The Journal, Saturday, 1/21

Hey Folks,

Back to writing this morning. Even though I still don’t know how the novel will end, I’m looking forward to finishing so I can start the next one.

Rainy and drizzly overnight and this morning, with a little sleet tossed in for good measure, so I’ll be in the Hovel soon probably. For now I’m outside. Probably I’ll hang around the house until everyone’s awake.

Topic: Challenges

One reason I’m looking forward to this novel being finished is so I can set a new challenge for myself. That (burning) desire is based in part on Dean’s “A Question…” and the comments that followed it (see “Of Interest” below).

But I also have to be cautious.

Before I can start and take on a new “deadline challenge” I’ll need to increase the number of hours I spend in the chair actually writing each day.

So effective today, I’ve increased my daily word count goal to 4,000 words per day.

I’ve also rededicated myself to taking a break every hour, even if it’s only to stand up and walk around for a few minutes. The sole purpose of that is to give me the opportunity to expand the number of hours in the chair.

The word count isn’t really much of an increase, but I’m taking baby steps. Probably I’ll increase it again soon, by which I mean within the month. And the increased word-count goal is more to reset my brain (attitude) than anything else. It’s a way to change my focus (my discipline) so that I’m spending more of the time I’m in the chair actually writing more fiction.

Of Interest

Over at Dean’s place, please be sure to read comments on A Question… ( Wow. Extremely good stuff there.

The latest Author Earnings Report is out, and it’s a doozy:

After that, strictly for fun, check out A Writer in the Air ( He includes a link to the short version of the ride. You can see the full video (action starts at about 8 minutes) at

Flash Fiction Contest:

Today, and Writing

Again, I rolled out at a little after 3. Messed around for awhile with email and reading, then wrote most of the stuff above.

Outside by 4 until the sky started spitting at me. The little girl joined me for a few minutes, but water falling out of the sky is not her favorite thing.

Fixed a mess of pancakes around 6, ate a few myself and left the rest for a ready-made breakfast for the woman and the kid I occasionally see around the house here (grin). Then I got dressed and headed out.

In the Hovel by 7:10, wrote more of this Journal entry, and to the novel around 7:30. The end is nigh. Here we go.

Started writing at 7:30 and looked up a little after 8:40. Oops. Time for a break. Up to the house for a little while.

Well, that turned into a whole thing (grin). 9:30, back to the Hovel and the novel.

10:40, time for a break. Not a particularly productive hour as I had to “figure out” some necessary things (who, among 12 characters, are in one place or another at certain times so it doesn’t contradict itself).

11:30, back to the novel. Not quite 12:30, time for another break. This is very strange. Even with the less-than-productive session, I’m hitting just below 1000 words per hour. Nice to know the average stands up. Back in a bit.

1 p.m., back to the novel. Almost 2, so another brief break. This time I’m almost having to force myself.

2:15, back to the novel.

3:10, wrapping it up for the day. The novel will definitely be finished tomorrow. Probably another three or four thousand words. Only the climax and the denoument.

So not quite five hours in the chair, a little over 4200 words of fiction plus this journal, a few emails and yes, a little spider solitaire. (grin) And a few good, productive breaks.

See you tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 4251
Nonfiction Words: 650 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 4901

Writing of The Claim (novel)

Day 1…… 4391 words. Total words to date…… 4391
Day 2…… 3632 words. Total words to date…… 8023
Day 3…… 1416 words. Total words to date…… 9439
Day 4…… 2673 words. Total words to date…… 12112
Day 5…… 4284 words. Total words to date…… 16396
Day 6…… 3159 words. Total words to date…… 19555
Day 7…… 3834 words. Total words to date…… 23389
Day 8…… 4953 words. Total words to date…… 28342
Day 9…… 4982 words. Total words to date…… 33324
Day 10… 3618 words. Total words to date…… 36942
Day 11… 3133 words. Total words to date…… 40075
Day 12… 2964 words. Total words to date…… 43039
Day 13… 3410 words. Total words to date…… 46449
Day 14… 3285 words. Total words to date…… 49734
Day 15… 3460 words. Total words to date…… 53194
Day 16… 4251 words. Total words to date…… 57445

Total fiction words for the month……… 59073
Total fiction words for the year………… 59073
Total nonfiction words for the month… 13640
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 13640

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 72713