Fiction-writing progress, 2012, week 1

Writing 500 words of new fiction each day means ending up with a total of 3,500 words of new fiction each week. My first full week of fiction-writing in 2012 finished yesterday with a grand total of 5,513 words of new fiction. That’s more than 2,000 words above my pace. During the week, I completed the first draft of my first new story of 2012. The draft topped off at 6,500 words. I started on the first draft of my second story, which currently stands at about 1,200 words and is maybe 1/3rd complete. I averaged over 700 words each day and on my best day I wrote more than 2,300 words.

It sounds like a pretty successful week and I’m pleased at the progress I’m making on the stories. But the week wasn’t a complete success. I am really trying to establish the habit of getting in 500 words every day. Ideally, this would be at the same time every day, and ideally that time would be early in the morning before everyone is up. I was lazy this week, and despite setting my alarm, I never got up early enough to do my writing. Instead, I squeezed it in immediately after work, before picking up the Little Man from school. I got that big extra session in on Thursday evening when Kelly took the kids out for a few hours.

In the first seven days of the year, therefore, I only wrote on five days. There were two days, Monday and Saturday, which I did no writing at all. The earlier I establish the habit of getting the 500 words written every day, the better. I’d willingly trade the 700 word average for more consistency in writing every day.

So while I am pleased with my overall progress this week, I call it a qualified success. For this current week, I’m aiming to get in 500 words every┬áday without fail. And it would be even better if those 500 words came at the same time every day. (I got my 500 words in today just before writing this post, which is clearly not before everyone is up and about. Indeed, its shortly before the kids are to go to bed.)

I expect to finish the first draft of my second story Thursday or Friday and on Thursday, I expect to start on the second draft of my first story, having set it aside for a week to allow my brain to get some distance from it. And yes, there is a third story waiting in the wings when the second story is finished.