Today I stuck a pin in the challenge. Yesterday was Day 3, but Day 4 won’t come until tomorrow. There are too many other commitments on my plate, and I can’t shortchange them because of this. On top of that, I am sick, as I’ve been alluding to in the past couple of entries, and better to slow down now and lose a day than to press on, get sicker, and lose a week. That said, I will be getting most the non-challenge tasks out of the way today, so that I can focus on this 7 Day Setting Design thing over the coming four days.
It might feel like a cop-out to say that I didn’t commit to seven consecutive days, but I need to bear in mind why I’m taking this challenge. As I’m not working on it at all today, I’m still going to see if I can do it in seven days total. The main point was to see if it was realistic, what I might be able to learn from it, and how I might adapt or incorporate ideas and methodologies into my normal writing routine.
One of the key learnings so far has been that one-hour word sprints work well for me. The core idea is to break up writing and non-writing tasks into blocks, and give each task my full attention. By having a tighter focus for a set period of time, I have been less distracted, more productive, and turning out work that I’m a lot happier with. At least, that’s how I feel after three days. This pause is simply that same concept, moving the size of the block from an hour to a day. Devoting 4 hours to writing today wasn’t going to happen, and if I did try to force it the focus and quality of work wasn’t going to be there. As I don’t have a hard deadline for finishing the first draft of this project, slipping things by a day isn’t causing any damage.
Day 1 total: 3,519 words against a goal of 3,000
Day 2 total: 5,214 words against a goal of 4,000
Day 3 total: 5,853 words against a goal of 5,000
Week to Date total: 14,586 words against a goal of 12,000
Hours spent writing week to date: 12
You can read the rest of the entries in this series at this link.
Dean Wesley Smith’s book Writing a Novel in Seven Days: A Hands-On Example is available from Amazon in Kindle format and paperback editions. My book Setting Design for Writers and Roleplayers is available from DriveThruRPG in PDF, ebook, and Kindle formats.