Another month of writing has passed, which means it’s time for another installment of State of the Writer, where I talk about what I worked on the previous month.
As a brief recap, I ended September with 26,237 new words, for a total of 104,188 words for the year, and I was on chapter 15 of my current novel.
So how did I do in October?
- Created new writing rules: a) write for an hour a day, and b) write a minimum of 500 words. If after 500 words, there is still time left on the clock, and there often is, then I must continue to write until the hour is up.
- Wrote 21,405 new words.
- Added 10 new chapters on my second novel, title still TBD. I ended the month by completing chapter 25.
- My current WIP officially became a novel this month, clocking in at 45,771 words.
- Sent Dangerous Contracts out to Beta Readers for feedback, it is still out for review.
- Continued outlining and worldbuilding for the DNA Detective Series.
- Updated my website. (What do you think?)
- Created Team Julie, a way for my readers to get a FREE copy of every book I publish
- Total words since May 2017: 125,593
One of the major things I’ve struggled with this month is focus. I allowed myself to play online when I should have been writing, and as a result I wrote approximately 4,800 words less than the previous month.
I’ve discovered that one of my major triggers that gets my mind wandering is not knowing where the story is going. The more I have to think about what I’m writing and where I want the story to go, the more likely it is that I will find myself on Facebook, wasting the time I should be writing.
Which I find surprising. After years of swearing that I was a pantser, I’m discovering that there is a lot of merit to being a plotter and having an outline. (Pantser? Plotter? What’s the difference?) When you have an outline, even if you deviate you still have a road map to refer to which is much easier than staring at a blank page and hoping something will come.
One of the tricks I’ve picked up to combat this issue is to take five minutes each morning to write down the bullet points of a scene before I start writing. Then, I go back and fill in all the details. This is a trick that I picked up from one of the various writing podcasts that I listen to, and I’ve found that on the days I employ this trick, the words come easier, and I get through a scene faster than if I tried to think it up as I wrote.
However, despite the lack of focus, I still logged 21K more words that I wouldn’t have logged if I wasn’t writing. Not too shabby. November is NaNoWriMo, and while I don’t plan on participating this year, I’d like to honor the month by trying to push myself to write more than I did in October.