Monday, April 1, 2013

I Can Haz Productivity: March 2013 Month in Review

Words, words, and More Words:

A few months back I was asking my writerly friends how they achieve their impressive monthly word counts. The beautiful and talented Aubrie Dione recommended that I cultivate a writing habit. (She recently made a guest appearance on this blog. Check it out here.) She’s not alone. Ask just about anyone in the Pub World and they’ll tell you that to be successful you need to make writing a habit. Check out my planner - you can see my March was cray cray.

After all, it's not called work for nothing. As much as we love the written word, the process, the magic of it all, we are first and foremost professionals. We need to act like it. *Stares at self in mirror* For more on just how much the publishing industry owes you nothing check out this straight forward post by the wise-beyond-his-years aspiring author Mark O'Brien.

I decided to take on the challenge to make writing an every day habit. My goal for March was to write 300 words a day.

And I failed. Utterly and completely.

When I missed my target for a few days in a row I nearly gave up completely. I hate hate hate failure - but more on that later.

I realized missing your target is okay. It happens. When I couldn't fit writing into my weekly activities, due to Day Job craziness, travel, or competing priorities, I was forced to re-evaluate my goal. 300 words may not work for me right now.

Instead of giving up I decided to adapt.

I was able to dedicate a decent piece of each weekend to writing. Being flexible is important so I decided to refocus my energy toward a goal that would force me to stretch while still reasonably fitting my life.

So here’s what I was able to accomplish during the 5 weekends in March:

1. 15 blog posts written and scheduled (woo hoo! That's more than all my posts last year combined)
2. Read 1 novel and started a second
3. Read 2 self-help books and started a third (what can I say, I love 'em)
4. Edits to my WIP MS, Query, and Synopsis
5. Edits on a few chapters of a friends’ awesome WIP
6. Potential plot outline for the shiny new idea I’ve been nursing
7. Character sketches for the idea mentioned above

All for a grand total of 9,694 words.

Yep, that’s 694 words more than the 300 word-a-day-total of 9,000.

Now, I can guess what you’re thinking. “But most of those words must have been for the 15 blog posts you wrote this month. Who would write 15 blog posts in 4 weeks anyway?”

You’d be right. Or, erm….At least you’re not wrong.

Most of the words were for blog posts. But words are words are words. At least they were original words expressing thoughts. Each and every one of those pretty little words is a coin in my Better Writer piggy bank that I hope to cash in at the Bank of Published Authors.

Next month I hope to add more coins to the piggy bank. I’ll be sure to share the dirty, frustrating details with you in a blog post full of words. (See what I did there?)

What writing habits do you have? What works for you?

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