Thursday, 31 January 2013

January 31st – 95,270 words for the month.

When I started this challenge I knew it would be hard, and as I started it a few days late I expected it to be late February or early March before I caught up to the 2,740 word a day average required to meet the target.

Instead, after another good writing day, turning out 3,457 words I find myself on the north side of 95,000 words, and more than 10,300 words ahead of that running average word count.

In fact, I could have written a lot more, but sometimes other things intrude, and today I have a lot of publishing stuff to do – including sending out all the royalty statements. On top of that I’ve uploaded two books to the printers, have two more to upload, and then five books to convert to the various e-book formats in time for the launch of the books.

At some point I need to squeeze in some time studying too – my Apple course is approaching an interesting point – the treatment of images as objects, and that is a milestone I’ve been very interested in reaching – manipulating images is my idea of computer fun. Sad geek that I am.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

January 30th – 91,813 words completed.

I know I didn’t post yesterday’s count – I forgot until after I hit the “shut down” button last night. Yesterday was a busy day, after the illnesses in the family earlier in the month, followed by the “snowed in” conditions, we finally took the chance to get some retail therapy – well at least it was a way to get Marion out of the house!

I didn’t start writing till the late afternoon, and since there were a couple of interesting programmes I wanted to watch, I ended up stopping as soon as I’d hit the word count, or just past it. 2,806 words in the day.

Today seems to have been a never ending stream of visitors, all of whom were of course welcome, but from a writing point of view, a series of interruptions. Nevertheless, I’ve managed over 3,000 words – 3,015 to be precise if you want to split hairs, and that takes me nicely past the 91,000 word mark. I could have carried on for another couple of hundred words to make it past 92k but in the end other things needed attention.

First and foremost was installing Office 2013 that installed but failed to run, every time I tried it. In the end I tried the “clean boot routine” – which is the /a on the end of the command line in the shortcut and the fact I’m typing this in Microsoft’s new flagship shows it’s working okay. The first thing I did though was to change the horrible stark white background to the darkest grey one. It’s not as good as the 2010 black environment but otherwise seems to function smoothly. It certainly loads quicker than 2010 did.

More feedback on the new product as the days pass – for now, it works and let’s face it that’s the main thing we want from the tools of our trade. The bells and whistles can wait.

I have to say though, the result from the F7 Spelling and Grammar check is a bit off-putting. "Spelling and grammar complete. You’re good to go!” is in my view a little OTT, perhaps a little too American? LOL

Monday, 28 January 2013

January 28th – 85,992 words so far.

Well I’ve had one very busy day, and the evening isn’t going to be any less busy. This morning was taken up with household stuff – i.e. life interrupting art once more, so I only settled down to write this afternoon. 3,328 words later I’ve pulled the plug on the word processor to get stuck into the book cover work I need to get on with.

My partner sent me the final approved book blocks for three different books overnight, so I have to get three wraparound cover designs finalised and off to the authors for approval before uploading to the printers. We can’t do this stage until we’ve got the final edits back on the books themselves – print cover art, as opposed to e-book cover art, is dependent on page count in order to calculate spine width.

All good fun.

I knew today would be difficult. Yesterday I finished the first draft of one project so I would be starting another one today. In fact, as of lunch time I hadn’t even reached a decision as to which one I’d pick up. To make that decision I picked up half-a-down plans and starts I’d made and read though until one of them was kind enough to jump out and kick me in the rear yelling “write me”, “write me”. Who am I to refuse my muse when she’s in that kind of mood?

My next textbook arrived today, so I might even get some studying done as well, here’s hoping anyway.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

January 27th – 82,664 words

Well, two things are important about today, three even. First, and most importantly the snow has been washed away, pretty much, by the overnight rain. I have managed to get Marion out of the house again, for the first time in almost a couple of weeks. She’s smiling, anyway.

Secondly, in writing terms I’ve finished the current draft of this W.I.P. This story is going to sit in the metaphorical drawer for a few weeks now, and I’ll pick it up again, to edit it in a few weeks’ time.

Statistically it topped out at over 76,000 words, much longer than my original plan, but all the events from the plan are there, it’s just a bit wordier than intended. We’ll see what the edit brings – quite a lot of red ink if I’m not surprised. But, hey, that’s often the name of the game.

The third and final milestone today was passing the 80,000 word mark. I hit 3,825 words taking me to 82,664 words and that extra-long chapter at the end tied the story off nicely. I already feel confident the story works. Now I have until the morning to decide which story to pick up next, which part written, or planned, concept catches my eye and deserves the same treatment. We’ll see.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

January 26th - 78,839 words.

I’ve reluctantly had to stop today, despite being some 400 words short of the daily target. Having written 2,304 words I’ve reached the point where I’ve finished the scene. The next scene is the final climactic scene for the entire book, which now looks like topping out at 75,000 or more which is a good length for this kind of romance story.

I need to write the climax of the book in one go, it’s a difficult one to juggle, getting the reconciliation between husband and wife right, after such trauma in their relationship, is going to be difficult, let alone trying to do it in pieces.

Overnight it’s snowed, as forecast, with another four or five inches coming down. Surprisingly the paperboy’s been out in this, and although an hour late, delivered our paper this morning. All kudos to him for doing it, I’m not sure I would have wanted to do a paper-round in these conditions – ah - the resilience of youth! I don’t think very many of my neighbours are out and about in this either. However, there are signs it’s starting to thaw already, with bright sunshine in a cloudless day. If only we lived at the top of a steeper hill, and I was a skier. Since neither is the case, I see this as being another day in, instead.

Ah well, cake baking anyone?

Thursday, 24 January 2013

January 24th – 73,560.

My wife had her hair done this morning, Sue, her hairdresser does home visits, so today with Marion busy, I could sit at the laptop and concentrate for a couple of hours.

Ah… Blissful writing time. Such a nice change with no interruptions and best of all – no phone calls either. So it’s not yet quarter past eleven and I’ve hit my day’s target and completed a scene so I've stopped. That's 2,924 words today, taking me to a grand total of 73,560 words - which means I’m still well ahead of schedule, and not far off being three full days ahead. Before you ask, I’m not extrapolating that into a projected total for the year – it’s far too early for those kind of games! Let's see how progress goes over the next couple of months.

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

January 23rd – Another milestone – passed 70,000 words.

Despite the torture of seeing the physio this morning and the ache in my shoulder from the exercises she put me through, I’ve been able to sit at the screen and write today. 3,494 words to be precise, taking me, as the title suggests, through 70,000 words. In fact, 70,636 words to be precise.

Other than the physio diagnosing my problem is probably coming more from the neck than the arm and shoulder, she still worked me hard in the shoulder area. They don’t want to add another layer of painkillers to deal with the pins and needles, but at least the existing meds keep the real pain at bay, and allow me to function.

The changes to posture have had an effect; my back is a lot better, so all things considered we’re making progress – of a sort. I just have to try avoiding any movements that result in muscular compression on the right side neck and shoulder, all the exercises I’ve been given are to open not close them. That’ll be fun.

Duty now calls to other things, but hey’ I’m close to being 3 days ahead of the rolling target, so I’m feeling good. This book though is starting to overrun on word count, but that might be an issue at the edit stage rather than something to worry about now.

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

January 22nd – 67,142 words under my belt.

Still a lot of snow on the ground, and although I couldn’t claim we’re snowed in, travel out there isn’t easy. Most of the schools in town are still shut, and despite the scorn of many parents, my involvement with schools in the past, mean I know how difficult it is for a head teacher to make that call. I guess we need to change the blame culture in this country to get over that. I keep hearing comments like in my day; I walked to school in all weathers. There’s a simple answer to that – with far fewer cars on the road, in a time where you moved to live close to your children’s school, it was safer. Above all, if you slipped and broke his leg, your parents wouldn’t blame the school for it and then sue them. Today, you’d be ringing your lawyers from the ER as you waited for the results of your child’s x-ray – and planning your Caribbean holiday on the expected proceeds.

Rant over.

Benn a productive morning but I have other things to do this afternoon. I’ve managed just over 3,000 words today, 3,029 to be precise and this book keeps on growing. It may turn out, pre-edit, to be my longest one yet. However, edits are another issue and I wonder if I’m getting a bit wordy with it. Still a lock away in a drawer for a few weeks will make up my mind on that.

Busy for the rest of the day, so won’t be doing any more, which is a pity, still I can’t neglect everything just for the sake of writing.

Monday, 21 January 2013

January 21st – 64,113 words.

Thank goodness for Naproxen and an understanding doctor. In terms of pain management, my shoulder's been good, but would have run out of Naproxen tablets tomorrow if said understanding doctor didn’t give me a new prescription. Luckily he did just that, the only problem was I had to go fetch it, and then take it to the chemist to get it filled. In this weather!

It took me a good fifteen minutes just to clear the snow off the car. Clearing the drive would probably have given me a heart attack, as well as seriously aggravating my shoulder.

All done and dusted now, everything back “in the bubble” but tired after what felt a lot like an expedition. I guess those of you who live in much colder latitudes will think I’m some kind of a snow wuss, but truth be told, we’re not used to it round here.

Anyway, I crept past the day’s target, hitting 2,781 words and am probably only four or five days away from completing the book. Then it’ll be time to let this one lie fallow for a few weeks before picking it up again for editing. In the meantime the decision will have to be taken. Which project do I tackle next? Choices, choices, my kingdom for a choice…

Sunday, 20 January 2013

20th January – Hit 61,332 words

There is something peaceful about today. Not because it’s the Lord’s Day, simply because there’s nobody moving around outside. We’ve had no more snow, but what we have has now formed a frozen crust given it was so cold last night. As we live a good quarter of a mile away from any gritted roadway, the road is a skating rink and I guess, like me, nobody seems to want to take the risk of driving on it. Hopefully by the time I do need to go out tomorrow some traffic will have broken it up a bit more, and maybe dragged the grit from the main road further toward us.

Marion though, remains completely housebound by the whole thing and the frustration is starting to show.

Since it’s been so quiet I’ve been able to charge on with my writing and at 11:15, I stopped and totted it up. I completed the scene I’d been working on, without difficulty, so, maybe, people like Stephen King are right after all - you can leave off in mid-scene. It’s another long scene but I was surprised to find I’d hit 3,187 words, today, without really trying.

I could continue, but I have other stuff to do, not least sort out the print royalty statements for our authors and get them sent to my partner for checking. Work will never cease, I’m afraid.

The snow, well, we’re scheduled for some later today, so here’s hoping they’re wrong.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

January 19th – 58,145 words.

Thankfully, we haven’t had any more snow overnight or this morning, although we are forecast some for tomorrow. The skies are grey and overcast and look full of it. I guess we had about three inches of the white stuff yesterday so it could have been worse. According to the postman and the paperboy this morning it’s not too bad underfoot, the snow is crunchy rather than packed so it’s not particularly slippery. Not that I have any intention of venturing outside and finding out for myself.

It reminds me of an incident a Kentucky State student friend of mine told me about, which I later incorporated into a short story of mine, about going to class in high heels. She wore heels and the points pushed down through the snow, locking each step in place, while all around her the “on trend” and “cool” kids slid everywhere in their high tech trainers. I liked the concept and used it because I could imagine the sound. The staccato crunch, crunch, crunch, struck a chord with me.

Having said that, my female pen name for that story would have had to research it further and fall flat on her ass trying. Since I’m at sixteen and a half stone with a beard, you won’t see me walking outside in heels doing the research! Even if I could find a pair to fit.

I’ve got a lot to do this afternoon so I’ve had to stop writing, for now. I managed over 2,400 words on my main project and 600 words as a starter on another story. That one came to me overnight in a dream, and I had to write it down. Total of 3,085 words, and finished that many by half-one. So, feeling pretty pleased with that, in terms of progress.

Despite what I said in an earlier post, I have actually stopped mid-scene. Oh well, we’ll see what that brings tomorrow.

Friday, 18 January 2013

January 18th – Passed 55,000 words.

I spent the morning running all over town, sorting out package deliveries and then going ten miles out of town to find a cable I needed. Damn, why do these things have to be so complicated? As a result I guess I’m a little grateful that it’s been snowing all afternoon. At least I’ve been able to stay inside and concentrate on writing. Only a little grateful, I like looking at snow, not having to go out in it.

Not easy with a brand new toy sting there waiting to be set up, but still I’ve been pretty good.  I’ve managed 3,147 words today, taking me to a grand total of 55,060 words and I am now most definitely more than 2 days ahead of target.

This snow is set to last for most of the day, giving us something like six inches in as many hours – which might not be much for some of my Canadian friends and contacts, but for us is rather a lot. We’ve got some serious wind chill going on with it, so it’ll freeze without a doubt so I shan’t be turning out for a couple of days.

As a result, might get a long way ahead, which I might need – this story is already past its intended length, and I’m only half way through the plot. Ah, well, another series, anyone?

Thursday, 17 January 2013

January 17th – Passed the magic 50k mark – 51,913 words to date.

Seeing as I didn’t really get going on this challenge till the 3rd of the month, the fact I’m now passed 50,000 words is good progress. I daren’t try and calculate a revised target based on my output of the last fifteen days - that would be altogether too frightening.

I’ve managed 2,900 words today and reached an important scene change so it’s a good place to stop and pick it up tomorrow. I’ve heard about people like Stephen King and Peter K Hamilton who write 2,000 words a day and quite literally stop when they hit the number. I don’t think they do stop in mid-sentence, but they do stop in mid-paragraph or mid-scene. That would be very hard for me to do. Not that I’m as good as them, and maybe that’s the difference. They’re good enough to do that and pick it up again the next day. I’m not, for sure.

So 51,913 words, since the start of the year. Looking back it’s starting to seem a little crazy to attempt it, but I’m more than just on course, I’m within a hundred words of being two days in advance of the target.

Got to get busy on other things now, too much “stuff” to do. In part it’s a good job it’s snowing again, can’t go out in this. We are expected to get some serious snowfall overnight and tomorrow, almost blizzard conditions according to the forecast. Best stay indoors and just keep writing then.

Talk to y’all tomorrow.

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

January 16th - 49,013 words so far.

Compared to the hectic start to the week, today has been nice and relaxing. With the weather so cold, and snow still on the ground I certainly wasn’t going anywhere. I had a lot to do both personally and professionally today but I did get some quality writing time in.

In fact, I reached the end of a scene and checked the word count, and then decided to insert another sentence – I’d written 3,134 words which took me to exactly 49,000 words so far this year. Now, there was no way I could consider declaring such an artificial sounding number, even if I’d arrived at it accidentally. So another sentence was inserted, and to be fair it improved the scene taking me to 3,147 words for the day, 49,013 total.

I’m wondering if I’m getting a bit too obsessive, compulsive about this target?

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

January 15th – 45,866 words to date.

Today has been one touch emotional rollercoaster of a day so I’m very pleased to have managed to write my quota for the day. I hit 2,857 words today and I’m calling it quits.
This afternoon, despite the snow making movement difficult I took Marion to her retinopathy call back appointment at the hospital. We’ve been sweating this one for four weeks, as I know from long familial history how serious diabetic damage to the eyes can be. Apparently Marion’s screening photos had been different colours and assuming there was no technical fault with the camera, there were only two reasons they could reasonably expect for the difference – glaucoma or diabetic damage.

Luckily for the Bowman family, there’s a third rarer one. Marion’s optic nerve in her left eye was damaged by surgery following her stroke, fifteen years ago, and that was the reason. No glaucoma, no diabetic damage. No further action required.

So heart in mouth as I went into that appointment with her, became a huge sense of relief.  The chemicals of that relief are still flowing through my system, so it’s time for a beer and a chance to relax while she watches her favourite programmes on the box. Both of us relaxing in our own, different, way.

Monday, 14 January 2013

January 14th – Total now 43,009 words.

Well, it snowed overnight, and then started again about nine thirty and snowed into the early afternoon. Unfortunately I had to go out this morning, and of course when it snows everything, and I do mean everything seems to take longer. Despite my protestations to the teller about the weather she proceeded to try and sell me every product the bank carries, from house insurance to a new kind of bank account. I wasn’t interested, just wanted to get back to the car before it was covered by the snow, but she wasn’t having it. The supermarket wasn’t much better, and what should have been an hour stretched to well over two, what with the slow speed of the traffic and everything.

That blew the morning, and the afternoon was consumed by two jobs I needed to do for the publishing business, including getting the files for printing finished, checked and uploaded to the printer for a new release for one of our authors.

Together with several other issues that took time, for the first time this month, it’s gone 10pm and I’ve only just finished writing.

So, I forced myself over the target, forced in time terms, not creativity wise, given the time I’d keep going for hours at the moment. All in all, 2783 words, just over the wire. I know I’ve got some slack but no need to use it till I have to, is there?

Here’s hoping tomorrow, another busy day, doesn’t bring any more snow. We’re just not acculturated to dealing with it over here.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

January 13th – Passed 40,000 words – 40226 to be precise.

You know yesterday I said I’d be dog meat if it snowed? It snowed! Ah, well, anyone got a can opener?

Actually it didn’t snow enough to keep us in, so ,wonder of wonders, I managed to take Marion out for a couple of hours this afternoon. Although cold, it was sunny, and the air was crisp and dry. As a result the canning factory visit was avoided. The main snowfall is expected overnight, tonight and into tomorrow, perfect (not) as I have things to do and places to go.

I did manage to get a lot of writing down though, which is all to the good. Still working on two projects during the day, I’ve managed to finish off the user guide draft, so could put more effort into the fiction piece, and hit a grand total of 4,462 words as of now, 7pm. The main reason I’ve stopped is I finished the scene, which was a long one, so a twelve hour, or so break from the manuscript is a good idea.

On top of that I need to talk to one of our authors in the US about the cover concepts for her new series, and a good time to catch her is a Sunday afternoon. So Corrine if you’re listening, I hope you’re on line...

Saturday, 12 January 2013

January 12th – I’ve now reached 35,764 words.

Busy writing day today, split though across two different projects, with a total of 4043 words achieved.

It’s very cold today, and the temperature hasn’t risen much above freezing under the blue skies and even though there’s no wind it feels colder. Various parts of the country are expecting, or experiencing snow today, and more tomorrow, but we, according to the forecast, will be missing it until tomorrow night. Some small mercy at least. Don’t get me wrong I love to see the snow, just don’t like having to drive through it. Snowfall effectively means Marion becomes housebound too, pushing a wheelchair is no fun at all in snow conditions, and given she is only now getting over her cough, which has kept her housebound in any case, cabin fever is becoming an issue.

If it snows overnight I’m dog-meat!

Friday, 11 January 2013

January 11th – Reached 31721 words.

Today has been a bitty kind of a day. I’ve managed 3,054 words, but they’ve come in little spurts rather than in a good solid session. Not really sure why, just the way the day developed I guess.

Still, it’s more than the target and when you look at the surplus words, you could say I was more than half a day in front. As I said yesterday, getting ahead is a good thing; I’ll need the slack later in the month.

Interesting day outside of writing today too. A couple  of days ago we tried a doughnut recipe that was yeast free and supposedly rose to give a doughnut like texture without the kneading and leaving to rise. It tasted horrible, more like fried bricks than doughnuts, so they were binned. Today we tried a proper recipe (a sugar free one to boot, although of course the toppings and sugar dips are anything but).

This recipe was great, made the dough, kneaded it and left it for an hour and a half before rolling and cutting out the rings, then leaving them to rise again. Finally it was time to fry them – 55 seconds each side at 170. They came out PERFECT! Delicious, scrumptious, call them what you like, they were wonderful.

By the way, there’s none left – we only made a half size batch to try out both the recipe and the new fryer we bought at Xmas. Maybe I’ll share a picture the next time I make some. Sorry, for most of you it’d be a problem to get here to taste them.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

January 10th - 28,667 words to date.

Time to get on with other things today, but at least I’ve managed to write 3,506 words. This story is developing into more of a real-time plot – the action happening in the amount of time it would take the average person to read it. This is a bit of a departure for me, and is not my usual writing style at all. I’m going to be very interested in the editor’s take on this one, when, and of course, if, it ever reaches that stage.

Bear in mind of course, this is still only the first draft, and I might yet red pen huge chunks out of it, but that’s for another time, another place. For now it’s get on with the business of life, and the business of publishing – lots to do, and with the writing done, at least some time to do it in. I can do this at this time in the month and quarter, but in a week or so when I start to get the final sales figures in from Amazon, and at the end of the month when I’ve got to balance and distribute all the royalty reports, I won’t have the time. Getting ahead is therefore the name of the game and as I’m now 1,200 words ahead of schedule, that’s all to the good.

Things have improved for me health wise too, my back hardly played up last night, and, touch wood, hasn’t played up at all today. That advice from the physiotherapist about posture must have something going for it. However, having found out I can’t remove the arms from my chair without demolishing the chair entirely, I’m not sure if this is relief or simply a respite. The shoulder blade exercises still feel weird and it’s too soon to tell if they’re working, we’ll have to see.

My talk last night went down very well, and the audience seemed both interested and asked good questions afterwards, I’m not sure if the title “Finding the Stories in the Cracks Between The Paving Slabs of History” intrigued my audience, or put off others from coming, we’ll see.

Onwards and upwards...

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

9th January 25161 words so far.

Today I’ve managed 3,127 words, so I am now officially 500 words ahead of the cumulative target. I’d expected the day to go badly, not having had very much time to write at all, but somehow, when I have sat down, the words have flowed from my head onto the screen with little fuss or problem.

Given this is a complex scene, even though there are only two participants, it’s the pivotal scene in the entire book, so this has been very surprising.

I’ve had to stop now, I need to get ready for my talk tonight, and there are lots of things I need to pull together, not least the need to convert to working from handouts rather than using a projector (the Studio’s projection is, it seems, now unavailable). This has meant some construction changes to the structure of the talk, so I could probably claim a few hundred extra words on that.

Physiotherapy went well this morning. At least now I have a provisional diagnosis of my shoulder problem – a tendon being pinched in the rotator cuff, which makes sense given the agonising demonstration of exactly the movement I need to make to generate the most pain. Thankfully that movement is not a natural one so one I won’t be repeating any time soon – either consciously or unconsciously.

The rest of my problem comes from my posture; I tend to slouch so I need to sit more upright, which means removing the arms from my office chair and scooting the chair right under the desk and engaging the lumbar support. As I’m typing this I’m perched upright on the front of the chair, but my back is unsupported and that won’t do. I have an exercise to perform as well, to rotate my shoulder blades toward each other and then down, while sitting or standing upright. It’s actually very hard and I have to suppress a giggle – it feels very much like the rhyme I used to hear at school from the direction of the girls – “I must, I must, I must improve my bust.” Thank you, but no thank you if you get my drift.

Tomorrow could well be a great writing day, getting me even further ahead. My fingers are itching, but life intervenes, once more.

STOP PRESS; Just got the old screwdriver set out and found I can't remove the arms form the chair - it's the arms that hold the back on. Time for a rethink, I guess.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

January 8th. – Total so far, 22,034 words.

Yeah, did it! I managed 2,881 words today so that means I have officially caught up to, and passed my metronomic target. I am actually ahead of it for the very first time.

Today was quite fraught as I tried to sort out a bank issue for my father which came about due to a mistake by my son, and I’m piggy in the middle when it comes to recriminations! Still the woman behind the counter was the equivalent to a Claridges trained waiter when it came to professional sweetness and light, so thanks to her and the bank that trained her. All sorted.

The rest of the day just got bittier and bittier after that so actually hitting that number of words was a bonus for me.

Tomorrow is going to be a bad day for writing, and it’s going to be bookended by my two least favourite tortures. First thing in the morning I’m off to physiotherapy for my shoulder, so here’s hoping that goes well, and in the evening my least favourite torture of all – speaking in public at the launch of my 2013 tour talk.

“Finding the compelling stories in the cracks between the paving slabs of history” sounded like a great sound bite, but is now officially the longest “lecture” title in the history of the Nottingham Writer’s Studio.

Anyway, come one, come all, everyone welcome, details on the Nottingham Writers Studio web site, and I’m only doing a soft sell of my books, not a hard sell. Honest.

Monday, 7 January 2013

January 7th. Total so far 19153 words.

Today has been a frustrating day, on so, so many fronts. In writing terms I managed 3340 words, only to find that left me just 27 words short of wiping out the first couple of days deficit. If only I’d added another couple of sentences to that scene.

Still wouldn’t do to pad it, would it?

Managed to get a lot of other stuff done as well, but a couple of those things developed issues which will eat into my time tomorrow. Things seem to snowball from simple solutions to bigger problems around here.

On the personal side, I’m still the only man standing as the rest of the extended family start to recover from the various bugs, coughs, sneezes and diseases that have powered through us.

However, on the positive side the enhanced pain meds are working and tomorrow I should be in a position to make my appointment with the torture team, otherwise known as the physiotherapists. Although given I have full motion in the shoulder and the pain meds are completely masking the symptoms, I guess they going to have their work cut out to establish the problem without tearing my arm off in the process.

That’s an edifying thought.

Still, one week in and I’m virtually bang on target for my million word goal. Nice.

One of my writing friends deserves an honourable mention too, as she too is trying to get a lot of writing done in a short space of time – well done Deborah, keep it up.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

January 6th. – 16440 words

Interesting day today, well in writing terms, anyway. I didn’t get a good night’s sleep so was up and about early, and I had my writing head on. Despite a break for breakfast and that perennial Sunday morning chore – checking for a Lotto win, something done more out of hope and desperation than expectation – and with the usual, negative, result, by 9:15am I’d almost hit the daily target, having written 2600 words.

I have a lot of things to do today, thusI knew my writing time was limited so after a couple of more life interruptions, by lunchtime I had to stop. My fingers were on fire and by the time I stopped I’d hit 4573 words for the day, and I’m now almost caught back up to the relentless schedule. Yeah!

Tomorrow is one of those busy “life” mornings so I’ll be working in the afternoon rather than the morning but still, over the last four days, all positive against the schedule, I’m beginning to feel more confident yet; however with so long to go, as they say 'Anything can happen'... and in the world of fiction writing – it probably will.

The pain meds are certainly doing the job, so this afternoon it’s time to bury myself, literally and figuratively, in publishing work.

I’m still inspired by the current W.I.P. so tomorrow could well be another good day.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

5th January.

Just thought I’d better bring this statistically up to date - 11,240 words so far.

1stJanuary – no I didn’t have a hangover, but didn’t have a lot of time for writing, and indeed hadn’t even reached more than a tentative decision to do this, so only managed 1,395 words on a newsletter. That’s about 50% of average, so not the best start.

2nd January. Had a major health scare with a family member, so was unable to spend more than a quick fifteen minutes on my iPad all day. Thankfully the scare was resolved but a scare means precisely that, my head wasn’t into writing. Still the 15 minutes yields a short cut scene for the start of a short story, even if it was only 232 words.

3rd January. Much better day. With virtually the whole family housebound due to one of the cough and cold bugs going around, I had more time to write. Sometimes being somewhat immune to these winter viruses (as opposed to the summer ones which always bite me) works very much in my favour. So, on the writing front 2,870 words, just over the required average. Not such a good day on the personal front, my diabetic check up has revealed I’ve put on seven kilos in weight since I had to abandon going to the gym since the shoulder problem developed at the end of October. So on advice, I’m now going back to the doctor’s tomorrow.

4th January. Well, this is fun. The doctor has confirmed I should stay away from the gym and given me stronger pain meds which means I can write, and with no gym, have no excuse not to. As a result felt in the swim with it, empowered even, so cranked out 3,229 words, well above the average so gaining ground on the target slippage.

5th January. The stronger pain meds have kicked in today. It’s only just gone 3pm and I’ve written 3,570 words and am stopping now to pick up other things. Publishing and editing wait for nobody.

My total for the five days is 11,240 words, still some 2,460 short of target, but that’s well down on the slippage from earlier in the week.

For those who are interested, the last three days words have been written on the Nanowrimo project I had to abandon due to the aforementioned shoulder problem – which amazingly hasn’t bothered me all day! Yeah for pain meds!

Onwards! Daily posts from now on, or at least every other day.

My Million Word Year - 2013.


This blog is about my attempt to challenge or even define my writing productivity. My aim is to write an average of 2740 words per day, for the entire year, and thereby produce 1,000,000 words in 2013.

Other people have attempted such a feat before, and many have succeeded, and it is my intention to succeed at it myself. However, there is, of course, no guarantee.

Each day, or at least every other day, I will post my progress, and talk about the issues I’ve encountered in my writing, or the things that have affected my writing, or lack thereof.

Just to be precise on this point, this blog will NOT count toward my word count. The only thing that will count is genuine writing on either newsletters and reviews, or works I’m planning to get published one day.

1,000,000 words sounds a lot, but that’s only 100 10,000 word short stories, or 200 5,000 word ones. It’s 10 long 100,000 word novels, or 20 short 50,000 word ones. It’s 25-40 novellas or any mix of the above. I don’t write enough reviews to write 2,000 500 word reviews so there won’t be many of those.

I don’t intend to bore the pants off you with the details of my various works in progress, nor my various writing personas – I have five pen names that will be involved here, nor do I expect every word I write to be published. I hope they will all, after editing transmogrify into published work, but these will, this year be first draft pieces, and you know what editors are like with the red pen! When I looked through my live directory on my writing PC I realised I had almost 20 stalled work in progresses, ranging from sci-fi to romance to speculative to historical to alternative history. To finish them I would need to write around 700,000 words, and most of them had at some time or other been promised to somebody for this year. Then a writing contact of mine mentioned the magic number – 2740 – the number of words to write a day in order to hit a million in a year.

Please come along for the ride, and enjoy my experience, or commiserate with me in my misery, one or the other, I hope, it’ll be a real ride.

PS I’m not giving odds on achieving it or not, the odds would be quite long I suspect, but I intend to give it a “bloody good go”.