Today I’m faced with a decision. Because I started the day ahead, I could have cut my writing time in half. 4 or 5 word sprints of 1,000 words will put me across the finish line in terms of hitting the word count goal. It would also free me up to do some other work. If I want to think about the project rather than the challenge, I could write for nine hours and see how much I could accomplish.
The Day 7 Breakdown
Which brings me back to my fear of over-saturation, that I’ll make myself sick of looking at this project. That would make everything from this point forward a lot harder, from writing the second draft and editing it all the way through mustering the enthusiasm to promote it after it’s been published. Burning out on a book isn’t productive.
In the end, I decided that gathering data for the challenge was more important, and I put in the hours. If I want to see if this works for me, what learnings I can take away from it, and which pieces will fit into my regular routine, I just need to do it. I’m only committing to the experiment, not to making this the way I will work now and forever more.
The Day 7 Results
With that, I have finished the challenge with a word count total that exceeds the target goal. I did not keep track of my hourly totals, because I was focused on staying focused (yes, I just wrote that). As you can see, it’s barely over 1,000 words per hour. I know that it was only a few hundred words in the last few hours. All that’s left to do now is get some sleep, then look things over and review how this process worked for me overall. On to analyze the results of this challenge!
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
Day 4 total: 7,917 words against a goal of 6,000
Day 5 total: 7,202 words against a goal of 7,000
Day 6 total: 7,034 words against a goal of 8,000
Day 7 total: 9,150 words against a goal of 9,000
Week to Date total: 45,889 words against a goal of 42,000
Met the goal with a surplus of 3,889 extra words.
Hours spent writing today: 9
Hours spent writing week to date: 40
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.