Hello, hello, hello, Dear Readers! It is Thursday and so time for the very first InCreWriMa check-in.
Today, I hope we're all going to set ourselves a realistic but challenging goal for what we'd like to achieve in May. We'll share it, and basically make a pledge to try our best to meet it, and be there for everyone else who is trying to meet theirs, during this month.
So here's me. I'm working on Katana #2 right now and as of last night I've got 34,000 words. That's about 45% of the estimated total - based on the word count of the first draft of The Night Itself, which was 73,000 words (although subsequent drafts with my editor plumped it up to 80,000).
I have no ambition of trying to finish Katana #2 this month or anything like that. The moment I put that kind of pressure on myself things inevitably go wrong - see what happened during NaNo last year, when I first caught the bug that I not-so-affectionately called the NaNo-Virus, and then tripped and ended up with a prolapsed disc that had me flat on my back in agony for three weeks.
So, yeah. Not going there.
What I'd mainly like to do is get a bit of consistency back into my writing routine. At the moment I'm going a couple of days without getting any work done, and then squeezing out a couple of thousand words, and then going another couple of days... I can work like that if I have to, and eventually the book will get finished. But I know that if I write more regularly my productivity will go up, and the standard of the writing will improve, and I'll generally feel better about myself and the world.
When I was writing Shadows on the Moon I still had my office job, and that meant I really only had Wednesdays and the weekends as full days to write in. But during the office days I wrote pages and pages of notes in lunch and teabreaks, on the bus, even during slow periods when the phone wasn't ringing (although of course when the bosses noticed that, there was Hell to pay - we were supposed to spend that time re-reading departmental memos or tidying our desks. Pfft). Quite often I'd get to Wednesday or Sunday and find that I had fifty pages of notes to type up. And I really loved that feeling; even though I had to revise and redraft every handwritten page as it went onto the computer, I knew I'd already broken the spine of whatever I scene or chapter was working on, and the hard work was done.
Keeping the idea of 'achievable and realistic' in mind, then, my goal is going to be to write six notebook pages each day, six days out of the week in May. I know that most days I could probably write more than that - and maybe I will - but I want to know that even on my weariest, most tired out and depressed day, I can still approach that target and feel like it's doable. So, six pages it is.
As to the six days: I'm giving myself Saturday off because that's the day when I do all my shopping and chores and the rest, and also the day when I might get the chance to do a bit of baking or read a book, see friends , go to the cinema, etc. Much as I feel the urge to hole myself up in my Writing Cave in every spare moment that I have, I know it's not particularly healthy, and that making time for some Real Life (TM) is a good thing.
You'll note that I haven't given myself an actual word count here, just a number of handwritten notebook pages. That's because it's more important to me at this point to keep moving the story forward and to ease myself back into writing daily than it is to wrack up a concrete amount of digits.
But we'll see how I managed to do next Thursday when we do the Week Two check-in!
OK, now it's your turn guys. What are you working on? What is your target and why do you feel that it's useful and realistic for you? What is your ultimate goal - where do you want to be at the end of May? Do you have any worries or need any encouragement? Share it all in the comments!
P.S. Sharp eyed readers might have noticed that - at long last! - I got around to putting up the promised ALL ABOUT WRITING page, where I've put links to all the writing advice blog posts I've written, broken down by type. So if you're looking for help and inspiration you can also head there. Have I missed any posts you liked? Let me know - everything starts to blur together after a few hours in the archives :)