Writers, me included, struggle with getting the words down. Writing the words is our bread and butter so it makes sense to develop this key skill.
I don’t want to write only when I’m inspired or have great ideas.
I want to write even when I don’t’ feel like writing.
I want to be a Pro writer.
And this means treating writing with the attitude of a professional. Turning up daily and doing the work. And the only way I can do this now is to commit to writing daily and measuring my progress.
I like documenting how many words I write on a daily basis because it is the only way in which I can track my progress.
Reflecting back on the past month can also help me to better plan my days and weeks and help me to focus my efforts on particular projects.
As a new writer, I am still very much in the process of building a daily writing habit whilst juggling the other aspects of running an author business such as building a platform and learning about the writing craft. Publicly declaring my progress on my blog helps me to keep accountability to myself!
So let’s take a look at how many words I produced this month (September 2016) compared to last month (August 2016):
- August 2016 word-count total: 15,460
- September 2016 word-count total: 17,114
Summary: I wrote 1,654 MORE words compared to the previous month.
A summary of my results
Although I do write every day (in my journal) I do not include those words in my word-count. Words documented are usually publishable words i.e. for my book or blog.
This months word-count was like that of last months. This is no surprise as my focus has been on editing my book. This was also last month’s focus.
As discussed in last month’s update, I am no longer trying to write just for the sake of it, especially when I need to be editing. When creating a book, there are several stages involved and each stage needs its own time.
So when I am in the editing stage, I find it’s a better use of my time to fully focus on editing and not spending my limited time trying to write and edit.
However, being accountable to my word count spreadsheet on a daily basis makes me want to write something or do something daily towards building my author business. It’s all habits at the end of the day.
September Writing Goals
My main focus last month was to continue editing my book. I received the manuscript back from the editor after completed a content and structural review.
There was a lot more work I had to do as a result of the suggestions made by my editor. I am now rewriting huge chunks of the book and shifting around a lot of the text to make sure the narrative flows well.
I was at first slightly disheartened with all the changes I had to make but I keep reminding myself that the editing process is where the book actually comes to life. Every edit is making my book stronger and a book I know I am proud of.
What was I struggling with this past month?
I am struggling with editing because its hard work to go through the entire manuscript again and again.
Sometimes there are days when I really don’t want to read what I have written! And this is an emotional drain. This is where all those doubts come back into my head. Will my book be good enough? But this is OK and its normal to feel this way.
I had given myself a self-imposed deadline of 12 Oct to get this book out into the market but I will miss this deadline. And that is OK too.
I don’t want to get stressed and annoyed at myself because I missed a self-imposed deadline. Writing for me a is a long-term career path and I want to put out quality books and not rushing it just for an arbitrary deadline.
In fact, Joanna Penn, in one of her podcast episodes also experienced a similar situation. She had a book on pre-order for this December but realised she would not make the deadline (again self-imposed). She has allowed herself to push back the date till next Jan 2017 so that she can produce a quality book she is proud of. If the Pro indie-authors are doing this, I think I can do it too!
Lessons learnt last month
- It’s OK if I’m not churning out thousands of words a day. I need to focus on and respect the stage of writing I am in now and that is to edit my book to get it closer to publishing.
- When it comes to writing new material, then I can focus all my efforts on creating new content . But for now, I need to focus on editing. We all have limited time and I need to be smart about where I am spending my time and energy at this stage.
- Editing is hard! And no one tells you that part!
What is the focus for the next month Oct?
- Continue editing my book and get it back to my editor within two weeks
- My editor to review my second draft and do a copy-edit
- Final draft to be ready by month end to send to proofreader
- Finalise Title
- Start cover designs
- Book is on track to be published by the end of this year
What are your writing goals for this October? Please share in the comments below.