More Magic Spreadsheet, or This is What a Month of Writing Every Day Looks Like


You see that picture?  That’s what wordcounts for writing every day look like.

I don’t want to harp on about the Magic Spreadsheet too much, but I do want to spend a bit of time actually making note of how I’m working on my writing process, and right now, it’s part of it.

I’ve always kind of flailed about a bit with my writing process.  I’ve logged wordcounts for a while, but I inevitably forget to note down one day, and then it’s all gone to hell.  I’ve worked for periods of time without logging wordcounts.  I’ve gotten some stuff done – I’ve finished a novel (currently trunked), I’ve finished short stories and novelettes.

But – as anyone who gets to talk to me about writing will tell you – I’ve always despaired of being too damn slow.  At the moment, I’m writing a first draft of Never, and I needed to break myself out of the habit of fiddling about too much with small parts of it.  I’m not the kind of writer who can produce a wonderful first draft, and I need to accept that, and accept, too, that my time is better spent on redrafting and editing rather than trying to get it all down on the page the first time.

As a side note, I know that authors exist who can write really clean first drafts.  I salute them and their brains.  Maybe in time, when I’ve worn the grooves in my brain enough, I’ll be able to produce better first drafts.

Which is to say that I am allowing myself to write what is possibly one of the worst first drafts ever.  I am not deleting anything, but I am simply pushing on every day to make my word count.  I’ll go back and add notes in previous chapters of things that need to be added, but that’s all.

As you’ll see, this last week I have been sick.  Yet another damn respiratory infection (yay having a kid at kindy for the first time and being moderately immunosuppressed).  And I have still been writing.  I am kind of scared to look at the words for those really sick days, but I’m thinking of them as a framework.  A skeleton which I’m going to flesh out in the next draft.  It’s forward motion, baby, and I feel like I’m actually getting somewhere.

As I type this, I’ve just crested 70k on this draft.  Glancing at the magic spreadsheet, which handily collates these things for me, I’ve written 77, 720 words since starting with the spreadsheet on May 25th.  Yes, some of those words were discarded (bad writer, no cookie).  And it’s going to take me a good while to hammer this into good enough shape to get sent to some beta readers, but it’s a start.  And I’ll take that.