Recently, I was inspired by thriller author J.T. Ellison by one of her interviews to keep a writing journal for the month of October. Every day throughout the month, whether I write or not, I’ll detail my successes, feelings, inspirations, word counts, and struggles working through my current project, Rules in Recovery (Blackhawk Security, #2) and post it at the end of the month. Follow along as I sprint to finish this draft by the end of October!
10/1: 900 words. Starting out the month strong so far. As of right now, my draft is sitting at 37,355. My only goal this month? Finish this damn draft. Not really. As #NaNoWriMo is next month, I also have a goal to plot out the major beats of my next project, a novella in the same series I’m currently working on. Seems like I’ve been working on this chapter forever, but days like this give me hope THE END is in sight.
10/2: 738 words. I’ve discovered the best way I can sprint at the current time in my life: 500-word sprints. Even if I can just get in one 500-word sprint a day, I’ll have this book finished by the end of the month. Right now, it’s just impossible to sit down for an hour at a time with a newborn and a four-year-old. I’m lucky if I can go to the bathroom by myself, but even this small progress is progress.
10/3: 0 words. Writer’s guilt dug in deep today. Every Tuesday it gets to me as I’m out running errands with the kids. I think, “I’ll just bring some paper and handwrite the rest of this scene.” Never happens. I end up frustrated and exhausted the by the end of the day with no energy to write. Not always a bad thing. Sometimes, I need to step away anyway.
10/4: 900 words. Today was one of those days the words just seemed to flow. I sat down to write at least one 500-word sprint and, before I knew it, I had 900 words on the page and the end of another chapter in the bag. Of course, I couldn’t even sit down to write until the kids had gone to bed. I had every intention of using the time my son was at school for two hours to get in my words, but my agreement with myself when I was faced with the decision to keep writing was to make myself and my health a priority over the work. Showering and feeding myself seemed more important today. Usually, by the time the kids are asleep, I’m so exhausted from keeping up with them all day, I can’t even think straight, let alone craft solid sentences, but I surprised myself today. Felt good.
10/5: 1,047 words. Another day the words flowed easily. Awesome-sauce of the day: I crossed the 40,000-word mark! With only four chapters left to write, I finally feel as though I’m making progress. The end goal is in sight. I just have to use my new sprinting system to get in as many words as I can, when I can, and since the rest of the book is plotted, that shouldn’t be hard. However, first lines are the hardest for me, they’re the element of each chapter I spend the most time crafting. I can’t write until it’s perfect. Once it’s in place, my sprint session can begin. Luckily, today’s first line came quickly and fit perfectly. Tomorrow is going to be a great writing day. Husband is taking both kids for the day to give me a break.
10/6: 1,005 words. Kind of disappointed in my word count today. It’s not that the words weren’t flowing. I have the rest of the book plotted out pretty solidly. It’s that I didn’t have the time to write. Husband only ended up taking one kid off my hands today, but, I will keep reminding myself 1,005 words is better than nothing. Although I was hoping for more, I am that much closer to finishing this draft. Lately, the next book in the series has been on my mind. I stayed up until past midnight (with help from my newborn daughter) thinking I may have to redraft the entire book. Shouldn’t take too long considering I already know the characters, but I haven’t touched the book for almost two years and I’ve already been able to think of entire chapters and scenes that need to go. I’m excited and dreading another rewrite of this book, but I know, in the end, it’ll only add to the Blackhawk Security series. First thing’s first, finish the book I’m working on now.
10/7: 0 words. Instead, I decided to spend some much-needed time with my family today, taking my son to the local farm to ride horses.
10/8: 0 words. Another day off. I’m trying not to work on Sundays, seeing as how I need at least one day a week to reset. Mentally, physically, and emotionally. And to catch up on cleaning the house. Let’s be honest, I spent most of the day watching Netflix.
10/9: 1,175 words. Was hoping to finish out another chapter on this WIP, but I just couldn’t bear to write 400 more words. Didn’t have them in me. Will take over one thousand words as a win. Going to finish this chapter tomorrow and start on the next.
10/10: 373 words. Considering Tuesdays are my most hectic days, I didn’t think I’d get any words in today, but I finished another chapter. Three more to go, plus an epilogue. Didn’t start on the next. That’s for tomorrow.
10/11-10/14: 0 words. Between finding out my newborn is allergic to milk and has colic, I’ve had very little energy or time to sit down to write. I was hoping to have this draft done an entire week early to give me time to outline my #NaNoWriMo project, but looks like I’ll be sticking to my October 31 deadline for a finished draft. Since that was the original goal, I’m not beating myself up about it. All I want is to tick one project off my to-do list.
10/15: 673 words. Back to work today. Although I didn’t get quite as many words in as I’d hoped on these last few chapters, I did get my character sketches for my next project finished. The plot (hell, just the opening scene) is giving me some trouble, but it’ll work out.
10/16: 35 words. Yep. 35 words. But I solved the opening scene problem I had with my #NaNoWriMo project at 2:00am. Even figured out what my next series proposal to my editor will be. Thank goodness for middle of the night feedings.
10/17: 571 words. The words were flowing, the scene was almost finished…then my newborn woke up. Such is the life of Mommyhood. But I crossed the 45,000-word mark! Closing in on the end. Fourteen days and counting until deadline. 10,000 more words to make word count on this draft. That’s it. Then starts the mad draft for #NaNoWriMo. My project list for 2018 is out of control. If I want to take December of this year off as planned, I need to hit these deadlines.
10/18: 1,362 words. I’m loving my 500-word sprints. So easy to sit down, bang out a sprint, and get back to the kids, or cooking dinner, or whatever else I need to do. I’m also finding it’s a lot less intimidating and I get to write on my schedule in short burst. I think I’m actually getting more words in a day this way, so I’m going to keep it up. My goal was 1700 words today to finish out this chapter I’m working on, but I have to put my family first at the moment. Two chapters left. Looks like I’ll be a few days ahead of my deadline at this rate. Since hearing one of my fellow Harlequin Intrigue author friends signed a 12-book deal with the imprint, I’ve decided since I’ve had Demon Spawn #2, I can work on an entire four-book proposal for the rest of the Blackhawk Security series rather than taking it on one book at a time. New goal: turn that in, in January. With two of the four books written, I think I can still stay ahead of deadlines. Although, one of them is a complete rewrite.
10/19: 1,094 words. Finished out another chapter today. I’m a little bit behind on my word goal I set for the week, but catching up fast. This weekend is going to be crazy with my husband running his first half marathon on Saturday and blessing our baby girl on Sunday, but I’m determined to finish one chapter this weekend. Going to have a finished draft by the end of next week.
10/20: 609 words. In a completely different chapter than what I intended to work on. Every single word was pulling teeth today. I couldn’t concentrate. Couldn’t figure out what I wanted to write for my climax. My outline has a perfectly good ending my editor approved, but it doesn’t seem…enough. I want it big. I want there to be a twist. So it’s back to the brainstorming stage for me.
10/21: 606 words. According to my word count I wrote this day, but I honestly don’t remember it. Totally forgot to log this day here.
10/22: 0 words. With Demon Spawn #2’s baby blessing and a lot of rushing around today, there was no time for words. I’m falling behind, but my goal this week is to finish this draft. No matter what. Still no solution to my climax problem.
10/23: 388 words. Getting back on schedule is proving harder than I thought it would. Every time I sit down to write at night Demon Spawn #2 needs me to help her go to sleep. However, I figured out a solution to my climax problem! Thank goodness for these 4:00am feedings. I honestly believe I get some of my best work done when the house is dark, quiet, and I’m purely exhausted. Luckily, I even remember how I want this book to end in the morning.
10/24: 332 words. Ugh. Another too-busy-to-write day in the books. I need to catch up. I’ve got one week to finish this draft. Tomorrow has got to be different. My goal is 2,200 words to finish out this chapter. I know I can do it in four short sprints. Just got to take the time. And maybe convince the husband to take the kids. On the other hand, I know exactly how this book is going to end.
10/25: 922 words. Not as much as I was going for today, but I’m close to crossing the 50k line.
10/26: 879 words. Crossed the 50k mark! Woot! Woot! Again, not as many words as I wanted to hit today. Every word fought me. Every time I sat down to write, I dreaded taking this scene further, hated every word I’d written. I got the words on the page, but they’re all garbage.
10/27: 1,047 words. Okay, so I rewrote the entire scene I worked on yesterday. Needed 500 words to finish it. I added 1,000. Everything moved smoothly. Every word flowed. I tried to keep some of the original scene, but barely anything survived. In fact, I loved the new scene so much, I actually teared up at a very emotional point. I love it. And it’s a perfect ending to this book. Tomorrow, I go back and tackle the climax.
10/28: 1,046 words. Four days left to my deadline and counting. I’m working on the climax chapter of this book and the words are spilling out of my fingers faster than they have in a long time. I love writing action scenes. They’re usually the easiest for me to write, but this book has been fighting me every step of the way. Not in love with the book right now, but maybe when I read through it for revisions, it won’t be so bad. I’m getting really excited about starting my #NaNoWriMo2017 project. But I have to finish this book first.
10/29: 707 words. Word count took a bit longer to get to today, but my minimum was 700 words and I met that goal. I’m pushing myself hard these last couple days, but the kids just really don’t want me to work. Two days to deadline.
10/30: 953 words. Another action scene today and man, were those words flying. Must prioritize family now, or else I’d keep going and finish the last 900 words of this scene. One more day!
10/31: 899 words. And we have a draft, ladies and gentlemen! THE END. I have a page full of notes for revisions and only realized today my heroine is in the wrong profession, but all those changes are for another day. Today’s words flew by smoothly because I decided to write the climax last. Might have to try that again with another draft. Glad to be finished!