Monthly Writing Update: February 2014

I’ve decided to do a writing update at the end of every month, just to give you guys a general idea of what I’m up to and how my writing is going. Since today is the last day of February (ALREADY?!), here I am to post my first update.

Unfortunately … there’s not much to report. This has been a rather terrible writing month for me. I’ve been keeping track of how many words I write each day, and during February I only wrote 3,584 words. Considering I wrote a little over 18,000 words during January … umm, that’s pretty bad. 

I know February is a short month, but I don’t have much of an excuse. Out of 28 days I only wrote on 8 of those days (and on those days I wrote, it was only somewhere between 100-500 words or so). I don’t think I’ve even made it through a whole chapter. 

So, what’s the problem? I think part of it is that I don’t have much of an established writing schedule. I kept trying to write right before I went to bed, but then I’d find that I was way too tired and I could only get out a few words at a time. I’ve been thinking I should start writing first thing in the morning instead, since I tend to wake up fairly early anyway. (I’d just have to get better at not staying up too late.) 

I think another problem is that I’m nearing the end of my first draft of I Chose the Monster. I’m at a point where things are kind of starting to unravel and everything goes to hell. And … I guess I’m kind of dreading it. Even though I’ve known how I was going to end it since I started it (more than a year ago), it’s still going to be painful. I’ve grown fond of all these characters and I feel bad for all the horrible shit they’ll have to go through towards the end, but … it must be done. *Cries* So I guess my point is that I don’t know if I feel ready to part with this story and its characters yet. Of course, it won’t really be over, since I’ll have to edit it over and over again forever. But still. 

Goals for Next Month:

I think for March I’m going to aim for a goal of 20,000 words. That means about 645 words per day, which isn’t too bad. Hopefully that will bring me to the end of my first draft. It’s already around 93k words right now, so I’m hoping this will wrap it up. (Yes I know, my rough drafts are always super long. But a lot of these words will be cut out later!)

So, dear readers:

How did your writing go this month? What are your goals for March?

Any tips for writing motivation?

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17 thoughts on “Monthly Writing Update: February 2014

  1. During the fall term, I was trying to finish a story, and I decided to set a goal of writing 1,000 words per day. Most mornings, I’d get up an hour and a half before I had to leave for campus, eat breakfast, and pound out my daily quota. Sometimes I’d do it in the evening instead, but I did a lot of morning writing. And amazingly, I actually met my goal most days. It was great; it gave me a sense of accomplishment every day, and I felt productive. I think just having the goal helped; I could write boring, terrible stuff where the characters were getting nowhere as long as I made it to 1,000 words. Sometimes it felt like I was just extending the story needlessly, but I did know more or less where I was going, and like you, I write super long first drafts and then cut a lot. So I felt really good during the fall term, like, yes, I can totally be a grad student and a writer at the same time, yay! This is going to work!

    This term that has not been the case at all. Most days I don’t write. I think a big part of it is that what I need to be writing has changed. I’m supposed to be brainstorming, plotting, and hopefully beginning a new book. Last term, I was in the middle of a story and could just make myself write 1,000 words of continuation. I find it much harder to make room amidst schoolwork for plotting/outlining than for churning out words. So basically the whole project has been on hiatus while I do homework and write papers. I feel less certain that I can manage being a grad student and a writer at the same time. I’m hoping to do some brainstorming over spring break.

    Anyway, that’s my experience! Good luck with your March goal!

    1. That sounds like a good strategy! As I was saying in the post, I feel like it might be a good idea for me to do my writing in the morning. I usually have a little time before class, probably at least enough time to get in around 500 words or more. So I think I may try that.

      I think plotting and outlining can be more difficult than writing in some ways. The hard part of plotting is that you need to come up with ideas, and sometimes the inspiration just isn’t there. Whereas, when you’re writing you at least have some notion of what’s going to happen––even if it’s just the characters walking around or talking or something. Good luck with your brainstorming (plus your homework/papers)!

  2. I had a similar problem with ending Asylum – as we got to The Big Thing, I found all motivation dried up. But then I got tired of it not being done, and everything kicked on again.

    Give yourself permission to do something else for a while, maybe work on a different project, anything, and eventually your mind will work it out for you.

    1. Yeah, I tend to get a bit stuck once I get towards the end … but I just have to push through it, I guess. 😉 I’ve considered working on something else but I also don’t want to get distracted, especially because I’ve been working on this draft for a pretty long time. But I don’t know, maybe it would help to just work on something else for a couple of days. Thanks!

  3. Make goals public like in your blog.
    Report back on progress in public. We tend to cheer or annoy you on 🙂
    1k words per day is very reasonable.
    I tell myself to write for 15 minutes on days when I don’t want to write.

  4. It may not be ‘many’ words, but at least you got some writing done. Better than doing no words at all 🙂 I find a writing routine does help a lot, I make sure and write at the same time even if I’m not feeling it, just to get into the flow. It has helped me, at least, not sure it would work for everyone.

    Good luck for March, I’m sure the words will be flying from your fingers 😀

  5. 3,584 words is still better than no words. I think finding a writing routine that suits you will really help you stay focused. Apparently it takes 30 days to get into a habit, so after a month you’ll be set. I’ve found that keeping an update on your blog is a real motivator for me.

    Good luck with your goals in March, and finishing your draft :).

  6. I started doing a Sunday Synopsis in an effort to motivate me to write more productively. I thought I would be compelled to share my goals and accomplishments for the week, but I just keep rolling them over. HA! Keep writing 🙂

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