Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #25

Well, I’m not going to post my word count table this week, because I’m feeling pretty horrible about it. Overall, I’m still 18,000 words behind my target. The good news is that I haven’t fallen any further behind this week. I’ve come to realize a few things about achieving a daily writing target:

  1. Writing multiple times in a day helps me reach my 1,000 words/day goal. I find in one “sitting” I can easily write 600 words. Which translates to needing a minimum of 2 writing sessions in a day (preferably morning and night).
  2. Focusing on how behind I am only makes me not feel like writing. It is much easier if I remind myself that I’ve already written well over 200,000 words since September 1, 2017! Go me!
  3. Trying to catch up (write 18,000 words) in one day or one weekend is an unachievable goal with how my life is currently set up (day job, kids, etc.). It works much better if I just tell myself to keep pushing for another couple minutes after I reach my 1,000 word goal. This often gets me to 1,100 or even 1,600 words in a sitting. Which means that I’m slowly catching up, bit by bit.

So, that’s what I’ve learned this week, and that’s what I’m focusing on. I’m still distracted by my Kindle Scout Campaign for Under Jupiter. I’ve got 4 Days left and I haven’t made it onto the Hot and Trending list for even a single house. Please help me out by nominating if you haven’t done so already. This is your shot at getting my book for free, and I will be eternally grateful. Just go here.

Under Jupiter by J.E. Hunter INSTAGRAM TEASER

Other good news is that I’ve finally broken through my writer’s block and found an idea that I love. I’m going to share some details as I work on it. It’s kept my word count high this week, and so far the story is lovely and so fun to write. I can’t wait to share more details with you.

Also, I’ve been doing a bit of gardening (and less going to the gym, but I figure all that squatting time counts for something, right?). Here’s some pictures of my flower boxes.

Have a great week!

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #24

If you’re caught up on my blog then you know that I spent this past weekend at a writing retreat. I had all sorts of dreams about pounding out 30,000 words in one weekend. But what actually happened was that I finished about 10% of that goal, and spent a lot of time workshopping, rewriting, and reading Jane Eyre instead. But the retreat location was perfect: quiet, remote, and with no real distractions (though they did still have wifi). Below are a couple of pictures from the location, including a gorgeous sunset (which was one of the few distractions, good thing it was short lived!)

Where I’ve been struggling with my writing goals is TIME. I haven’t been setting aside the approximate 30 minutes a day to get my 1,000 words done. I keep telling myself that I’ll have “a big weekend” and get back on target, and then it doesn’t happen. The thing about writing on the weekend is that there is always something better to do be doing, whether that’s hanging out with friends or family, going to the farmer’s market, jogging, or checking out a new movie or season on Netflix. Since September, I’ve noticed that I write more on the weekdays, the same days that I do my day job, and it’s because there is less distraction. While I spent 8 hours in my office, once that’s done I often come home, which leaves me with a lot of time to get my word count in. On the weekends I often go out, leaving me with too much distraction and too little focus. I guess I’ll have to spend the next few months improving this habit. Below is a look at my word counts since May 1st.

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I have to admit that this week I’ve also been distracted by my KindleScout campaign for Under Jupiter. If you haven’t had the time to nominate the book, that’s alright. But please head over and click the big blue button sometime before May 29th. You will get my eternal thanks, a shot at getting a free copy, and let’s be honest, each book I eventually sell goes a long way toward keeping this blog running!

Under Jupiter by J.E. Hunter INSTAGRAM TEASER

Now that I’ve finished Under Jupiter, my 365,000 word writing goal has turned to focus on two of the other projects that were on my initial list of five: Half-Moon Blood, which is something I’m writing for WattPad, and MF (which still goes by a code name), a stand-alone epic fantasy.

How’s your word count going?

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #22

It’s been almost two weeks since I updated. During that time I’ve been working fairly diligently on two of my main projects, Under Jupiter and MF. And tonight I passed 200,000 words!!!!!

PARTY TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Obviously this nice round number feels pretty big. I started this goal in September of 2016, and a lot of time has passes since then, and obviously I’ve written a lot of words. But sometimes I wonder just where all of those words have gone, because I feel like I have so many unfinished projects that I must still be an undergrad. Seriously. It feels like it is taking forever to finish things. I think part of that is the fact that I’m often working on more than one book at a time. Like right now I’m doing rewrites of Under Jupiter and doing a first draft of MF. Also, I have about an hour a day (if I’m lucky) to get all my words and rewriting in. And that’s if I’m not so tired that I just pass out the moment the house is quiet. I do wish that I would have been tracking daily the project I was working on, that would really help me understand where all the words have gone.

But I made it! Deep breath. To Two Hundred Thousand Words. Which means I can totally do this. I can totally do this. And come September. I will have finished things. And they will be wonderful.

JEH

 

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #21

Okay, this week wasn’t as good as last week. The main reason for that is I wrote nothing one day because I was too addicted to reading The Girl on the Train. I consciously made this choice, but I’m still wondering if that makes it okay or not. I did write more the next day to make up for it, as you can see on the chart. I made it to the gym twice, and I also made it out to writing group for a weekly writing session, where I got a lot of work done on Under Jupiter. I also found a new favourite tea collection which is currently fuelling my writing session.

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From the chart, you can also see that I did better this week at concentrating on Under Jupiter. I’m working on it at the moment, actually, but am taking a quick break to write this blog that I was supposed to write yesterday. Oops! Ah well, I have some more interesting blogs coming up for you next week, including more book discussions and fabulous pictures. Like this picture of the candle and pretty books sitting beside me on my desk.

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This coming week, I’m expecting to see a high word count. Mostly because I need to push to finish Under Jupiter, and a couple other projects I’d like to self-pub soon, because I love them and I’m excited to share them, and I’m also kind of addicted to self-publishing. Yes, you heard that right.

Alright, time to get back to the real work. I hope you had a good week, and I’ll chat soon.

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #20

Well, yesterday I reached the official halfway point… And I’m currently only 3,400 words behind my goal!!!! *Celebration dance* *Throws flowers in the air*

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I never planned on rewards for this challenge. Writing almost 180,000 words in six months feels like accomplishment enough. Especially when I have a near full-time day job, two crazy monsters and one crazy cat to look after the rest of the time. Let’s be honest, it can be very difficult most days. But this goal has taught me so much, even though I’m only halfway through. For instance, I’ve learned that I CAN write 1,000 words a day every day if I really set my mind to it, though writing over 600 words feels like a challenge on the busy days, but is really easy on the weekends (unless it is a jam-packed fun weekend of ice fishing).

This past week was a great week. I even had one 3,000 word day that I wasn’t expecting, though it was on a side project instead of the main project I’m working on drafting, which is MF. A lot of my word count lately comes from rewriting Under Jupiter. Since I drafted UJ about ten years ago, there is a lot of rewriting to do. I’m a much stronger writer now, and have an easier time picking out the plot gaps and character weaknesses that need to be filled in. In other words, there are a lot of missing words. Here’s a shot of my tracking sheet for the past week. You can also see that there were a couple days slightly under the 1,000 words. But at least I averaged out well!

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When I set this massive goal back in September, I said I would be focusing on five major projects, and nothing else. That goal has definitely changed, though I did initially wrap up the Black Depths Universe, which was one of the projects. I’m currently working on drafting MF, which for now all I will say is an adult fantasy novel. The rewriting project, Under Jupiter, wasn’t initially budgeted for, because I didn’t take into account all the effort of rewriting, and all the new words I would be adding. These words will likely only count for the rewriting process, and when I get into third and forth drafts, that word count will disappear and I will have to go back to drafting new things to get my 1,000 words a day. After I finish drafting MF, I’m hoping to write a new adult fantasy. I’m pretty excited for this but I don’t think I’ll get around to it until at least June, and that will probably be the last project of this year long goal, and hopefully by then I’ll be at my 365,000 words.

So, while I wasn’t planning on getting myself rewards, I feel that this halfway point is deserving of a little something, mostly because there is still a long way to go! I’m thinking a book or a chocolate bar or something. Nothing big. Just a little something to put an even bigger smile on my face.

How is your writing going?

JEH

Writing 365,000 Words in a Year Update #19

Ah, let’s just start this post off with a nice cup of tea, shall we?

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Ah, that’s better! *refreshed*

Right, well. What have I been up to lately? Writing, writing, writing. Though I still haven’t got up to my target word count. I’m almost exactly halfway through this personal challenge, and I’m feeling pretty darn good about what I have accomplished so far this year. As you can see from the table below, I’ve begun tracking which projects I’m working on when. Hopefully this will help me develop more consistency with projects, and not jump around so much. I’m supposed to be focusing on UJ, which is a rewrite, which means that somedays I have to write other things to get my 1,000. The good thing about my rewriting process is that I tend to add words. I write clean, plain first drafts, and fill things up with detail on the second go around. I started rewriting UJ at around  63,000 words, and already I’m up over 67,700 words.

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As for the gym, I know I haven’t updated that one in a while, but I have been going more regularly, usually at least two times a week. I’m still listening to audiobooks when I’m there, and I love it. I’ll have an audiobook review up this weekend.

As for my GoodReads goal, I set it for 60 books this year and I’ve so far finished 9 books, and GoodReads tells me I’m one book ahead. Yay, me! I’m also nearly finished two other books so I should be at eleven books soon.

Going back to the abbreviations above, I’m sure you’re all dying to hear the name of my new novel. Well, it’ll be here on the weekend, too. I can’t wait to reveal it.

JEH

365K in a Year Update #17

Okay, I’m hoping I’m right about the number, but in the long run, I’m thinking that the update # doesn’t matter.

This is the first week that I’m really struggling with my word count. I’m about 2,500 words behind my goal at this point. I should be almost at 160,000 words, but I’m not. I feel kind of down about this but I’m trying to be understanding at the same time. Day to day life has been very stressful as of late. In between taking care of people I love, my day job, and trying to find a few moments here and there to relax and do stress relieving things and get some sleep, I’ve been trying to squeeze in some writing. Obviously I’m not squeezing enough. Now I’m dreading the attempt to catch up and maybe even get a little bit ahead again. It’s important to me that I accomplish this goal, because there are so many stories that I want to tell. I have a ton of books planned and it feels heavy when I’m stuck carrying all these stories around. It’s the best feeling to get them out.

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Out, Out damn stories!

Yesterday, I read Sarah J. Mass’s newsletter, in which she discusses wring a 105,000K book in 5DAYS! I cannot begin to express how jealous I am. I wish I had the time to cloister myself away and get some stuff done. Lately, I’ve barely been feeling like I have five minutes, and even when I actually do, I’ve been mentally drained. The good news is that I have been getting SOME writing done. And also, I’m taking a mini-vacay this weekend: I’m going ice fishing! Maybe this will be just what I need to rejuvenate my writing mojo. I’m also finding that rewriting is easier than drafting at the moment, which is good news for my next project! Big announcement on that one tomorrow.

Other good news this week was that I went to my favorite local book store yesterday, and I saw this:

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There was an entire end-shelf display dedicated to my books! I was so incredibly happy. This really makes me feel like the Black Depths series was a success. I can’t wait to launch my next big project.

What have you been up to?

JEH