Word Count Goal: 2,000
Current Word Count: 2,244
Whew. Day one is over! I must admit, the way my day started, I wasn’t sure I was going to hit my goal! I learned a lot today, and now I have some strategies for the rest of the month. So bear with me, but here’s how Day 1 went for me.
I was pretty groggy in the morning since my son is going through this awesome thing called a sleep regression which basically means no rest for me. But I was determined, so as soon as I got the baby dressed and fed, I fired up the computer and started a new document in my writing folder entitled “Draft One”.
Fast forward to noon and I had a whopping 54 words. I discovered a ton that morning. First, I cannot write while my son is awake. Baby M is a pretty chill kiddo, but he’s loud. He’s finding his voice and loves to make noise. Even though he was enjoying tummy time without me entertaining him, each time I looked away from the screen to see what he was babbling about, I wound up rereading what I’d written when I looked back. I wrote the opening line to the novel probably ten times during Baby M’s playtime. That was getting me nowhere.
Second thing I discovered was that I need a decently ordered space to write in. Yesterday my living room looked like a tornado had gone through it:
So after tripping over a picture book on the way to change a diaper, I decided that the house had to be dealt with before I tried to seriously focus on writing. So Baby M watched Dora in his chair (yeah, I know, screens are evil, but sometimes you gotta do laundry) while I did about an hour’s worth of cleaning.
Then he went down for a nap and I spent about fifteen more minutes working to get my space to look like this:
Much better. So I finally settled in to do some writing. And about three hundred words later, Baby M started serenading me to let me know it was time for food. After that, more day to day realities like oil changes, grocery shopping, and a long day at work for my husband (meaning I handled dinner, bath, and bed for Baby M by myself) consumed the rest of my day. Suddenly it was 10 pm and all I had was around 400 words.
This was pretty much worse case scenario for my very first day! So I buckled down and worked solidly for about an hour and half, only taking a break when Baby M decided that he needed more milk if he was gonna sleep through the night. But when finally I finished up the last scene I was working on I had over 2,000 words total. Whew.
So all that lengthy explanation to say: this is going to be difficult. Although it was fairly stressful, I am glad I had a rough first day. Because now moving forward I have the following strategies in place:
- In the morning while Baby M is the happiest, get my housework and errands done. He will usually do tummy time or play in his high chair on his own in the morning, which will allow me to get my home in order so I can focus in the afternoon.
- Utilize nap times better. The baby making noise while I do dishes doesn’t bother me. It does bother me while writing. So ALL of nap time will be devoted to writing from here on out and I need to save household tasks for when baby is awake.
- Try to get 750-1000 words written before Hubby gets home. It’s tempting to say “Well, the baby goes to bed at 8 and I go to bed around 12, so that’s four hours of writing time”. The reality is that I am gonna want to spend time with Hubby after baby goes to bed to discuss our days and watch History Channel. I really will probably only work 1-2 hours after baby is asleep so I need to get more writing done during the day.
Now, I am still struggling with trying to edit as I write and over thinking word choices and sentence structure. So I definitely need to remember that this is going to be a very rough first draft and that’s okay. As I hopefully discover strategies to help overcome that inner editor I will let y’all know.
So where are we in the story? Well, Berry is moving into the Owens Hotel and discovers that her locked closet door can apparently open on its own. She also goes to town with her dad and meets a friendly bookstore owner who sells her a book of notes and experiments by Richard Owens (the original owner of the hotel). Berry also encounters Mia, an eccentric girl who is fascinated by the old hotel. That’s about as far as 2,000 words gets you.
Moving forward my goal is still 2,000 words a day for the first week. I’ll try to remember to keep Twitter updated with daily word counts until my next update.
So how is everyone else doing? Hitting your word count goals? Did you have a rough start too? Well if you did, no worries! We got this, y’all!