Next, I recently pulled a few of my stories out of Kindle Unlimited (Amazon only), so I got to publish The End of the World, Magick Mirror, and The Door Below on the rest of the ebook retailers—Nook, Kobo, iBooks, and a few other smaller retailers that I can reach using Draft2Digital (an ebook distributor). I put those tasks off for too long, so it’s nice to have them done.
Last, I worked on revising and improving the blurbs for my novels. I still find writing short, punchy descriptions of my books very challenging, but they’re not going to revise themselves, so I gritted my teeth and worked it for a while. I’ve got more to do there, but I did manage to make some progress today.
All of this on top of writing 1400 words on Translocator 3 this morning, and I still feel like I only made a minor dent in my “to do” list!
Still so much to do! I’m going to take it easy tonight, so I attack the list again with fresh eyes tomorrow morning.
I finished the rough draft of my first novel recently, and I thought it would be educational to both myself and other writers if I shared the data I gathered during the process, and what I learned along the way.
1,000 words a day
The one thing that helped me get started—and helped me follow through with—writing this book was the realization that writing a book was a simple equation. Effort over time equals words.
Yes, it’s that simple.
I realized that if I wrote 1,000 words a day, after 30 days I’d have a novel (or a novella, if you want to split hairs.)
From there, it was simple math. I expected my story to be 30,000 – 50,000 words, so it would take me 30-50 days of work.
That took the fear out of it. It made the prospect of writing the story—not just the story, but the novel—much less daunting. Not that I expected it to be easy (and it certainly hasn’t been), but it suddenly seemed achievable.
Keeping track of my word count
To make sure I kept the one-thousand-words-a-day promise to myself, I decided before I began that I would keep track.
Here’s how it works:
It takes me about 2-3 hours of focused effort to write 1,000 words (sometimes less, often more). At the end of each writing session, I write the date and word count in my notebook, with occasional notes (you can see some of the notes below). Some days, I put in multiple sessions of varying lengths. I might write 237 words in the morning and 744 in the afternoon. Not ideal, but they still add up the same.
At the end of the process, I had a bunch of data. Here’s a graph of my progress (click to enlarge):
The cover is clean, powerful, simple—everything I wanted. I'm very happy and I want to say a public thanks to Jonathan Kurten for the awesome work (and for putting up with me changing my mind about almost everything).