Hello, hello, hello, lovely Readers! It is now ONE DAY (not counting today) until the official UK release of my beautimous book The Night Itself! You can read a slightly early book birthday interview with me here at the Author Allsorts (conducted by soon to be debut-author Natasha Ngan) for inside information and pretty pictures. If it's not up when you click, check back later, it's definitely scheduled for today. *Excited*
But! Today is also the first Tuesday of July! So it's time for our first InCreWriJul check-in.
The idea today is for each of us to set a realistic but
challenging goal for what we'd like to achieve in July. We'll share it - me in this post, you guys in the comments -
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.
Here goes! I started work on book #3 of The Name of the Blade last week, and I have just over 12k, which is around 16% of the projected first draft total. This is based
on the word count of the first drafts of The Night Itself and Darkness Hidden, which were each about 73,000 words (subsequent drafts with my editor plumped them both up to between 78,000 and 80,000 words).
I'm not going to try to finish book #3 this month, because I know the moment I put that kind of pressure on myself things
inevitably go wrong (see the story of what happened when I tried to participate in NaNo one year).
However, having finally nailed the right ending for Darkness Hidden in the last round of edits (well, I think, anyway) right now I am overwhelmed with enthusiasm for book #3, and I really want to take advantage of that and get as many words as I can down on paper before the end of this month. This is not just because of the constraints of the InCreWriJul deadline, but because I'm expecting to get the next (and hopefully final!) round of edits on DH back somewhere around the end of July/beginning of August. I'll also need to take a break then to get all my ducks in a row and do my tax return (another facet of being a self-employed author no one ever warns you about). Both those things are going to interfere with my focus on book #3 like crazy; it's inevitable. I need to make the most of the focus and time I have now, and that's where InCreWriJul comes in!
Most of you guys know that I'm a longhand drafter. 90% of my work gets scribbled in a notebook first, and then typed up and revised and re-drafted on the computer. So, keeping the idea of 'achievable and realistic' in mind, this is my goal:
For the month of July I will write five days a week, starting off with a longhand writing sprint of one and a half hours. During that one and a half hours I will not check emails or Twitter, stop to look something up on Wiki or in my series bible, pause to edit, or engage in any other procrastinatory activity. At the end of the writing sprint I will take however many scribbled pages I managed to achieve and type them up, revising and rewriting as I go. This will take as long as it takes. If I have time when I've finished typing, I'll do another writing sprint of the same duration, but the goal is to do ONE of these each day, first thing in the morning.
My final goal will be to produce around 10,000 typed up words per week.
This timed writing sprint is a new thing I've been trying over the past week, since I started book #3. It's based on the fact that when I was working full time in an office, I used to produce ridiculously huge amounts of scribbled notes during my stingy tea and lunch breaks, even while sitting on the bus to and from work. I also noticed that when I had a short-ish train journey and knew just how long I had before I arrived at my destination, I could write like crazy and end up with large quantities of scribbles which were just as good as anything that I might labour over for a full day when I had the time. I'm not sure if my years as an office drone conditioned me to like to write fast in short bursts, or if that's just the way my brain is wired, but I definitely find that knowing I have a limited time helps me to get some frelling words down without lots of umming and aaahing.
The five days a week target is based around the hours that I spend looking after my dad. Sometimes after I've done my writing sprint, I'll be too busy to write the notes up straight away. Sometimes my writing sprint might be broken up into a few different chunks because I'll be doing observations, checking meds or doing other things. But none of that matters so long as five times a week, I do that writing sprint. Even if I end up having to wait and type up several days worth of notes in one go, it won't matter. The longhand notes will be there on the page waiting.
I also think it's a good idea for me to have one day a week off - from both looking after my dad and working - in which to do all my shopping and chores and the rest, and also 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
We'll see how I managed to do next Tuesday, when we do the Week Two check-in!
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 July? Do
you have any worries or need any encouragement? Share it all in the
comments! (And remember, if you want to be included in the prize draw at the end of the month? You need to comment on THIS post and on each InCreWriJul post until the final one on the 30th of July!).