Writing 300 Words Everyday
So much for my I’m Back! post, right? I haven’t posted here in so long … again.
But I have a good explanation for that, I think …
In October, when I said I was back and I published my Halloween themed novella, I had a babysitter who came to my house 3 times a week for about 1.5-2 hours at a time. She stayed with my baby girl in the toy room while I worked in my office. But then, the babysitter, who is in college, said her classes were too demanding plus the drive here then back to campus were too long and took time from her study time. So she quit.
It took me two weeks to find another babysitter, but this one is in high school, which means she isn’t always available and she has lots of school activities … so, she was coming only twice a week for about 1 hour each time. My writing time had shrunk incredibly and it made me frustrated. I’m a firm believer that you don’t need to write everyday to be a writer, to be productive, but twice a week isn’t the way either, not for me at least. I need more consistency and frequency to make it work.
Also, the new babysitter had to cancel our dates a few times because of her schedule, so there were weeks when she didn’t come at all …
I was very, very frustrated about writing.
Around the last week of October, I told my closest writing friends (who became more than just writing friends years ago) that I was giving up this writing thing until my baby girl starts halfday daycare next year (around May or so) … She’s just too damn attached to me and I can’t even go to the bathroom for 10 seconds in peace. Don’t get me wrong, I love her to pieces and it’s a great feeling when she’s scared or fearful and she sees me coming and her face just brightens like I’m her own sun. Or even when she’s fine, she sees me and her smile widens. It’s amazing to cuddle with someone who wants you so much …
But I can’t get anything done like that, and writing is one of the many things that got neglected.
Remember the novella I published in October? I had plans to turn it in to a series and I wanted to start releasing the other novellas soon. But because of my precious baby girl (I’m serious, guys. I promise you, you never saw anything like this. Everyone that gets to see it is astonished), I never got to finish those. The frustration was too much. I didn’t want to feel like my baby girl was responsible for that and be mad at her, so I gave up on writing all together for the moment. She’ll only be little once, you know, and I have to take advantage that I can stay home with her, taking care of her and enjoying her. So that was what I was going to do.
Then, on Nov 2nd, around 10:30pm, I saw a quote on instagram by Stephen King …
That hit me hard and fast.
300 words a day is better than none. A novel a year was better than none. And I can write 300 words in 10 minutes, 15 at most. I could spare 15 minutes of my day to writing, even if it meant to go to bed 15 minutes later than usual. I didn’t have to sacrifice my time with my baby girl or be frustrated about not writing. That quote just made its way in my brain, it got rooted deep, and I just knew I could do it. And I started immediately, even though it was already my bedtime.
Here’s a pic of my excel spreadsheet below so you can see my progress.
I only missed 3 days because I was moving, and because I was can’t-get-up-from-my-bed sick. But I think I wrote enough the other days to compensate for it – and I don’t count Nov 1st because I decided this new goal on Nov 2nd …
300 words x 30 days = 9000 words and I wrote over 20,000 so I guess I’m doing good.
And you know the best part? I wrote 20k words in November! The previous month = 0 words. And 20k words is soooooo much better than zero.
I know, I know, my brain sometimes tries to sabotage me. It keeps thinking about all the writers I know that write 20k words in 2-3 days. At first, I hated seeing the low words count on my spreadsheet but again, you guys, progress is progress. I repeat: I got zero words down in Oct, while I got 20k words in Nov. Which one is better?
When I started this 300 words per day goal, my plan was to have the novel I’m working on finished by the time my baby girl starts halfday daycare in May, but if I can keep up this rhythm, I’ll finish this novel by February and then I’ll have 2 months to work on something else! Isn’t that just great?!
I’m very proud of myself right now. I just wished I would have seen this quote and figured this out back in March … I would have written at least 1.5 books by now.
Well, better later than never ;)
PS: I’ll probably still not post here often and not be very present on twitter – but I promise that will be better when my baby girl goes to daycare and I have more time for not only writing, but all sides of the writing/publishing life.