Monday, July 14, 2014

21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer - Day 1

Challenging myself to report in every night for the next 3 weeks on my daily writing - progress, projects, and any other pennings I might want to share. I'm calling it my 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer.

Report week for me (I'm a 6th grade English teacher) is the first week of August, so I want to rev it the last half of July. I'd like to invite you along for the ride. Should be fun!

My thought is that each night I'll check in with my daily word count, share what particular project I'm working on, and add up my totals. We'll see what gets accomplished in the next few weeks.

I hope I can inspire you, if you're a writer, to take those needed steps to reach whatever goal you've set for yourself. I also hope I can entertain you, if you're a reader, with some "behind the curtain" details about my writing process.

First up, though, an update about my 5 year plan to become a full time writer. If I'm going to make enough money in this profession, I need to write novels. Not just short stories or novellas but full length books. Preferably novels in a series within a popular genre!

If you've read my blurb in the right column, you know my goal this year is to publish four novels. If I write four a year, in the next five years I'll have twenty books for sale. Sounds doable, right?

Well, we'll see.  Not that easy, I found. Especially since I didn't type a single word from January through May! But when school let out by Memorial Day, I came back from a quick vacation raring to go. And since then I've written practically every day - for a ballpark total of about 57,000 words (close to 1500 words a day).

Not great for a full time writer, but not bad for someone (namely, me) who is testing out whether he has the discipline to write every morning. My general schedule is to write from 6 to 11 AM with a short break every hour. This puts me at just over 4 hours of actual writing time. I'm a slow writer, so on the days that I do write (I've missed a few, thus my daily average is down) I manage about 2000 words - 500 words per hour.

Again, not fantastic. But it has resulted in my first novel! Ma Tutt's Donut Hut is a curious cozy with a magical cat. I've already blogged about it, so I only mention it here to say that I'm a quarter of the way there! Three more books this year and I'll reach my goal. Not sure I'll make it, but it's what I'm shooting for.

So, after that lengthy introduction, what did I accomplish today? Here's the scoop:
+ 2000 words on a space western I'm writing with my friend Dan Devine.
+ 1200 words on a horror novel I'm writing with my friend Gustavo Bondoni
= 3200 total word count, Day 1 of my 21 Day Sprint to the End of Summer

Check in tomorrow night for another update. And every day or so to cheer me on - I'd much appreciate it. We writers are an insecure lot and need some encouragement every now and then. I'll try to return the favor! Until then, keep writing and reading. And thanks for your support.

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