Just Write: Self-shaming Sunday Update

Why do I suddenly feel like it’s weigh in day and I’ve just come down off of a ten-day junk food eating binge?  Could it be because I am feeling guilty?

Most definitely.

Let’s get right to the unpleasant self-shaming, shall we:

Last week:  28089 with 144 pages

This week: 30,299 with 154 pages

That is a grand total = 2210words written this week in Retribution.  Goal = 3500 words.

Goal not met.

So while I did make progress, I didn’t meet my expected goal for the week.  I am disappointed, but not surprised.  This week, the majority of the progress was made in the creation of a new scene.  I am usually more comfortable in writing in a linear fashion.  Skipping around confuses me and therefore, mistakes are made.  This new scene occurs much later in the novel than what I am currently working on.  However, it screamed at me to be written.  Literally grabbed me by the hair and threatened my life.

Okay.  Maybe not quite so dramatic, but the urge to write it was overwhelming and as I said before, who am I to argue?  Unfortunately, this scene caused a bit of chaos and controversy.  It brought to light and created some issues that need to be resolved.  I am working on that.  I suppose these kinds of things are a necessary evil, but it is frustrating nonetheless.  And I can’t help but feel a twinge of guilt for failing to deliver 3500 words.

But if there is one thing I’ve learned in the last few years, it’s that if you fall down and miss the mark, you get up and have another go at it.

Next week’s goal:  3500 words.

DSC01558

Just write: Self-shaming Sunday update

What a difference a week can make.  You may recall that this time last week, I was wallowing in a big old vat of homebrewed self-pity, bemoaning my inability to make any meaningful progress toward the completion of my novel, Retribution.  If you don’t remember or have not read my previous blog entry, you may do so [here].

In lieu of making an all-encompassing New Year’s resolution to finish Retribution by some arbitrary date, I decided to make myself word count goals.  When I dropped a good bit of weight several years back, this is how I did it.  I set 10 pound goals for myself.  As I progressed and met a goal weight, I reset it.  It is a practice that carries over into my daily workouts.  Now I use it to increase my stamina.  I call it my five-minute rule.  As I get stronger, I add five minutes to the end of my elliptical or bike work out.  I have found that I can put my body through just about anything for five minutes.

So, I had an idea.  (Cue the animated light bulb.)  Why not do the same thing as it relates to my writing?   I am convinced that by applying the same school of thought that I used for dropping 50 pound, I will finish my novel.   It might take me until the end of summer, but at least I will make noticeable progress, instead of floundering out in the wind, waiting for the book to miraculously write itself.

Last week I set a word count goal for myself.

Write 3000 words in Retribution by the next Sunday.

DSC01554This is how my numbers progressed:

Last week: 24940 words

This week:  28089 words

Last week: 129 pages

This week: 144 pages

That is a grand total = 3149 words written this week in Retribution.  Goal met.

Next week’s goal:  3500 words.

I’m going to call it my 500 word rule.

Baby steps.