Seven Days

As of 9:21pm last night, I have managed to write for one hour a night for seven consecutive days. This might not seem like a big deal, but actually, it kind of is. I hadn’t actually done that so far this year until now. I had streaks of four days a few times, but no more than that, and more than one gap where I’d written not a word for longer than seven days. It also marks half of my March goal – two write an hour a day, for seven consecutive days, twice.

I was tired last night. On Monday I had a five hour round trip up the M6 for work, and by yesterday I hadn’t recovered. I could have gone to bed at 8:20 and slept right up to my 6am alarm today. But I didn’t. I realised on Monday that if I didn’t write on both Monday and Tuesday, to complete the first seven day run, there weren’t enough days left in March to achieve the goal.

This is definitely a more achievable goal than trying to write every day for a month. It’s smaller, so it’s less daunting, but also, having got a few days in a row there was a stronger incentive to keep going, because it wasn’t that much further to the full seven days. And, having failed to write for a few days in a row in the first half of the month, I hadn’t automatically failed the whole challenge, but still had time to succeed. And it’s worked, so far.

Can I keep it up and make it 14 consecutive days without a break? Maybe, I’ll have to see how I feel tonight after a second five hour round trip in the car for work today. But I want to try it. I’m already half way there, after all, and it’s starting to become part of my day, like going to work and making dinner, rather than this hour-long chore I was meant to do before I went to bed, like it has felt on several occasions in the last two months.

So what about the words then? Are they any good? I think so, for the main part. Those written when tired the last two days might not have been quite as good, but in general I think that the pace I’m moving at allows me enough time to get things pretty much right. Making notes whenever I don’t know exactly where I’m going is definitely useful, whether it’s just for five minutes to refresh my memory or for half an hour to work out a scene and the goals of the people in that scene.

I’ve not been keeping records, but I have been keeping an eye on my wordcount every day. It seems I’m averaging about 1000 words a night, with some days going a bit over, and some a little under. So I’m pretty happy with that. My current total is just shy of 19,000 words.

That means that in terms of wordcount I’m only a few days behind what I did for the first draft back in November. This draft is definitely better, and I’ve achieved more in the 19,000 words of draft 2 than I did with the 22,000 words of draft 1. They’re at almost the same point in the story, but the new version has a lot more insight into my protagonist’s character, particularly her weaknesses and insecurities. I also think that my latest scene, the interrogation scene, is a lot stronger. It’s less rushed, more isolating for Fiarra, and I’ve got a much better picture of the two characters in the scene and the type of relationship that is developing between them.

So I’m feeling good about this novel at the moment. I’m feeling good about my progress, I’m feeling good about what I’ve written, and I’m feeling good about how I’m forming a habit of writing every day just as part of my day and not as a chore.

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One thought on “Seven Days

  1. Whether it’s four days in a row or a hundred, any step toward a solid writing habit is a good one!

    One thing that helps me: I try not to feel pressured to reach an arbitrary word count. If you know you ‘have to’ write 1000 words every day, it can get really daunting, really fast. Make the decision to write something daily, even if it’s not much. One day you might get one sentence, and the next you’ll get ten pages. But you’ve written something each day, and that’s the habit to start.

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