Four Days of Writing

I’ve gotten in four days of writing since starting on this new story. So far, I feel pretty good about it. As of this morning, I’ve written a total of 5,000 words since starting on June 2. I was too busy to write on June 4, but wrote yesterday and today, which is a good sign because sometimes, if I skip a day, I don’t get started again. I was glad to see that the desire to write was strong enough to continue even after taking a day off.

There was one false start, where what I was writing seemed like the wrong way to begin telling the story. I began to see the right way to tell the story sometime yesterday, and I spent my entire half hour dedicated to thinking yesterday morning figuring this out. I made a new start this morning and things are much better. In part, I think I’ve found the voice I was looking for, which is always important for me to get a grip on the characters.

I’m using Obsidian to write this story and it is also working well for me. I’m not breaking the story into separate files, but instead, using markdown headings to fold and unfold pieces as needed. I’m using split screens I need to refer back to one part of the story while writing another part. And I’m using markdown comments and document links for notes to myself as the writing does on. The folding of headings also allows me to maintain a practice I’ve used through all of my writing: throwing nothing way, but moving things that don’t work into a “Deleted scenes” section. Folded up, my current manuscript looks like this:

A look at the folded sections of my document in Obsidian

Although I have a target of about 1,000 words/day, I haven’t been stressing too much about word counts. I’ve written four out of the last five days and with 5,000 words so far, that’s about 1,250 words/day on average. Some days have been less, and some days, like this morning, has been more.

Setting aside time each morning to let my mind wander over the story has helped prepare me for the day. It is much easier to come to the story warmed up than cold, which is often how I worked in the past.

I still feel like the story is in a fragile state. Like a newborn, it needs a lot of my attention, even when I am not sitting at the keyboard, but I am hoping that another week or two will see it standing on its own and that is when things usually begin to flow more easily for me. The story begins to write itself at that point, with me as not much more than someone taking dictation. If I hit 10 days and am close to 10,000 words, then I think I’ll be in good shape.

I’ll try to provide another update on the story then to let you know how things are going.

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.

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