Word Count Revisited

At the begining of December I talked about Word Count, I’d like to revisit that for a moment and offer some revisions. I proposed a very ambitious writing schedule for myself in December. As I look at it now, I realize that it was a little too ambitious. I’ve been writing somewhere between 1,000 and 1,600 words with each writing session. Of course this means I’m anywhere from 400 to 1,000 words behind quota every day. This is making for a lot of red numbers on the excel spreadsheet that I use to track my writing. All those red numbers are adding up to a feeling of failure. The feeling of failure makes me not want to write, which leads to playing xbox. This is not the path I want to go down.

Here’s where I justify taking a step back. I work a eight hours a day and commute for close to another two hours. I’ve got the most understanding wife in the world, but one who would like to see me. I’ve got four kids and a dog that all require my attention and I enjoy spending time with friends. Trying to write 2,000 words a day is putting a lot of pressure on myself, pressure that is resulting in me spending four or five hours a night in my office with the door closed with the end result of feeling the nagging doubt of failure. So I’m going to make a change.

I’m not going to reduce the amount of writing I’m doing, but I am going to reduce the daily expectation that I’ve set for my word count. As before, I’m going with the expectation that I’m just not going to be able to write everyday. There’s just too much going on. So five days a week is still the plan. But I’m going to revise my goal to 1,000 words a day. This should still result in me writing two new books this year and finishing A Difficult Dinner. So here’s the new timeline.

Complete the 1st draft of A Difficult Dinner by January 31st, still expected to be about 120,000 words.

Begin writing Sitting Duct, February 1st. I’ll set a goal here of having that done by the end of August.

I’ll start editing A Difficult Dinner in the middle of March, not sure how long that will take, but I’ll have to set a time frame for that so it doesn’t become the eternal project, I do want to shop it around after all.

September will find me starting a new project I’m thinking Crazy, Deadly, Cool. According to my schedule I should be able to get 87,000 words on it by the end of the year. My goal is of course to finish it by years end.

I’ll start editing Sitting Duct in the middle of October, and that will be done by the first of the year as well.

By the end of the year I’ll have three finished novels. If I have any skill at all, and assuming I don’t sell A Difficult Dinner this year, I’ll have three novels to shop around at the start of 2006. I feel good about this new plan. Some of the weight is lifted. Later.