Tag Archives: Writing Streak

The New Year (A Bit Late)

I’ve been absent for quite some time. All sorts of life type things ruined my plans for November and December. I did manage to write every day, but it was at a snail’s pace.

But, 2012 taken as a whole turned out better from a writing standpoint than 2011 by a large margin, and I’m hoping to do the same again for 2013. I have big plans for this year, which include finishing up the A Wizard’s Work series and writing the next Lords of Genova book. This year is all about working on the series that I have in progress. It’s ridiculous for some of you to have to wait upwards of two years for the next book in a series because I can’t stop myself from writing up every new idea that I come up with. So, along with those two series I already mentioned, there will be another novella or two for Grim Repo, and another Zombies Ate My Mom novella, too (that one is already started).

I’ve decided to remove the individual book progress meters from the site in favor of an overall yearly progress meter, but even that might go at some point. The only real measure of how well I am doing is the number of projects I get finished.

So, what will you get this year, for sure (unless I get hit by a bus)? Here’s the list, in expected order:

A Tower Without Doors (Novella)
Fragments (AWW #2)
Minders (working title for a standalone short novel)
Coercer’s Lament (Lords #2)
Grim Repo 2
Reworked (AWW #3)
Zombies Ate My Mom 2

I have plans for other titles beyond these, but I’m not ready to divulge them. I will say, though, that if I don’t get hit by a bus, I think you will be pleased.

My Writing Streak is My Friend

Yesterday was day seventy-five of my current writing streak. What’s a writing streak, you ask? It’s essentially consecutive days that I write.

I have wanted to write every day for quite a long time. I can’t binge very well. I can sit in one place for an hour or two, and then I get distracted by something—kids, the internet, the phone, the internet. I think the most I’ve managed to write in one day is about six-thousand words, but that pace is not really sustainable for me. I wear out on it.

So, since I can’t binge my way to copious production, I have to do it the slow, steady way, which means writing more days than I don’t.

The first half of this year was an exercise in frustration. I had one hundred and one days in the first six months that I didn’t write at all. That means I only wrote on eighty-two of the first one hundred eighty-three days, which I don’t consider to be a formula for success.

I tried and tried to write every day, but I just couldn’t make myself. I would let things get in the way. Up until June, I wrote six days in a row, twice. That was my longest sustained effort. One of those times, I was at a workshop, and had no choice in the matter. In June, I managed nine days in a row near the end of the month. I don’t remember what happened to stop it, but it was probably just a day spent playing Diablo III or something.

Finally, in early July, I got fed up with myself and my lack of progress toward writing every day. I hate the days I don’t write. I hate myself on those days. It’s not healthy. So I decided to challenge myself.

I created a spreadsheet to track my writing progress. Every day that I wrote, I put the wordcount for that day in the cell for that day. I saw where I was at (and how many holes were in it).

And then I started writing, and counting. I told myself I was going to start a writing streak, and I was going to keep it going as long as I could. And then, I told my writer friends. In the early days, I tweeted the day of the streak, and my friends cheered me on.

The first few days weren’t great. I didn’t write a whole lot of words, but I told myself that any number was better than zero, and that if I continued writing, the days would get better.

They did get better. And now, it’s day seventy-six, and I can’t imagine going the entire day without writing something. I can’t imagine doing it tomorrow. It’s become a habit. Something I need to do before I go to bed. There have been a couple days where I slipped the words in right under the wire, but I got them in, and I went to bed happy.

I’ve written 113,000 words in those seventy-five days. I don’t feel like an asshole, any more. I don’t feel like one of those people that talk a good game, but ultimately all they do is talk.

If you’re struggling to write every day, like I was, challenge yourself to a streak and tell your friends about it. Set a goal for a one week streak. On the last day of the streak, set the goal to make it two weeks. Then twenty days. Then thirty. Then fifty, seventy-five. My next goal is one hundred days. Only a multi-day coma or death will keep me from it.