Ramping Up

Hello friends and welcome to a self-motivational edition of Just Another Struggling Writer. I’m just another struggling writer.

Well, friends, loathe as I am to admit it, the post-NaNoWriMo slump got me but good this year. The normal burnout, plus all the bad wrong going on in the real world, plus an unusually long and intense depressive episode has meant my writing has been limping along forlornly in the background.

Which is not to say I’ve done nothing (19 pages!), which is already an improvement over years past where December and January are complete black holes of productivity. But as the days drag on and I am still often struggling to get more than 200 words a day done, I find myself looking for something, anything, to motivate it me to do more. I am still amazed at how easy I found this last NaNo to be, yet as soon as the clock struck December 1st, all those good vibrations just… flew out the window. Am I really a person that needs that communal struggle to propel me forth?

I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am not looking to work at that sort of breakneck speed more than once a year. But something closer to 1000 words a day would keep me on track to get this mammoth of a book done by July.

Something got me thinking. Last year (or was it the year before last? 2020 time flowed at a completely different rate, didn’t it) in the run up to NaNoWriMo, Mur Lafferty on her excellent podcast I Should Be Writing talked about how, if one is anxious about their capability of writing 1666 words a day in November, they can ease themselves into it by starting in October with a much lower daily word count and slowly build up to that magic number.

As far as ideas go for the motivation-starved writer (read: me), it’s as good as any, right?

My word count yesterday was 260. So, I thought, what if today I do 280? Maybe tomorrow I could do 300. Then Saturday 325. And so on. Just a little bit extra than I did yesterday, every day, until I’m routinely hitting the mark of 1000. I could knock out 50 or 100 words on my lunch break. I could dictate 100 more on my commute home. I could do 75 while the kids are in the shower. Here and there, nothing too overwhelming, until I build my – uh – tolerance back up.

Like flexing a muscle, right? Every day, a bit at time.


I’m projecting the first draft of this novel to be around 300k words, so at my current rate of writing I will be approximately… dead by the time its ready to query.

Better get to it, shouldn’t I?

Take care friends! Until next week, may your writing be plenty and your struggles be few.

Kerry Share

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2 thoughts on “Ramping Up

  1. maggiedot

    Finding those little moments to write is SO HARD, especially with kids about. I had my second in January 2020, right before the whole pandemic nightmare kicked off, and my lifesaver this past year has been GoogleDocs on my phone.

    At least then, when the wee one falls asleep on top of me for his nap (which thank goodness he takes! His brother didn’t nap at all after 10mo!), I can punch out a few words.

    I’m deeply impressed by the 1k/day goal you have! Right now, I’m happy if I hit 500. Sometimes I get lucky (and the babe takes a longer nap!) and can knock out more, but 500 is (usually) doable, even if I have to punch it out with my thumb… XD Not the most ergonomic…

    Like

  2. 250 words a day is definitely a feat in and of itself. I’m on my fourth novel now, and all I had was a diet of 250 words per day—which I often surpassed.

    That’s a mighty long first draft though. Take this with a grain of salt, but I’ve heard that anything above 150k is hard to shop. Maybe it could be an omnibus of sorts. Anyway, good luck with your amazing goals!

    Like

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