Sunday, 30 June 2013

30th June – 6 months in.

Today is the official half-way point through the challenge, and as I’m sitting at 526,270 words, you’d assume I was 26,270 words ahead of the schedule. In fact I’m more than that (30,330 words to be exact) – if you check the calendar, you’ll find that thanks to February and the distribution of 31 day months, the first “half” of the year is shorter than the second “half”.

By the way, I hit 3,645 words today, so I’m well pleased with my Sunday morning effort. Since I’ve baked four loaves of bread (small ones) and we’re half way through cooking a very fragrant lemon drizzle cake, it’s been a productive morning.

When I look back at the last six months, there are 2 days at the beginning when I didn’t write (because I didn’t officially start until the 3rd January), two days when I didn’t write due to a major combination of family celebrations (parent’s 60th anniversary and wife’s birthday) and 14 days when I was on holiday and the laptop only got used to check e-mails.

So, 1 total of 18 non-writing days, when I had reasons not to write, three days when I was short of the target, but on every other day, I exceeded the 2,740 word count, on occasion actually doubling it, but more usually somewhere between 2,900 and 3,800 words each day.

Now, the big question, is how do I feel about that, and do I feel burnt out so as not to be able to continue?

To answer the second part first, no I don’t feel burnt out, if anything I feel energised by it. I recently had the very first work, which contributed to this effort, back from the editor. As I went through the edits I noticed one thing straight way – what I’m writing now is better than my writing six months ago. At the same time what I’m writing now is flowing better from the tips of my fingers than it ever has.

To answer the first part of the question, I feel great about it. That old saying about “write every day” has proven itself to be absolutely true. I now write more, with fewer mistakes, more coherent plots (except for one piece where I’ve spotted a massive plot hole) and I’m doing it much more quickly as well. The 3,645 words I managed to do today, took me less than two hours, considerably less, although I wasn’t actually timing myself. That was spread over no less than four stints, as attending to the baking meant interrupting myself that many times.

I’m sorry if this sounds smug, I’m not trying to be, I’m simply stating the facts, and one additional one. I’m proud of achieving a half mill in six months, and barring unforeseen circumstances, I’m confident of hitting another half-mill in the second half of the year, thus reaching my target with potentially December to spare.

Someone asked me if I was going to do Nanowrimo as well this year, keeping it separate from this challenge. That would mean writing 2,740 words each day on this challenge and 1,667 words each day on the Nanowrimo one. Hmm… I wonder… Although I guess I’ll make that decision at some point in October.

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