The first week of June (June 1 – 7) turned out to be my best writing week ever, in terms of sheer quantity. In those seven days, I wrote a grand total of 14,357 words. That is more than 2,000 words/day, four times my baseline target of 500 words/day. The previous record of 13,608 words came back on the 7 days ending August 15, 2013.
This recent 7-day run also marks the first time that my 7-day moving average has passed 2,000 words/day. I’ve been finding more time to write, or making more time, because at 2,000 words/day, that amounts to an average of 1 hour and 20 minutes of writing time each and every day. As of this morning, my writing streak stands at 321 consecutive days. I’ve hit my minimum writing goal of 500 word for 50 consecutive days. I have now written 464 out of the last 466 days. And for those keeping score, since the beginning of 2014, I’ve written 132,663 words of fiction.
Of course, these are just numbers. But over the last 7 days, I’ve felt both a wave of relief as well as an almost unrestrainable enthusiasm for what I am writing. In a way it is ironic. Less than two weeks ago, I posted about my writing struggles with the second draft of my novel. It looks like that might have been a turning point for me. Since then, I feel like I’ve turned things around and found the right footing for the second draft. Two big changes came in switching from first person to third, and from a single point of view to moving between two characters.
It’s been working well. So well, in fact, that I find myself wanting to write more even after I’ve finished for the day. I lay in bed last night thinking about the story, and almost got up to add more words, but managed (barely) to restrain myself. 4,400 words (that’s what I managed yesterday) was great and there was not need to do any more. It could wait until morning.
One thing I do is that the novel will probably require another fairly extensive draft, although not the kind of complete rewrite I do in my second drafts. But now that I am resolved to that, I feel a bit freer to write and less worried about if it is all working. I get the sense that it is, mostly.
It’s hard to say if I can maintain my present pace, and if so, for how long, but I’m going to ride it as long as I can manage.
When you think about your writing when you lay in bed and don’t act on it, do you take any notes of your thoughts so that you can remember them in the morning?
Jonas, I used to be pretty lazy and casual about this and tell myself that I’d remember in the morning. And then I wouldn’t. So these days, yes, I do jot down notes. I use the Drafts app on my iPhone and for each active story I have, I have a workflow that allows me to quickly jot the note in Drafts and append it to a note in Evernote that I keep for that story. I keep that note on my shortcut bar in Evernote so I can access it quickly and review all of the ideas and notes I’ve added when I’m away from the story. One example from two nights ago simply reads: “Start Ollie’s first scene with the dog in the night.” Kind of vague, but enough to remind me of what I intended to do.