Awesome April’s writing progress

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In April, I set myself two writing goals. The first was to write every day – and, more specifically, to write between 6.30 and 7.30 ever day without allowing myself to be distracted by the internet, school work, checking whether I had enough to buy a new summer dress yet – all those little things that can add up to a hell of a lot of non-writing time. Obviously school work needs doing, but for most of March I’d managed my goal of finishing by 6.30 on a weekday, and figured that if I needed to go beyond that I could always work into the evening after my hour.

The second was to use Rachel Aaron’s method, from her book which I reviewed here. The premise is simple – plan before you write. And not just vague planning, either, but planning the entire scene e.g. a conversation about what? A character moves across the room and opens the door. A description of it, basically. Her suggestion is that writing is two sets of decisions – what happens and how to describe it. By doing these at the same time you’re making life much harder for yourself.

April has been my most successful writing month in a long time, and I’m attaching a picture of the word tracker i used to show you what I mean.

There are some days I didn’t write. I was away from home for a few days, and on some of those days I didn’t get to my laptop. I would like to improve that in future so that every day I do write, even if I have to write earlier knowing I won’t get to my laptop at 6.30. Each daily grid (the yellow) represents 1000 words, with each small square representing 100 words.

Writing-April

Writing-April

The orange is planning, the black writing the story. Having the scene planned has made a massive difference, not just to basic word count but to simply getting down and writing. By ending the writing session with a plan for the next day’s scene, it leaves me itching to get on with it, making time to write rather than blowing it off, and it means that when I do sit down to write there’s no faffing about. I know what I’m supposed to write and how it goes – the decision is what words to use. There were some days I only managed fifteen minutes. But there are plenty of days in here where i had to add in extra boxes because I went over the 1000 I’d left room for. 

Between the two goals, I wrote 21, 676 words in April – an average 722. While that might not sound amazing, it is far better than I achieved in March – around 5000, total, using the same counting of plan and story. I quadrupled my monthly count, and I love what I’m writing. 

My goal for May is to increase my average word count; I’d like to hit 1000 average, which will mean making the effort to write every day and keep that up. More importantly, I want to finish the story I’m currently writing, which I think might just about reach novella length, and release that on kindle in June.

 

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