There is no such thing as a “typical” week. There’s the ideal average, but that’s something in your imagination, good only for measuring your progress against.
So are word counts, which are the ultimate measure, proof against any argument.
I had an atypical week, which by its very uniqueness is really a typical week.
MONDAY: 8,184 words.
TUESDAY: Plotting next book
WEDNESDAY: Finish plotting and started writing. 2,145
THURSDAY: 4,608 words
FRIDAY: Marketing, instead of writing
SATURDAY: 4,721 words
On last week’s log post I mentioned that I had finished the book I was writing that week, and would talk about it this week.
As you can see by the Monday entry, above, I did finish it. I was so close to the end and sliding down that long, pleasent slope to the finish line, that when noon came I kept on writing into the afternoon until I was done. It was a really good, solid start to the week.
On top of that, a small bonus. Because the next book is book 5 in a series that has a very strong series arc and established characters, I was able to plot the book very quickly.
I finished plotting mid-morning on Wednesday. Normally, when I finish the plot or writing halfway through a day, I usually take the rest of that writing session “off” (which means, I move onto admin stuff straight away).
I didn’t on Wednesday. I thought it would be good to get rolling on the first draft straight away, while the story was in my mind. That turned out to be a good thing. I only wrote 2,145 words on Wednesday, for the start of any book is slow, but it set me up very nicely for jumping straight into the book the next day, instead of staring at a blank page with “CHAPTER ONE” at the top (possibly, the most intimidating of blank screens a writer ever faces).
I will remember this in future. It is akin to finishing your writing day halfway through a sentence, so all you have to do the next day is finish the sentence to start rolling.
Personally, I have never been able to leave a sentence unfinished, although I think it’s a great idea in principal.
Instead, I will scribble notes just underneath the point where I left off, telling me what I was thinking just before I stopped for the day. That helps me the next morning, too–it’s the same principal as the unfinished sentence, but it’s more comfortable if you’re a compulsive finisher.
Thursday was a typical day. Word count was low, but I was already so far ahead, it didn’t drop my weekly quota into the red.
For the same reason, I let myself get sideswiped by some heavy-duty marketing and packaging research that sucked up the entire morning. Again, no problems, as I was ahead for the week.
Saturday, I worked far longer than I usual schedule for Saturdays and got even further ahead, which gave me Sunday off. (Live Well, remember….) By Sunday, the story was rolling and I knew that taking a day off wouldn’t budge it off the tracks.
(I was right. Today, as I write this, I know that Monday was a good day, word-count wise.)
I finished the week 2,400+ words over quota. In other words, a good solid week. Also, I’m now ahead of the production schedule by more than a week, as the schedule says writing on this book doesn’t start until the 19th (the day before this is to be posted).
I plan to increase that lead time as much as possible with some more solid writing days, and I will use the spare days to get some serious work done on the thriller series, and then start the next book early, too.
If I wasn’t also trying to write books in my spare time, I would just continue to work on the next book and get even further ahead, because that is the equivalent of sick leave and disability leave: Each day I bank is time I can take off the way employees do for family emergencies and more.
As I’m still in the middle of this mad experiment, I’ll use the days for the thrillers, instead.
Until then, back to work, all of us.