So…how did the first week go?
I wrote 5,315 words in the first week. (Some years I blow past daily word counts, and other years I don’t even hit 3,000.)
A friend is curious about how the challenge works for me this year, so here’s a breakdown:
I hit the 1000-word target on four out of seven days. My best day was 1,665 words, and my worst was zero.
I’m not surprised about hitting four out of seven days because my writing goal is often to write more days than not in a week. With a job, life, and other things going on, it’s a good thing to shoot for.
Friday and Saturday saw no writing at all, and I don’t feel bad about that. Friday was spent putting a personal podcast together, and Saturday I spent the day hanging out with my wife.
The podcast is writing related, and I spent more time early Friday morning, during lunch, and after work assembling a series of recordings I started making as I neared the completion of a readable draft of the last novel. The reason: if the book resulted in representation for me, I wanted to start a podcast about the entire process from a book being accepted by an agent to [hopefully] publication…and beyond.
There are several other podcasts chronicling the process out there, but they all seem to stop once the author releases a book. I wanted something that kept going.
And so, I put together years of short audio diaries into one big file and listened to it with my wife on Friday. (I put more time into the recording than I would have put into writing, which leads me to sharing what I already know…)
Writing is More Than Writing
More than ever, writers are expected to come with a built-in audience; they’re supposed to be on social media, blog, record audio and video…just so much more than simply writing.
The day I spent putting together the recordings I mentioned would have likely resulted in my most productive writing day had I put in the same amount of time to piling up words.
I wrote a 750-word blog on Wednesday, and the following day, the last episode of the recordings I mentioned.
Yesterday, I thought about writing a blog about the recordings, but it would have required time finding good quotes to complement the points I want to make. That would have taken away from actual writing time. (Yesterday was a 1,049-word day.)
What I Know about My Process
I have never professed to be a fast writer. Dyslexia (and other challenges) make writing a slow process for me. So…I would much rather get 250 – 500 good words down in a day (and even spend the rest of the day reworking those words when I have time, here and there), than sitting down and vomiting a massive word count.
I’ve written about this before, how I’m not as much of a fan about writing that’s like being on a roller coaster as I am writing that takes its time. I lost a friendship over this, having known someone who was unrelenting in his criticism of “slow writers” and people seeking means of publication other than self-publishing multiple e-books a year.
But I know I’m a good writer. Maybe not the most prolific, but it seems when you can’t write well, perhaps you write a lot. (And there’s nothing wrong with that, unless — ya know — you’re an asshole about it.)
Many days, I knock out my 500 good words and then write 500 – 1,500 words here on The Juggling Writer.
Some days I knock out my 500 words and record podcasts…or spend time doing other things in the hope people see what I’m doing.
It’s not enough to quietly toil away on a handful of words and wander the countryside thinking. That would be great, but today — in two hours — I log into my day job at 7:00 a.m. and only get a break during lunch until the workday ends. Then it’s time spent hanging out with my wife, dinner, and relaxing. (Okay, and tonight is also Among Us night with friends!)
We’re all doing enough to write at all, and while I like this annual challenge, it’s not about the word count for me, but looking at what I do a bit closer than I might on other busy days…
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And if you want to know the gist of the roller coaster analogy without jumping to that entry, it’s that there’s nothing wrong with writing stories that feel like this:
But I’d rather write and read stories that feel like this: