That's 10 weeks with no new story words. Sounds like a bit of fail doesn't it? But, conveniently, in the spreadsheet, I also record other writing related words I write, and other writing projects too.
The spreadsheet has one row per week of the year, and across the top I have the following headings:
- stories – this is words I write for my stories
- planning – in case I type any planning notes for stories, usually I hand write planning, plotting, character biogs, and those don't count in the spreadsheet
- other – any other writing words that don't fit into the other categories. For instance I free wrote about 5000 words about my wonderful friend Nick when I returned to my New Forest writing retreat after attending his funeral. I also include reports I write on manuscripts I read as part of the RNA's New Writers Scheme. It's not fiction words, but it's still words related to writing.
- LL blog – words I write for my blog, or any other guest blogs I write really.
- UK Meet – anything I write for UK Meet
- Total – this automatically adds up all the different categories for that week.
- Notes – this is a reminder of what I wrote that week. I also include notes about any edits I've done that week, which usually doesn't add to the word count, in fact it often means cutting words, but it's still time I've spent on writing projects. It also helps when I look back and wonder why no new words that week and see I did a content edit or a line edit that week instead.
- Target – this is the final column which includes a weekly target number of words, and this increases as the weekly targets multiply by the number of weeks into the year.
So, what *have* I been doing for the past 10 weeks? Well, a quick look through the notes section of the spreadsheet shows I have done:
- some marketing consultancy work for a client – research, interviews, analysis and recommendations
- Heat Wave Astoria content and line edits and proof read – out 8 August from JMS books
- Best Friends Perfect Book 3 content edit and line edit – out in autumn 2015 from Wilde City Press
- The Guardian Angel content edit – out in autumn 2015 from Love Lane Books
- Wrong Room, Right Guy content and line edit / proof read– out 1 August from Manifold Press
- some blogging about the 7/7 London bombings and the Kylie concert I went to
- organising a blog tour for Wrong Room, Right Guy and Heat Wave Astoria, writing guest blog posts
- reading a manuscript and writing a report for a New Writers Scheme submission
- re-reading Christmas Serendipity and plotting a story taking place next Christmas, and another story about the characters' lives between Christmas. The next Christmas story should hopefully be part of a series of short holiday stories from JMS in December 2015.
- applying for something, I can't say more at this stage, but I will share when I can.
How do I feel about all these weeks without writing any new words?
It was only last week, at week 9 when I realised how long it had been. I've enjoyed the other writing related things I've done, I always learn so much from an edit with a new book with a new editor or an editor I'm used to working with. I love how someone can show me something about how to improve my writing I'd never seen before. Same reason why I love beta readers. However, I must admit, I am looking forward to writing some new words on the 3 new stories on the list to be written before the end of 2015. What are these stories? Well, you'll just have to wait as and when I write them, the first thing is working out which three from my long list I'm going to write, and then working out in which order!
Until next time,
Liam Livings xxx