Days Writing: 22
New Words: 1525
New Chapters: 0.25
Total Word-count: 71,186
Total Chapters: 19
My goal for March was to work on the novel every single day. Even if I accomplished very little, I just wanted to learn how to be consistent in having some daily effort. And so far as that’s concerned, this month was a fair success. In all I worked on my novel for 22 days. Not my best ever, but certainly better than any months of late.
Obviously the 1,525 words written isn’t anything special, though. I only finished writing chapter 19, did an edit on all of it, and wrote a small piece of chapter 20. This continues a depressing trend in my performance. During the second year of working on this novel I have accomplished far, far less than I did during the first. Much of the time I feel like I am only scratching out the story a single grain at a time, and this feeling leads to a negative cycle. I feel dissatisfied from accomplishing so little, which makes me less motivated to put more time into it, which obviously makes me accomplish even less.
One of my major problems is that there are so many other things I want to fill my free time with. I want to have relaxation and recreation, just like everyone else, and I also struggle with more hobbies than I know what to do with. With these two forces combined it is a very hard thing to just say “no, write your book instead.”
I’ve been thinking about this, though, and there’s an experiment I’d like to try. While I might find it impossible to close the door on all my other ventures until this novel is finished, I don’t mind temporarily scaling them back. During the month of April I want to work on my novel every day, and I want to write or edit 500 words at least on each of those days. And so long I haven’t met that quota, I won’t do any of my other side activities during that same day.
I’ll still go to work just as much, I’ll still spend quality just as much time with my family, I’ll still take care of all my errands…there just won’t be any of my other personal treats until the novel has been cared for. And it might be that this excessive, and it might not even be sustainable…but that’s alright, because I can always recalibrate at the start of May.
I’ll let you know how this experiment goes next month, and in the meantime here’s one of the new pieces I wrote this month. Enjoy!
“Unless you want to take your chances, you should give the woodworker a drawing of exactly what sort of mirror to make,” John explains.
“Like how it should be shaped and all that?”
“Yes, exactly. Here, stand on this stool and look at what I’ve got laid out on my table: schematics.”
“No. Schematics. Drawings are fanciful and imaginative, but schematics are technical, shown to scale, giving the exact dimensions so that anyone can create the thing you want to perfect detail.”
“So for my mirror…”
“The woodworker wouldn’t only know how it should generally look, but the exact size and shape of it as well.”
“Alright, how do I make one?”
“I will help you with that. Let me get a fresh sheet ready. Alright then, how tall should it be?”
Clara lays two hands on the paper and John makes a mark at top and bottom.
“And where should the handle come to? Very good. And how wide at the widest part? Excellent. Mind you, we can alter this as we go along if it doesn’t come out quite how you wanted, this is just to get us started. Now tell me exactly you wanted this to look, and let me know any time I start to go wrong with it…”
An hour later and the schematic is complete.
“Do you like it?” John asks Clara.
“It’s wonderful! I just wish I could hold it!”
“Not a bad idea. Better to look at a physical model than just a drawing–“
“Yes, a schematic. Go look for something that’s the same size as this handle and see if it feels right in your hand.”