Three days ago, I hit another milestone. I have written over 1000 words a day for 100 days in a row. More specifically, I’ve written 1000 words a day of fiction each day. Yay me! (Now it’s 103, but who’s counting? Oh… me.)
Of course (and I will go into this again when I finally put out the “What I wrote in May” post), this feat was not done without a lot of learning, a lot of shifts in how I’ve been handling things. It’s taken a LOT of work and even more sacrifice (sleep primarily) to keep this streak going. And I want to keep it going.
At a pace of about 25 words a minute (which isn’t fast or slow), it takes me nearly an hour of actual writing time to complete the day’s goals. Often, it is difficult to secure that hour of time (without interruption). Even getting a few minutes here and there doesn’t produce much in the way of words. Writers don’t just sit down and write. Like anything, it often takes at least a few minutes to gather up the focus to write. Then (more often than not), the interruptions occur before I’ve even achieved a single word.
Now, much of this is on me. I do a terrible job securing time in the first place. Even a greater threat to the focus is my own tendency to go “oh! Shiny!” and run off to whatever just caught my interest.
That leaves me to the night to finish off the work I should be able to handle during the day if I was better at what I did.
Sleep is actually not the first sacrifice. It just is a compounded sacrifice. What has been sacrificed first is my desire to write for my site. Blogs, poetry, short stories, and any general non-fiction topic go into the trash heap of tasks. Marketing and editing also fall to the side. These are all things I’d like to do more. I could do more, if I had the time to do it.
In other words, if I made the time to do it.
But to say I am truly upset about that would be a lie. It’s a drive to get to and maintain a certain level of performance. Writing fiction in the novel or novella I am focused on is the primary goal right now. To me, to be successful I need to be able to produce content. Blog content isn’t the target; books are. I need to write more books. I need to be able to write more than one a year. 1,000 words is a respectable clip. That means 4 (and a half) 80,000-word novels each year. Or it could be 12 or more 30,000-word novellas. Or some mix of that and other story content.
Given that, 1,000 words is my goal that I am sticking to. It’s my baseline now. Everything else must build from there. Efficiency. Blogging. Editing. Marketing. Anything and everything else must come after ensuring I can complete 1,000 words on 1 fiction project a day until that project’s 1st draft is complete.
Heck, that’s why I didn’t get this up until 3 days after and I still haven’t gotten the “What I Wrote in May” post finished!
It is going to take a lot of continued work to build off this accomplishment. And I even know that there will be days in the future that I am just not able to write for one reason or another. I will have to forgive myself for those days if they happen. But no matter the work and the setbacks, it’s the continued effort and discipline that will get me through to the next 100 days.