Wednesday didn’t turn out to be one of my better days. I hardly had any sleep Tuesday night and after my emergency run to the vet, I came home and crashed out on the bed. I didn’t wake up until the poet came home from work.
It was already quite late by then and I hadn’t done any work. All of that carefully planned work? Didn’t do a stroke. It’s okay, I try to build in contingencies as well. Even so, I wanted to do something.
On or around 12 June I discovered the 200 words a day writing challenge from the bestseller experiment guys, aka the two Marks. I’d seen a couple of Tweeps on Twitter talking about this 200 words a day thing and, to be honest, I didn’t think it was a decent enough figure. Nevertheless, I must have followed the link or the hashtag or something, and I saw that it’s actually a thing, and a lot of people are joining in.
I had a look at my own daily output over the previous weeks and the average number of words I’d written, outside of blogs and emails, was nothing. Nada. Zero. So who was I trying to kid? Two hundred words a day was clearly more than I was managing.
So I updated my so-called monthly word-count trackers to see what I could do, and I settled down to see how long it would take me to write 200 words.
On Monday 12 June I actually wrote 1,412 words across two projects: Catch the Rainbow and Diary of a Pussycat. Fourteen hundred words! For the preceding 11 days my average daily word-count was 0. For the following 18 days my average daily word-count was 858.66⋅. On my best day I wrote 2,729 words over three projects; on my worst day I wrote -33 words (revising).
Some days were difficult because we’d been out all day or I was tired. But I told myself that 200 words wasn’t a lot. At the most that would take me 15 minutes, whether I wrote by hand or typed on screen. I could do it in front of the telly if need be. I didn’t have to be at my desk. In most cases I carried on writing beyond the 200 words or 15 minutes. And in June I wrote 15,459 more words than I would have written had I not joined this challenge.
The challenge also meant that a book that’s been hanging around for far too long was finally finished. Diary of a Pussycat has been through ‘cooling’ on the power board and is now in ‘proofreading’. I also wrote a brand-new short story. And aside from the rewrites, I wrote several brand-new scenes for Catch the Rainbow, making it a much stronger book already.
Yesterday’s blog post was a tough one to write and it ruined me for the day again. Even so, I dragged out Catch the Rainbow, and I added another 972 words. They were slow words because I’m adding new material and new scenes as I go along. Current tally = 22,453 words. This despite Scrivener running another update. That’s three in the past two weeks.
This challenge has made me write practically every day, even when I’ve least felt like it. The only day I missed was my planning day for July, which was last Friday. But as I wrote 1,000 words for the blog detailing July, I counted it on the challenge. I cheated that day, but I still wrote words.
I was delighted to receive an email from Storm Publishing asking me if I’d like to be a regular reviewer for them. I sent the form back and by return I was suddenly a pre-approved reviewer on NetGalley.
I *was* going to review the book I just finished for NetGalley, but it was late by now – the day really dragged on – so I saved it for today. I’ll do my 200 words today as well but other than that, I think it’s going to be wall to wall proofreading. Instead, I clocked off and went to read the first of my set books for the fantasy thriller writing workshop starting later this month while I waited for the poet to come back from band practice.
Have a great weekend.
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