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March Update; April Goals

Clearly, I underestimated the havoc that Final Fantasy XIII was going to wreak on my writing schedule.

Days written: 21/31
Words written: 9,734 (32,693 for the year)
Words of fic written: 5,055
Stories worked on: 4
Stories posted: 1
Chapters of "Aftermath" posted: 1! \o/

Specific goals:

1. Write an average of six days per week. Ha. Hahahahaha. Ha.

In retrospect, I should really have factored the release of FFXIII last month into my plans. Although I couldn't have predicted that T was going to want to play every night after dinner. Probably I'm lucky to have written on as many days as I did.

2. Finish and post at least one more story (ideally two) from the Alphabet Fic Meme. Posted one, and completely drafted another. Check.

3. Finish and post "Aftermath" Chapter 4 (depending on beta) and/or complete an outline for Chapter 5. Yes!!!! Chapter 4 is done and live! This makes up for everything. If I fail every other single thing I set out to do this year and get "Aftermath" finished, I will count 2010 as a success. Also got a few thousand words of Chapter 5 written.

Missed one goal, got two. Not so bad, given the delusions I was laboring under when I set them...

So I want to set more realistic goals for April, but it's tricky without knowing what my FFEX assignment will be. Between that, FFXIII, and a business trip/vacation at the end of the month, let's keep it modest:

1. Write five days per week. (I really hate to bring this number down from six, but better that right now, I think, than set it too high. Realistic goals, that's the watchword.)

2. Finish the current WIP for the Alphabet Fic Meme and draft at least one more.

3. Write first draft of FFEX assignment.

4. Complete first draft of rules/documentation for Mega Flare. (That counts as a writing project, doesn't it?) (And hell yes, that name is going to stick. Why would I ever give that up?)

This may or may not help catch me up on getyourwordsout -- I'm now more than 15,000 words behind the pace, eep! -- but at least it will get me started. FFEX did wonders for my productivity last year, so here's hoping.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 3rd, 2010 12:12 am (UTC)
You still do waaaay better on your writing goals than I do mine :)

I'm impressed.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 09:26 pm (UTC)
I started tracking my words per day in January and found the whole exercise rather confusing because revising old words doesn't necessarily add to my word count. I might take yesterday's 1000 words, completely rewrite 500 of them, perform a minor edit on 200, and then delete the remaining 300. So, is that 1000 (yesterday) + 500 (today) = 1500 words in two days? Or is it 2000 words because I went through the trouble of writing 1000 yesterday and editing 1000 today? Or is it 800 words because that's all I posted when the story was declared done?

I'm good at saying how many words of drafted story (plus how many words of notes) are currently associated with Story X, but tracking words per day turned out much more perplexing than I had ever imagined, especially since I put much more time into revision than actual writing. Likewise, planning and plotting and research doesn't get counted, but some of my long fic has 30,000 to 50,000 words in notes. :/

How do you track your words per day?

(I'm starting to think I just want to track time: I completed 1 hour of work on story XXXX ... or that I delivered XXXX words of "finished" fiction.)
Apr. 3rd, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
I try to keep as close a count of total words written, both draft and final, as is reasonable. If I spend a day drafting text, then I count the number of words at the end of the day. Editing is tricker, but what I try to do is track the number of words added without penalizing myself for words deleted. So in your example, I would probably count 1500 words: 1000 words of draft on Day One, 500 added/changed in rewrite on Day Two.

I am also not entirely certain that word count is the very best way to track writing productivity, and I've never done it in any kind of serious way until this year. But because I wanted an external project to be accountable to, I signed up for getyourwordsout, and that does require that I keep pretty close track of my words. I do wish there was a better way to account for editing; I try really hard not to tally every single word added or taken away, because I don't think that's the point, but it can be easy to slip into doing that. I do have a concept for myself of "days written", and if I do any editing, I'll count that as a writing day even if the word count was negligible. So far this is working as a balance for me.

I don't tend to take a lot of notes, but I know that people who do often include those notes in their total word count. If I were a note-taker, I probably would, too.
Apr. 3rd, 2010 11:32 pm (UTC)
I also wish there was a better way to keep track of editing. Editing is where most of my effort is spent. Writing a shitty first draft is often very easy. Five to ten rewrites of that draft is hard and very time consuming. Thus, the idea of counting new words -- which made a lot of sense to me at first -- failed to capture my effort after doing so for two months. I still haven't found a solution, especially when I might agonize over the placement of a comma, the rhythm of a few words, selecting just the right image, etc. It might end up changing only 20 words of a 200 word passage, but the process might take 2 hours as sentences are reordered and very carefully tuned.

I agree with you that counting every word added or deleted during editing fails to capture the point ... but when I realized that I really do spend at least 5x more of my time editing, tracking wordcount confuses me. I haven't found a working balance yet.

Good to know that other people do include their notes in total word count. I'm starting to think I need to track:
- Words (of any kind) written per day
- Time spent in writing activity
- Words of completed story per month
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:27 am (UTC)
I actually find the blank screen one of the most daunting parts of writing, so for me it's good to have a reward for forcing myself to get the shitty first draft out of my head and onto the page. Editing is more time consuming, but it also comes more easily to me most of the time.

- Words (of any kind) written per day
- Time spent in writing activity
- Words of completed story per month

For keeping close and serious track of total writing progress, I think that makes sense.
Apr. 4th, 2010 05:50 am (UTC)
Heheh. I'm the other way around: editing/rewriting is most daunting, and most likely to be put off for days, weeks months (or even years).

Shitty first draft? No problem. Turn it into something good? Oh no... >.
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )

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