I’m Not A Word Count Writer

I wanted to be. I still do want to be. But the honest truth, y’all? I’m not.

And it’s not because I set unrealistic word count goals. At least, not anymore. I used to. But then I’d fall off the wagon a week in and I’d be running to catch up, only to be left in the dust because I didn’t run fast enough or hard enough or consistently enough.

Being a consistent writer… Well, what do I consider consistent? Every day? Yeah, sure. I’d love that, but again, that whole honesty thing and no. I’m not an every day writer. This is something I’m still coming to terms with. I’d like to think that I will one day be an every day writer, but… Now, some people consider any writing, writing… Journals, blogs, books, short stories, essays. And if that’s something I adopt as a truism, then I am an every day writer because I journal, whether it be my regular empty my head of the shit journal or my gratitude journal daily.

I am always thinking about writing, whatever book or books that I’m working on, how to re-write a blurb, what’s coming, what plot point needs fixing… An author I love, V.E. Schwab considers these ruminations writing and well, who am I to argue?

So, if I’m not a word count writer, what am I? And can I aspire to certain word counts?

The answer to the second question is yes. A group on Facebook that I’ve joined has a 10K Words in a Day challenge. I have tried it once. The other days they did it, didn’t work for me as I was either on the road or had family things come up. But I did try it and I did do well. Not 10K well, but over 6K that day and it was good. Of course, my brain was fried afterward and I didn’t write for several days.

Not being a word count writer I think is also why I don’t win NaNoWriMo, even though I try every year. But if I approach it differently this year, maybe… If I approach it the way I plan to approach Camp NaNoWriMo, I should be able to pull it off. We’ll see. (I did not pull off Camp NaNoWriMo, this year.)

I tried doing 10K Weekends and I loved this idea so much, but I couldn’t seem to get my ass in gear consistently enough to do it. I’d put it off on Thursday, and say that I’d make it up on Friday, and then oh look! it’s Saturday and then Sunday and well, I’ll try next weekend. Yeah, that sucked. It sucked hard. I haven’t attempted it in a long time.

Now, the answer to the first question… I’m a deadline writer. I think I’ve always known it, at least always as far as my decade+ long writing career has been going on. When I wrote just for me, or for Literotica, or whatnot, I wrote until I was finished. I wrote a lot in a short span of time. There were no expectations. No one cared. It was just me. And often in the middle of the night after the family was asleep. Once I began pursuing publishing and writing as a career, I wrote my own way. A lot here. A little there. A lot more somewhere else. So on and so forth until the book was finished. If there was a deadline, I rarely missed it. Except when it came to self publishing. I could move that date around all I wanted. And that’s pretty much what I did.

When 2020 began, I took author Sarah Cannon’s writing plan workbook and worked up a plan for releases, word counts, days off, etc… And within a couple of weeks, I’d once again fallen off the wagon. I raced to catch up. I modified my route to make it easier, but it didn’t work. By the end of January, I’d only written 24,448 words. I was 40,000+ words behind where I’d planned to be. I was discouraged. I was sad. And I wrote all of 1444 words in February.

I spent most of February depressed and aimless. I was falling back into this pattern that I have every single time I’d set word count goals. I tried to fight through it because my plan for 2020 was bigger than a single month. And then… I ended up spending 10 days in Florida. I wasn’t on vacation. My time wasn’t my own. My mom had knee replacement surgery the day before my 49th birthday and got out of the hospital on my birthday. That same day, my grandmother came down with the flu. Was taking care of two of the most stubborn women I know, alone. I didn’t get to celebrate my birthday and that kind of depressed me, too. I spent very little time doing anything but seeing to their needs and running errands they couldn’t. But it did offer me some moments to think…especially in the car on the drive down and back home. I wondered what I could do differently than I had been. What could I change? What inside my head would make any sense? That’s when it kind of hit me. I’m a deadline writer. And I didn’t know why I couldn’t see it before.

1K1Hr… That was the standard word sprint. For others. Give me an hour to write 1000 words and I’ll waste time until the last 30min. Give me a deadline and I’ll typically write a little here, and a little more there, and bust my ass the last two weeks to get it finished. I usually have multiple projects going, too. This is how I wrote as much as I did when I first started out in 2008/2009.

I kept telling myself that I couldn’t write that way anymore, and yet… Why not? Cleary the way I wanted to write wasn’t working for me, so why couldn’t I try going back to what I know did work?

I’m currently working on 5 different books. 3 new ones and 2 re-releases, along with re-writing 2 blurbs. I know what I’ll work on next month because it has a pretty immediate deadline. But the ones I’m working on right now, have later in the year deadlines. I’ll be putting things up for pre-order to seal in the deadlines from Amazon and that will help me out a lot. And yes, I could do the same thing and set daily word count goals, but that’s never been me as a writer. Facing the truth of how I write is not fun or easy. Not when I want to be some other way. But it’s also kind of freeing. I’ll enjoy it more if I don’t force myself into a hole I don’t fit in.

Have a great weekend, y’all.

Lissa

To Finish Or Not To Finish The Book…

There really isn’t a question or an option. Finishing the book is a must. And soon. Like soon soon. Like a few weeks ago soon.

So, once again, I’m on a mission to write 10,000 words this weekend. 2500 words a day for 4 days. That’s what I must do. The book will be out later this month, so, I really have no choice. Life, once again… Well, it’s can’t get in the way. It has to be put on hold and the family has to fend for itself and I have to be left alone for a few hours a day.

Writing sprints are my friend.

Family members who want to know what we’re doing, eating, etc… are not my friend in cases like this. Can anyone else relate? Anyone? Bueller?

10,000 words in 4 days (or whatever amount you need). 10,000 is a goal, but maybe not your goal. I’m flexible.

Leave a comment if you want to play along. Starting word count, if you’d like.

Social media, too. #10KWeekendsforWriters

Join me in my insane quest, please. Won’t you?

~lissa

 

I’m the road, but I’m planning to write…

It’s that time of week again. Time for word count challenges and working your way and mine up to 10,000 new words by midnight Sunday (9/24/2017). Can you do it? Can I?

I didn’t last weekend. I think I maybe got 200 words, before the spouse came down ill with an infection and fevers. I haven’t written anything all week, either. I’m on my way to the mountains of North Georgia this weekend for a little time away (though the famdamnily is coming with) and hopefully some distraction free (meaning no pets, no chores) writing and relaxation.

ILinky is still not working on my site, so if you want to play along, simply leave a comment below and keep track with your starting and ending word count. The hashtag for social media is #10KWeekendsforWriters and you can find me on Twitter (@lissamatthews) and on Facebook (authorlissamatthews and LissaMatthewsAuthor) and on Instagram (@lissamatthews).

So, give it your best shot and I’m going to give it mine. I’m behind on finishing my current WIP and it’s time to buckle down, even in the mountains.

Good Luck and Get Writing!

~lissa

I Need a Challenge… How About You?

As I get my ass back in writing mode and as NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) approaches, I thought now would be a good time to start #10KWeekendsforWriters up again.

It didn’t gain much traction the last few times I tried it and who knows if it will this time or not, but I’ve decided to go ahead and open it up for anyone who might want to, including myself. I definitely could use the challenge.

I will be using a timer for word sprints and I will be using Pacemaker.press to track my word count goals. If you don’t know what Pacemaker.press is, I urge you to look into it. It’s awesome and it has motivated me. I feel bad when I see the 0 and the did not write this day… Like really bad.

So, this is the way the challenge works…(You can read about the origins of this idea HERE). It’s Thursday thru Sunday night, ending at 11:59pm Eastern (because that’s my time zone). You add your name and info into the Linky down below. However, at the present time, the Linky widget isn’t working on my site, so please leave a comment down below until I can get the Linky fixed. You can use the hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters on social media to connect with me and anyone else who chooses to participate. That’s it. I’ll be updating my word count, grousing about needing more coffee, etc… But my goal is 10,000 words by 11:59pm on Sunday.

Let’s write, shall we?

~lissa

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10K Weekends For Writers

10K WEEKENDS-2

(Updated Post…)

So, I had an idea… (this still remains true)

No, I’m not talking about a race where you have to lace up your shoes and walk or run 6.2 miles. Heaven forbid! Not that we shouldn’t move around a little bit, because we absolutely should. It’s why I stand to work most days now, but that’s another post for another day. The 10K I’m talking about is writing words.

When I first started in publishing, there were several of us who would commit to writing 10,000 words in a weekend. Sometimes there were longer word counts, rarely ever shorter ones. But some of us would write well into the night or early in the mornings. We’d check in on social media or through Yahoo! IM. It was fun and it was a good way to get some words in and not always feel so isolated.

That’s what this is about. Starting on Thursdays and going through Sunday nights at 11:59pm, up to 10,000 words are written.Not everyone will get 10,000 words in just a few days. Some will definitely surpass it. But the goal is to try, to challenge ourselves, to maybe even surprise ourselves. And I know with family and friends and work and home, etc… it’s not always easy to write on the weekends, but for many, writing during the week after work or before work or after dinner or after the kids go to bed or…the list goes on… isn’t easy, either.

These reasons and because I need a good solid kick in the ass sometimes is why I wanted to create this writing challenge. As much for me as for anyone else it may help.

This is how it works… Below each post on Thursdays, there will be a Linky. Add your name. Check in on social media with the hashtag #10KWeekendsforWriters to update your word count, starting, ending, etc… There’s a button on the sidebar —-> over there…for you to snag if you want to add it to your own site and link back to mine and this post. I’ll also have little finish line badges that will have different word counts on them for you to grab when you hit a certain one.

All writers of any stage of the game are welcome. Beginners all the way to someone who’s published a ton of books. Bloggers are welcome, too.

This whole idea sorta came to me while I was washing my hair and I realized maybe it’s not just be me who would benefit from some blocks of writing time and a goal, even if you don’t make it to 10K.

So, what do you say? Are you interested? If so, Click Here and add your name to the Linky. You can find me on the following social media sites:

Twitter: @lissamatthews

Facebook: authorlissamatthews (profile) and LissaMatthewsAuthor (page)

Instagram: @lissamatthews

~lissa

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