Word Count:  5,920 / 33,000
Goal:  5,000 words per week > Weekly Words Achieved 200
Project Start Date:  March 25
Projected End Date:  May 5 Publication

These blogs are a day-by-day account of my writing time, along with method and focus as well as everything that interferes and distracts from my goal.  Sometimes I will have a lot to say;  some days, not so much.

The goal is 1,000 words per working day, with 5,000 words as the weekly goal.  I want to write for 30 straight days, then Proof Plus for 10, and publish on the 10th day.

How did I arrive at this daily and weekly word count as my goal?  The 4 Bees:
1.      Be realistic.  Don’t push for what I wish, but for what I can do.
2.      Be time-aware.  Use writing time wisely.  Find places in the day to achieve the goal.
3.      Be devoted.  Stick to the one fiction project.  Keep focused throughout the day on achieving the daily goal.
4.      Be specific.  Know what I’m doing, when I’m doing it, why …, and how.

The 4 Bees are today’s Lesson 1.

Realistic goals are key.  I spent the first three months burning through three projects.  To keep myself focused on writing rather than fall into a slump, I need to continue on.  

However, burning through creative projects will quickly burn me out.  Since I’m tackling a third fiction project at the same time that I write these 30 nonfiction blogs, I need to ease up just a little on the fiction side.  Instead of pushing for 2500+ words per writing day, I’m going for 1,000+ wpd.  I will achieve more wpd than 1,000, but I’m not counting the wpd for these blogs.

Why did I pick 5,000 words per week?  I jumbled up business and creativity.  No fooling.

Whenever writers start a project, they need to have very good creative and business reasons.

Business and Creativity are odd companions for writers.  We need the first;  we thrive on the second.  We have to learn to work with both together.

If you haven’t yet done so, you need to create a Business Plan for yourself, projecting from where you are now to where you want to be five years from now.  This is Lesson 2.
·         Vision:  the image of where you want your business to be in five years
·         Mission:  the niche filled with your writing, the focus that will make your writing different from other writers of similar stories
·         Objectives:  concrete goals that prove you are fulfilling your vision
·         Strategies:  specific methods to help you achieve each concrete goal.
·         Plans:  pull out a calendar and start drafting your seasonal, monthly, and weekly plans that will complete each strategy and goal.

So, what did I do today?  I didn’t plan to write at all.  No fooling, even though it’s April Fool’s Day.

I planned to take off the day because I only took one day for myself during the entire month of March.  Remember what I said earlier?  Burning through projects can quickly burn you out.  I self-published a book in January, a second in February, and a third in March.

I ran errands.  I cooked.  I cleaned.  I played some games on my phone.

But the work that I’d accomplished last week called to me, giving me ideas for this upcoming week.  So, in extremely rough form, across 10 index cards, I sketched out several ideas.

This is Lesson 3.  If you have several ideas flood over you, scribble them down.  You don’t need to write them neatly.  They just have to be readable.  They don’t even have to be organized.

I know that I wrote more than 20 words per card, but a conservative estimate of wpd is 200.  

That’s what I’m recording.  That’s what I’m telling you.  With no fooling.

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