Two months of writing

June is the first month in a long time that I have written. Really written, not just taken a casual ‘now and then’ approach to it, but taken steps to shed the unwanted hobbyist mantle. (That’s a thing, right? Hobbyist mantle? I’m pretty sure mine shrank in the wash. Now it chafes.)

A publishing company I favor is holding open submissions for the next several months and I think my current manuscript could be a good fit with their label. It COULD be, if I actually finish the thing and send it to them, fairly well-edited and generally complete.

It’s been an overall good month for my writing, and I need to recognize this. I’m really bad about valuing my accomplishments, because I know I’m not moving fast enough to make the deadline.

How do you strike the balance between congratulating yourself for meeting a goal (in this case, writing every day) and sticking the proverbial cattle prod up your literal ass (in this case, MOAR WRITING)?

I’m not sure, to be honest.

In reality, I am fully capable of a lot of writing output in a day. In one hour, I can squeeze out one thousand words easily, 1500 if I push myself a little bit and know what I’ll be writing. IF I could keep up that rate for just, say, four hours a day, thats a solid word count.

Tough to keep up the writing that long, but I’ll need to dial it up to 11 if I’m to make the deadline (which includes time for edits).

The Magic Spreadsheet is a gentle mistress, asking for a mere 250 words to maintain one’s writing chain (full disclosure: this is the reason I’m currently writing this blog entry… otherwise, I won’t keep going). 250 words is way, way better than zero, because it’s progress.

However, it’s crunch time.

At least on weekdays, I’m cranking it up to 2000 words a day, minimum, and most of these must be on the manuscript.

Note to (other) beginners: this is not really a good idea. Sharply increasing your expectations after a small success is a good way to burn yourself out. I know, because I’ve done it.

Now, though, I have a real deadline and I won’t let myself miss it. I’ll probably take it a bit easier in August, but the next thirty-one days will earn me that break.

This is a NaNoWriMo-level writing challenge, but it’s to finish my current novel. I know this story, I know what I want to do.

It’s shit-or-get-off-the-pot time. (Too bad ShiNoWriMo doesn’t flow too well.)

I may look around to see if I can find a good WordPress widget to plug into the site to graph my wordcount progress for each day. It will be on the Magic Spreadsheet, but I don’t expect that any non-users will feel like heading out there to see my scores. (If anyone knows of a plugin for this purpose, please feel free to let me know.)

On the other side of this, I will be beaten, bruised, battered, and all around fatigued, but I plan to drag this novel out into the light no matter the kicking and screaming which may occur. Probably on my part.

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