Thursday, 10 May 2012

InCreWriMa Week 2: CHECK IN

Happy Thursday, Dear Readers - and Happy 300th post on The Zoë-Trope!

*Sets Free The Winged Monkeys of Celebration* Aw, look at their little leathery wings going. How cute. Fly, my pretties! Spread unicorn sparkles and terror everywhere you pass!

Isn't it perfect that my 300th post here should be the International Creative Writing May check in? This whole thing is about bringing writers together, encouraging us all to have run being creative, and sharing our achievements. And that's what this blog has always been about, too! Ah, I love it when a (not-really) plan comes together.

(BTW, excitement may cause me to make more random film references than normal. I apologise in advance).

So today we check in after one full week of InCreWriMa. How did you do? Did it drag as slowly as the last Man of Steel remake, or slip past swiftly like the one about the genius playboy billionaire in a metal suit? Did you hit your target? Fly lightyears beyond it? Miss it by miles? Get all your week's writing done in one day and then chill while the rest of us suckers were slaving away? Have you had to readjust your goal, perhaps. Please, share everything in the comments! And I urge you not to respond only to this post and to what I'm saying BUT TO EACH OTHER as well.

Talk to each other, guys! Offer advice, congratulations, commiserations, make friends. That's all part of the fun.

I will start off by talking about how my week went. Well, on Thursday last week I fully intended to begin properly by writing my full day's target of six pages (you may or may not remember that my target was to write six pages a day, six days a week this month - I hoped to get those pages typed up each day as well). But then I got into a Twitter discussion which spawned this inescapable inspiration for a blog post - which evolved into BLOGGERS vs. AUTHORS. So I basically spent all Thursday researching, writing and revising that. And I can't exactly regret it - it got nearly 1,500 hits the day it went up!

No big deal, I thought. I'll just write an extra two pages on Friday, then squeeze a couple in on Saturday (normally my day off) and with another two extra on Sunday, I'll have caught up!

Fate was listening. Fate laughed at me, and pointed and mocked. As a result of which, after writing my eight pages on Friday, that night a third round of edits on The Night Itself appeared in my inbox. To be fair, my editor had warned me they were coming - I just forgot about it.

After facepalming a few times, until the refreshing tingling sensation in my skin did away with the urge to faint, I made a new plan. I would write my six pages in the morning, and work on the revisions each day as soon as those six pages were done. That would mean I wouldn't have much (if any) time to type up my six pages like I'd intended to do every day, but that didn't really matter - it would just make it a bit more difficult to track my actual word count progress. And my goal this month wasn't about amounts of words written as it was about moving the story forward.

How did that work out for me?

Um...can you spell AMAZING?

It's been fantastic! Knowing that my goal wasn't an unspecified 'as many words as possible (hurry up, write MOAR!)' has really seemed to free me up. Even on days when I've been taking care of my dad, I've still felt OK to sit down, write half a page, get up and do observations, sit down and write half a page, get up and check meds, sit down... I've managed to hit target every single day, and without stressing out about it. And then in afternoon, after my dad's treatment is complete and I'm back in my Writing Cave, I can switch my brain into edit mode without any sense that I'm tearing myself away from my WIP, because I know I've taken my characters a step further on their journey already.

What's more? You guys, several times when I've been writing in my notebook I've completely 'zoned' and ended up exceeding my target but a LOT. I worked out that by this stage in InCreWriMa - seven days in - I should have written thirty-six pages. I've actually got forty-one!

I really hope that next week goes as well.

All right now, your turn. Tell all in the comments!


Betty said...

wheee I've written two pages this week. But never fear! I'm not stressed about missing my 10 page target, it's supposed to be fun and I'm going to keep it that way or I'll end up having a tantrum ;)

Ruby97 said...

I didn't exactly reach my goal of outlining 4 chapters of my novel a week, i only got 3 :/ But i did have 3 assignments that needed to be done, so that took LOTS of time. Tomorrow i am going to write a little more :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Liz: Well, you've kept going regardless - and your attitude is still really positive. So it's all good, right?

Ruby: Three is still an excellent achievement, though. Good luck with your assignments :)

Connie B. Dowell said...

I see I'm not the only one getting off to a slow start, but I figure it's bound to be slower in the beginning. I imagine I'll pick up speed in the middle and then slow down again at the end.
I've had to rethink my goals, as it occurred to me that while I could write 20,000 words this month, I wouldn't be doing any revising and would therefore have nothing to submit to critique group. So I'm still doing 20,000 words: 10,000 written, 10,000 revised. So far I've just been writing and will switch to revision mode tomorrow. (I've NOT done the whole 10,000, I just want to break it up and get something ready for my group next Saturday.)
Best of luck to all! Keep writing.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like everyone has achieved something - even if it's not as much as they'd aimed for. Congrats all - keep up the good work - and can I join your club? My goal was 500 words a day, 7 days a week - but I kept track of my progress this past week, and oh, it wasn't so shiny:

May 3rd: 442/500 (tolerable)
May 4th: -9/500 (ouch)
May 5th: zilch
May 6th: 504/500 (woot!)
May 7th: 447/500 (so-so)
May 8th: approx 350/500 (but I did some editing that really fixed the scene I was working on (yay), so I probably wrote quite a lot of words - just didn't get a major net increase)
May 9th: zilch (woe!)

That's a total of 1734, unless my calculator is a fibber. And I'd aimed to write 3500. Oops...

Hopefully will get some words later today. :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Connie: Sounds like really good thinking to me. Good luck with it!

Emily: Wow, you're a girl after my own chart. Yes, chart - I've got one almost exactly like yours in my notebook, keeping track of target and actual achievement. I think you still did really well! Keep going!

Helen said...

Well it's still not creative but I hit my goal of writing five new blog posts this week! Actually, since sometimes I'll write just part of one and finish it up another day I think I actually got six and a half done, much more than I was expecting this week.One the other hand I was actually late with one so that kinda balanced it all out....

Rachel Balcombe said...

I went over my targets this week (yay!). I did 867 words in total (I was aiming for 700), and 16 pages in my journal (aiming for 7), so on the surface it looks really good. The journalling I'm happy with, but the words I did mostly in 2 or three chunks, mostly at the beginning of the week. So I'm going to slightly adjust my goal to WRITE REGULARLY, and focus less on the wordcount. Here's hoping writing every day in the coming week! (This week it's my baptism and my brother's birthday, so if I manage to write every day it will be amazing! XD)

Megha said...

I wrote a whole bunch of STUFF (must've been only 500 words, but every word counts!) and it got deleted! This month is not going very well so far X-( And add that to the horrible weather we're having! It's raining again!

Anyway. Small talk. I'll check out my word count in a while.

Zoë Marriott said...

Helen: of course it's creative! It came out of your own brain, didn't it? Keep up your excellent work :)

Rachel: Well done! Good luck with developing a regular writing routine.

Megha: I think that 500 words still count! They don't count towards the final wordcount of your story, maybe, but they do count towards words written for InCreWriMa, right? I should have made that a rule!

Rebecca Lindsay said...

I didn't quite reach my goal, although I don't think it went too bad. My goal was to write four pages a day, four days a week, but I only managed:

Day 1: 6 pages
Day 2: 2 pages
Day 3: 4 pages
Day 4: zilch

Since I have an exam next week I might change my goal to 12 pages a week, and if I manage to write any more than that then I will consider it a success :)

Unknown said...

I've not gotten much written at all this week, around two A4 pages our of my target of five :( But two is better than nothing! And this time next week the most evil of my scary exams will be over so I will be calmer and have more time!

Zoë Marriott said...

Rebecca: I think you did really well there, actually. Congratulations. And by all means adjust if it would work better - exams are pretty darn important too.

Amy: Two is *definitely* better than nothing! And I honestly seem to have picked the WORST month to try and get everyone writing. You all have exams!

Aimen said...

Well, halfway into this week I had already given in to the fact that I wouldn't be able to complete my target. But since I wasn't spending all my time watching Prison Break but actually keeping up with my school work, I didn't feel as awful about that as I usually do.
But then O_O something awesome happened. I looked at my page count and I was supposed to finish 9 pages in a week. I managed to finish 8!!!
Honestly speaking, I think this is the happiest I've been in ages ^_^ Sometimes, it's really awful when you feel like your grades are dropping and you don't seem to be making any progress with anything else either. But recently, the new year's kicked off and I've been keeping up with my schoolwork and story-wise, everything is clicking into place because of these eight precious pages of notes.
I think this has been brilliant for me, Zoe. Thanks so much :)
Congratulations on meeting your target.
I hope everybody else made progress as well :)

Rebecca Lindsay said...

Zoe: Thanks :)

amy_celestia: Congradulations on what you wrote :) I feel your pain with the exams, I can't wait until they are all over lol

Rebecca Lindsay said...


Zoë Marriott said...

Aimen: Whoooot! Well done Aimen :)

Elyndra said...

I had a very up and down week. Last Thursday I managed to reach my goal without any problems. Friday was a disaster, so instead I worked a bit on Saturday and Sunday which I said I wouldn’t. Monday I was unable to work because I had to go visit family. Tuesday and yesterday went like a charm, both days I exceeded my goal. Today my health decided to keep me entertained, so I barely got anything done.

So three days out of six went well, I’ll ignore the others, and with two extra days I originally didn’t plan. I think for the first week that’s not too bad. I’m a diesel engine, I need time to warm up. ^-^
I might actually try your method and write in notebook the next week. I feel I often get stuck editing things as I go. There is something about the blinking cursor and white computer screen which seems to attract my inner editor. When I wrote something on paper late at night during the past week it seemed to go a lot smoother. It might be annoying having to type it out afterwards, writing the same piece four times isn’t fun either.

And congrats to anyone who started. That's the hard part.

Bethany K. Dellinger, MFA said...

Well, I got off to a good start on my rewrite - especially on the research end, but then Sunday, the nausea hit full force and I've been down for the count ever since. Just lookiing at the computer screen long enough to type this make me want, know, run for the toilet. I always get the all day, all night version of morning sickness, and this time is unfortunately no different. But it is for a good reason, right? I'm thankful for this little one, in inspite of feeling hijacked.

So I think my goal this month definitely needs to change. Instead of trying to do a chapter a week, my goal is to be happy if I get ANY writing or research done at all. Because come July, I will be in the second trimester, and I will feel like superwoman! And THEN the rewrite will fly.

Good luck everyone!

Zoë Marriott said...

Elyndra: Well, you struggled on gamefully despite that, so I think you've done amazingly. I think it's a great idea to switch writing methods - I often find that really helps me, just by allowing me to scribble without self-editing. Good luck!

Bethany: Eeep! I feel your pain - when my (thankfully) rare migraines hit, I have much the same problem with concentrating on computer screens or even pages in a book. I hope you feel better soon!

Alex @ The Blethering Bookworm said...

Well my first week was a fail. Well not exactly, I did get half a page done. Better than nothing. If life will leave me alone for week 2 I'll hopefully get more written than that :)

borko said...

Hello everyone!
Congratulations to the ones who think they did well. My goal was average 1200 words and i managed to write 929. I'm actually happy (maybe) because i haven't written for a LONG time so this is big for me! For week 2: write 300/400 words a day (3 days). And draw two pictures with ink (separately from my school assignments). I wish more luck to everybody in the following week! :-) -- Borko (borky_qk)

Nara said...

Happy 300 posts day!! ;)

I fared better than I thought I would, considering schoolwork. I exceeded my target of 700 words every weekend with an approx. 900 words. So, yeah, it's going well at the moment!

Anonymous said...

I haven't written anything this week. I've been feeling too neurotic, and I'm graduating tomorrow.

Phoenixgirl said...

I got a moderate chunk written, and made some progress on working out the details of what happens next. I'm dealing with the aftermath of the Climactic Fight, so my brainstorming mostly consists of "who goes where, who's in good enough shape to do what, can this happen with this number of people, and if it can't how do I bring in more..." It's feeling more like a logic problem than plot development. Right now I'm figuring out how they could make a temporary stretcher for a wounded man from things found at your ordinary inn.

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: Good luck :)

Borky: Sounds like great progress - I'm really glad that InCreWriMa kickstarted you to begin writing again.

Nara: Yay! Well done, you! Let's hope next week is as good.

Lesley: It's not the end of the world. Maybe next week will be better.

Phoenix: Wow. That sounds complicated - best of luck with it!

Isabel said...

I'm so happy that you're doing so well, Zoe!! Keep it up for the rest of the month!

I didn't meet my goal every day, but I did much better than I would have if I hadn't had the motivation! I wrote every day except for Friday, Saturday, and Tuesday, and that was mostly because of my busy schedule, so I'm relatively pleased. I think that May is going to be so much more productive for me now that I've set this goal.

Tomorrow I won't be able to write because I'll be on a trip with my class, and my uncle is arriving from Brazil the next day, so we'll have to see how much writing I'll get in next week. Great job everyone else so far!

Zoë Marriott said...

Isabel: It sounds like you're doing brilliantly too :) I'm delighted you feel you've got that extra bit of motivation - that was what I was really looking for in my own work. Good luck with next week!

Ruby97 said...

Zoe: Thank you :)
Everyone else: Good Job!! :) we all had to start somewhere.

Alex Hayman said...

I've written 2.5k- pretty happy with that, seeing as I just started last night! I'm rewriting a novel in a different POV after it was suggested to me a few times, and so far it's going pretty good.

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: That is tough, picky work. I did something similar with FrostFire and it must have been one of the most tiring re-writes I ever did. Well done, you - and keep it up :)

Elaine said...

Didn't get any where near my goal this week. I'd forgotten I had to get some artwork ready for a show. So only managed to get a few pieces of poetry done and nothing on my story.

Hopefully next week will be better.

Zoë Marriott said...

Elaine: You still managed to find time to be creative, which is great. Better luck for next week :)

Elaine said...

Thanks Zoë :) My own fault as I decided to write a short story of 3000 for an assignment when the longest story I've written is 103 words.

Anonymous said...

I'm checking in late, because I wanted to include yesterday's writing session, which went till 11pm! My goal was 1250 words a week and I went almost 1000 words over that. Yay for modest goals! I'm so impressed by everyone who's writing in the midst of exams, school assignments, morning sickness and other real life interferences. Way to go, everyone!

Zoë Marriott said...

Terri: Gosh, well done - excellent work! Let's hope next week is just as good.

Rhia said...

Late on parade - meant to join in last week, but got distracted..

My plan for the month is to complete a long and complex chapter: I've actually written past this point, but need to get down to this little beastie, as it should - hopefully - hint at things that happen later.

And have I written a single word of it this week?


What I have done is to create a sort of timetable for myself, so that I can fit in everything else I need to do (like working for a living); and I've done some pretty intense research for the chapter.

Fingers crossed for next week.

whispering words said...

hmm, my week started very bad writing wise but 5 days in scotland with no internet (plus lots of rain) certainly helped out - 3862 words! That beats my 300 words a day plan... think I'll be lucky to even make 300 next week thou. Good luck to the rest of you :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Rhia: I find that sometimes timetabling the heck out of things really works me get through difficult chapters, so good luck :)

Whispering: Oooh, well done! Keep it up next week!

Alex Mullarky said...

Yay well done! I actually managed to get my play finished on Thursday night! I thank InCreWriMa for giving me the kick up the bum I needed, alongside my impending exams :)

Zoë Marriott said...

Alex: Whoohoo! Well done!

Isabel said...

Alex: Awesome job, and good luck on exams!

Rebecca Lindsay said...

I can't wait until the next check in, the last two writing days have gone really well :)

A.J. Mullarky: Well done! Are you going to send it to an agent? :) Good luck with your exams.

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