I wrote 2.8Kwords today. And 2.6K yesterday. What’s changed, you ask?

Well, Josh has been asking that. Every time I’ve bragged about kicking my goals the last few days, or that I’ve written almost 20K words in less than two weeks, he inevitably asks what’s changed. That’s because I’ve struggled to deliver on my ambitious long service leave writing plan, averaging only about 500 words per day, with occasional bursts of 2-3 thousand per day. Those were usually followed by days of writer’s block.

So what has changed? I decided to examine the last few months, and these are my thoughts:

1. TOOLS.

I credit Scrivener with helping me get my third novel off the ground quickly. I wrote Shizzle, Inc and Indiot in Word, which is fine, but I can only now appreciate how difficult it was to plot a full-length novel with subplots, multiple characters, and several plot twists, in a linear document. Scrivener, if you’re not familiar with the tool, allows you to chunk and organise your novel, so you have a clear “skeleton” of acts, chapters, and even scenes onto which to add finer strokes of your prose. I’m not sure why I’ve never tried it before, especially because it’s free to try for 30 days, and only costs $40 to purchase outright.

(Note: I googled and found a 20% coupon, so it only cost me $32. The coupon is WORDSWITHJAM and only works on the full version, but it may stop working soon. If that’s the case, just Google another one.)

I have also purchased a much more expensive Dragon Naturally Speaking narration software, but I’m finding that it’s difficult for me to use it at the moment. Some of it is my accent, so I will have to invest some time into training my Dragon. The other problem comes from twenty-plus years of “thinking through my fingertips.” I’m not giving up on it, though, and hey – just used it to type out this sentence!

2.  MOOD.

I had a personal drama unfold earlier this year, which meant that I spent my February crying, and March elated when it finally resolved. Try writing comedy when the world is dark and tears are literally streaming down your cheeks almost constantly. Try writing anything at all when you’re so happy, you don’t care about anything, including your goals and aspirations. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you have pressing issues of any kind, concentrating on something else is difficult. All you get are fight-or-flight, not sit-down-and-write response.

Also, while I’ve managed to write about 30K words of Indiot in November-January, I had to eventually conclude that those particular words were garbage, and I was continuously rewriting/editing/deleting as I progressed further with the first draft. So even if I wrote 2-3K on a good day and then deleted as much of the old stuff, the resulting word count was insignificant. And that’s just the nature of writing. I’m thinking what I wrote today is pretty good, but I’m not sure how I will feel about it in another month or two.

3. ATTITUDE.

This is a weird one. Some credit is due to bad reviews and people on KBoards advising me to scrap my cover, scrap my series, and write in a different genre, because chicklit is dead. Those comments hurt, but then they give me some kind of angry energy and desire to prove those people wrong. It also helped that a few days ago I’ve downloaded DMX’s X Goin’ To Give It To Ya and I jump up and down to it whenever I’m starting to feel low. To paraphrase DMX, “Ana’s gonna give it to ya” and “First we gonna write, and then we’ll write more!” DMX is not for everyone, but damn! Listen to it enough, and next thing you know, you just want to drag race and smash things, and maybe challenge strangers to a dance off…like I said, not for everyone.

4.PRIORITIES.

I’ve let my social media stagnate a bit. What can I say, I was an addict. I still reply to messages, but only once a day, and only after I’ve done my daily writing quota. It’s great to have an active following, and I’m not going to let it stagnate into a deadpool, especially not with #ComedyBookWeek coming up, but I think I now have my priorities straight. Writing comes first. Everything else is after.

5. ROUTINE.

Ah, I left the seemingly boring, but very important thing to the last. It’s also related to setting priorities – now I get up early, have my coffee, walk the dog, and sit down to write. Today, I had my first thousand words by 9am. The feeling of accomplishment is like a drug – I had the 2.8K done by 1pm, and then decided to quit for the day, out of fear that I may burn out.  I still had the energy to burn – you should see my sparkling kitchen.

Tomorrow the goal is 3K. Ana’s goin’ to give it to ya!

59 Comments

Filed under Self-publishing and marketing

59 responses to “I wrote 2.8Kwords today. And 2.6K yesterday. What’s changed, you ask?

  1. You should be proud of those numbers. If I get 500 words in a day, I’m stoked. And that takes a lot out of me. I can’t even imagine 2,000 – 3,000. And don’t listen to the critics.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Nic. hey, 500/day consistently equates to three novels per year, so not bad 🙂

      I don’t listen to those that say “you suck”, but I try to shift through other garbage to find the bits of wisdom. Hard work…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. We writers all appreciate your outline of what works, what doesn’t, in achieving your word count. I agree, attitude and mood can make a big difference. And routine is HUGE for me. Good luck and keep at it!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Good luck. And yes, routine is big; habit is formed, and before you know it you write a ton every day. (Though I usually keep it to 1k words, on purpose. Too many can be just as big a problem as too few words.)

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Pingback: I wrote 2.8Kwords today. And 2.6K yesterday. What’s changed, you ask? | Kim's Author Support Blog

  5. One of the things that motivates me to write is reading books about writing, which is kind of funny because there are some books that didn’t even have useful info or anything that i didn’t already know, but it made me want to start writing. Another thing that makes me want to write is just plain good writing. Almost every time I read Stephen King it makes me want to lock myself in a shed somewhere and just not stop writing until I can be as good as him

    Liked by 2 people

  6. But having a day job kills me. Seldom can I work a full day’s work and still have the energy or will to sit down and even write a few hundred words. I was a substitute teacher this year so I had plenty of days off when I wanted, and even when I did work I would get off at 3:00 so I could still get my quota in before 5. After 5pm I’m no good until about 11 pm, but by then if i have to get up for work the next morning i can’t just go write for a couple hours. What I’m really struggling with is this summer I have a job with normal hours, 7:45 to 5:00, and i work with middle schoolers, so by the end of the day I am physically, emotionally, and mentally spent. I haven’t written anything this week. :S

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Last summer I had no job and I got to the point that I could write 2,000 words in two hours. I have no idea where that guy went lol…

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s hard, what can I say – I’m about to return to my full time work in 6 months. I was thinking of what I would do, and the answer would be to do writing first – go to bed earlier, wake up earlier, and write first thing in the morning. Hard to do with your schedule, but possible. I’ve had a couple of mornings over the last few weeks when I woke up at 4.30 and 6.00, then couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and wrote. was very tired during those days, but pumped.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this, Ana… in a similar boat over here and reading this helps tremendously.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good for you!! Routine has turned out to be the most important one for me. As to criticism disguised as feedback – consider the source!!
    Do those folks telling you to scrap this, scrap that, what’s in and what’s not have best-sellers?
    They’re just wannabes. IGNORE them.
    Do your own thing, you’re doing it well !!!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thank you, Donna. I try hard to shift through the garbage to find the useful bits. For example, I am about to rewrite my blurbs (and hope you will give me your feedback when I post them tomorrow). Just not sure why some people go out of their way to pour dirt over my books, one going as far as to say that they wished they had a paper copy, just so they could burn it. Unreal…

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Great job! Best of luck with pumping out those words 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. It is a good thing you live on the other side of the world, otherwise, I might have to confront you over the large bruise on my chin from where my dropping jaw made contact with my desk. Well done and thanks for sharing your secrets.

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Sounds like you’ve found your groove! Go girl!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. I love ‘X Gonna Give It To Ya’! Great motivation song. Did you find it by watching Deadpool too? The whole priority thing really resonated with me, I’ve been trying to do more social media and it really cuts into my writing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Have not seen the movie yet! Will get it on DVD or something. I did hear it from the endless Deadpool commercials in my gym. Want more songs like that! I also love “Bombs over Bagdad” by Outkast for that crazy energy.

      I think a bit of social media here and there, on public transport, in waiting lines, or elsewhere you’re stuck for a few minutes, is all you need. Solid chunks of useful times should be devoted to writing.

      Liked by 2 people

  14. I finally gave Scrivener a go, their 30 day non-consec trial. It’s not as intuitive as I had hoped and was about to give it up, but after reading how useful you have found it, I’ll persevere with the remainder of the trial. Thanks for the honest post of the life of a writer 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you 🙂 Oh, no – it’s not intuitive, and I think the user manual is terrible. It’s so long and wordy, that I almost gave up too, but then I jumped in with the basic capabilities, and found that I’ve learned more by trying, rather than reading explanations.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. Really like your post and it comes at a good time for me as I’ve been struggling lately to get ANY words written! I recently purchased Scrivenor and hope that tool will be a great aid once I learn its ins and outs. I’ve also been trying to sort out a jumble of thoughts that keep me from my writing life – not done yet but hopefully getting there. Thanks for sharing your thoughts today!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Sylvia 🙂 In terms of Scrivener, don’t let its complexity scare you off. It took me a week to jump in – the tool has so many capabilities, it’s mind-boggling. best to start simple, just with the pin-board and ability to structure the document. And ooh, it has a name generator, which I found very useful!

      Liked by 2 people

  16. S.E.May

    They are impressive numbers any way you look at them.
    “fight-or-flight, not sit-down-and-write.” Isn’t that so, I loved that line.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. olivia barrington

    You are so talented and intelligent you amaze me. I just want you to know you WILL write in many other genre’s through out your long writing career just now you are writing chicklit and it’s funny as hell. If you enjoy what your writing it will be good and you will have an audience for it. I really enjoy how you write your blog the tone, etc. How you come across is very different from your novel and that is how I know you’ll write different books in the future and all of them will be successful. You have a talent for the written word. I have a lot of songs that get me pepped up but I’ve been around for a while so I’ve got a large library to play when I need it. Routine is important because you need to discipline yourself and your brain to realize it’s time for the writing mode. I find though when I’m doing mundane things like dishes,etc. my mind goes crazy with story lines. And once I start to write I don’t like to stop until I can’t physically write anymore. Not the best thing, I’m sure. Please let me know how well the Dragon program works as I want to try it because I’m terrible at typing. I could tell you were really applying yourself to writing by the amount of tweets and blog entries. Smart girl. I got addicted to twitter and had to stop. Attitude is everything when it comes to being successful and yours is on the right track. As for personal problems,oh my, they have put a damper on my writing, so I understand exactly what you mean. As for the jerk who wants to burn your book probably jealous he can’t write comedy. People like that aren’t worth worrying about. Just remember when your jumpin up and down to Goin’ to give it to ya, that you have a great support system in Josh, your family, and all of us who follow you on your blog cheering you on. Go Ana, Go Ana!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Olivia 🙂 It’s wonderful to know that people support you, not only your family, but those on the other side of the globe as well. It’s amazing, really.
      I will try to put more effort into Dragon today. I can say already that it works fine and would work even better for you, as you don’t have an accent (it recognises American one). Just annoys me to say out loud punctuation commands, so I skip them and add them in later. Not the most efficient way, but it flows better for me.

      Like

  18. Wow Ana! You amaze me dear. Glad to know that writing so many words is a possibility, when here I’m stuck to get to write a 100! 😰😰
    You inspire me girl! 😄

    Liked by 2 people

  19. “Personal drama unfolding”…I’m living that mow. Like yours, it is slowly resolving itself. This is a great post. You are in your zone.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. Wow, Ana…completely unsurprised that this one has received a LOT of response and, as is the norm, I’m so utterly tardy to the party that I couldn’t donate an original thought to the subject if I tried!

    So I’ll just agree with all that’s been said and add my own, “What a great and timely post!” to the mix. Oh, and that I’m going to go ahead and give Scrivener a go!

    As for the jerk who wished for a “burn copy”? Get the guy’s addy, print out a copy ( doesn’t have to be complete) and send it to him with a note (or ask him for his addy using this message, re-worded as follows):

    “Dear A**hat,
    As my greatest goal is to please my readers, it is with a full heart that I send/would like to send, this/a printed copy of my book to you, just for you to burn.
    Have a ball.

    Yours,
    (…etc…)

    But type it – don’t handwrite it, or he’ll have an undeserved treasure when you make your millionth sale on your award winning series/stand-alone novel!

    Love ya’, kid!!!

    Pearlxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Pearl 🙂 As for the haters, you just have to ignore them, as much as it burns. I did, however, report the review as inappropriate, because the person attacked other reviewers that like the book as “unintelligent” and “easily impressed with words.” This is where I draw the line, dammit!!

      Liked by 1 person

  21. This is amazing! You have to teach me how to be more productive. I wish I could write that much in such a short amount of time. Congrats!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. I use Scrivener and Dragon. Dragon is great. Hard to understand my accent too! I’ve actually gotten much better at proofreading because of the random words it inserts. The exercise is great motivation to get up and go do the words. Well done, and good luck 😀

    Like

  23. Well done on your word count. I’ve been getting a bit too sucked into spending time on Goodreads, Facebook et al myself so need to draw back as my ongoing edit is taking a l-o-o-n-g time. So well done on rationing that till after your daily word count.

    With Scrivener I had about 3 goes trying to get through the “tutorial” then I bought a course by Karen Prince on Udemy and went through quite a bit of that and it all made a lot more sense. I’m hoping to do a future book with it; at present, I have books needing rewrites or completion and they are all in Word including the current edit. What did disappoint me on the compilation (into ebook etc) side is that basic functionality such as keeping centred text centred is only available in the Mac version and I have Windows of course. Otherwise, it would be much more of a complete solution for me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Pam 🙂 I’m expecting to do all editing in Word, cause I just prefer it, so I’m not expecting Scrivner to produce a pretty document, although I’ve heard that some people use it exclusively. I don’t know, just something about editing one continuous document, that makes it feel like a book…

      Like

  24. Pingback: To Scrivener or Not to Scrivener? – Tomorrow Is Another Day

  25. Totally inspirational in particular the bad review thing, taking it on the chin and then firing on and proving to people that chick lit can conquer all (;))I have to admit I didn’t realise Scrivener was so cheap, the way people spoke about finding free versions made me think it was unaffordable and so I just left it to the side (I’m terrified of free versions of programs that can turn into money swallowing pits). well done and long may it all continue for you. I’m currently up, down, up, down, but hopefully I get there in the end! Great post, thanks (oh and thanks as well for the writing comes first thing, I forget that sometimes!):)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Bernadette! I hope it does continue, and tell you what, I’m about to post the details of my second book launch, it’s crazy how much I’ve learned in just one year. First one sold 12 copies the first week, the second will be well over 100.

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Wow! You just described my life in one post! lol … I recently brought Scrivener after using the iPad app that I loved. After buy my mac a few weeks ao i thought I’d give it a go, but finding it totally confusing! I need to get myself focussed though as I need to figure it out before November!!

    I too get distracted by social media so think i might give it a miss for a few weeks.
    Thanks for inspiring me to get on and learn Scrivener!

    Like

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