Progress Report: One Million Words, week 8

My output has gone down a bit this week. I’ve written 2,450 words this week, with a daily average of 350. Still, I’ve managed to write every day even if not much, and my streak now stands at a milestone – 50 days.

My total wordcount is 23,477/1,000,000, or 2.35%.

Day-by-day breakdown

Monday: 476 words

Tuesday: 311 words

Wednesday: 201 words

Thursday: 305 words

Friday: 439 words

Saturday: 210 words

Sunday: 508 words.


I’ve been pretty busy this week, with several nights spent babysitting. In some cases this has meant writing in my notebook at the house I’ve been babysitting at, and in other cases it’s meant a rush before leaving my flat to get some words written in a Word file while I’ve had access to it. In one case, on Wednesday, the words strictly should have been counted on Thursday, as I wrote after midnight having struggled all evening.

Aside from Monday, when I wrote earlier in the day, all the babysitting days have been very poor. I tend to write in the evening, but I don’t think that leaving it til I’m babysitting is a good idea. For a start, I’m not in my own study, where I feel most comfortable. But it’s more than that; in the place I’ve babysat the most this week I’ve had a choice of writing in the lounge, on my lap, or writing in the kitchen where there are kittens who want to play, along with their litter tray which doesn’t exactly help create a good atmosphere for writing. Clearly writing before I leave is needed here, and that means starting long enough before I’m due to leave that leaving doesn’t stop me mid-flow, as happened on Saturday.

The Story

After last week’s promising start to what I’m calling “Kell” after the main character, I got a bit bogged down by Wednesday this week. I didn’t like where things were going. I felt I’d revealed certain information too early, before I’d really started the plot or established any significance.

So on Wednesday I started with a location and wrote something from that. I don’t think it’ll go anywhere. On Thursday I did similarly, but got a better grasp on it and wrote a little more, and I think there’s a space for what I wrote – about an immortal associated with storms, and a stone circle with magical properties – in the same world as “Kell”. I like stone circles. Especially magical stone circles.

Over the last few days I’ve taken another shot at “Kell”, restarting, skipping over a bit that I think the earlier version did fine with, and getting to where I think it needs to diverge yesterday and today. For now last week’s sense of discovery is somewhat vanished, but I anticipate it returning next week. I made a lot of notes on Wednesday and Thursday about this story and where I want it to go, and the only bit I’m certain about is the earlier part. As the story progresses the discovery aspect will certainly return.

Take away points

  1. I need to make sure I start writing nice and early on babysitting days.
  2. This goes doubly on days I’m babysitting and working. There’s not enough time between 5:45 and 7pm to fit in dinner, changing clothes, relaxing, coffee and writing. And by 9pm after two hours with a 7 year old and his kittens, writing seems exhausting.
  3. The sense of discovery with discovery writing is a great feeling, but sometimes stepping back, realising I’ve followed a path too far in the discovery writing process, and starting again from further back yields results too.

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