I wrote just over 1,000 words yesterday, which is par for the course these day. It was my 305th consecutive day of writing, and my 448th out of the last 450 days. Both are records that I keep expanding with each passing day, but yesterday, according to my Daily Almanac, I set a new record:
I have hit my pre-set word count goal for 34 consecutive days, beating the old record of 33 days. My system allows me to set a daily word count that I try to aim for. For me, it is 500 words. Keep in mind that this is a secondary goal for me. My real aim is to write every day. Sometimes, it is less than 500 words, but that’s okay, so long as I am writing every day. However, for the last 34 days now, I’ve written at least 500 words every day. Here is what the last 34 days looks like for me:
During the last 34 days, the blue bars have exceeded the purple goal line every day. You can also see that my 7-day moving average (the red line) has been above 1,000 words/day for two thirds of that time period. I’m cooking with gas, as they used to say.
This 34-day period coincides with me starting on the second draft of my novel and in that sense, there is a little bit of an illusion here. I’ve struggled with getting the opening just right and have reworked a lot of material during this time, so that while I’ve written quite a bit every day, the novel draft is still in its beginnings, although things are definitely getting better. This is something that I don’t worry about in the first draft, where I am telling myself the story. But in the second draft, I need to make it something that will be interesting to a wider audience, and that is more difficult, especially the beginning.
During the last 34 days, I’ve written 36,758 words of fiction, which his pretty darn good for someone who only writes 30-40 minutes/day. It is not, however, the most I’ve written in a 34-day period. That record came on August 28, 2013 when, in the prior 34 days, I wrote 49,288 words.
Still, I’m pleased with my progress. While the novel is slow to get moving, one of my real goals is to be able to write more every day, and that means squeezing more time out of the day to write. I can write 500 words in 20 minutes. In the last 34 days, I’ve been averaging 1,081 words/day, which means I’ve been steadily expanding the time I have available to write. Most full time writers I know aim for 2,000 words of copy each day. I’m about halfway there and I think that is a good thing.