The Journal, Thursday, 1/12

Hey Folks,

Topic: Planning

This kind of goes along with Dean’s post on traveling and writing and my recent post on life events or life rolls and writing. Notice, the common denominator is writing. If you don’t write, substitute the activity that is nearest and dearest to your heart and keep reading. (grin)

I was doing the early morning shift for quite awhile (maybe two years?), getting up at 2 or 3 and hitting the sack at 8 or so.

Then a month or two back, I decided to adjust my schedule back to a more normal schedule, getting up at 4 or 5 and going to bed at 10 or thereabouts.

I made that decision for two major reasons: One was the onset of winter. I don’t stand cold weather as well as I used to, and I’ve never liked it. The other was the revival of “real” television shows, as opposed to the glut of “reality” shows that plagued (IMHO) the airwaves for so long.

Then a couple of weeks ago, I experienced a life event in the form of my grandson needing to move in for awhile. I soon realized this will be an ongoing life roll because it probably will be a long-term thing, meaning I expect it to last from a couple of years to four or five. And with that, of course, comes additional responsibility.

Among my new responsibilities are teaching my grandson to set goals and then work toward them. On some of those, my help is required. For example, his first goal is to get his GED.

Like so many unfortunate youths these days, he was “passed” through school despite having learned (read “achieved”) very little. He completed his senior year of high school without having earned quite enough credits to graduate. But given his knowledge base, that probably was a blessing.

As it happens, I was both a college instructor and a GED instructor for a period of years in a college in New Mexico. So I can help him with that. When the materials arrive in a week or so, teaching classes will become part of my schedule.

For a bit of background, my wife and I have been empty nesters since our youngest son left home close to twenty years ago. Also, our lives have changed considerably since then. For example, I’m a full-time fictionist now. My wife works at a job away from the house five days a week.

So all of that conspired to require rethinking my schedule again. If I want to keep writing (and I do), and if I want to get anywhere near my goals (I will), I have to adjust my schedule so I have time to write.

So I started working my way back toward getting up in the wee hours (2-3) and going to bed at 8-ish. Of course, there will be rare exceptions to my bedtime, but I mean to rise and shine between 2 and 3 every day regardless.

But all of that will do me no good if I don’t manage to write during those early morning hours. The eventual goal is to turn my three thousand word daily goal before the rest of the house stirs. Then any other time I get for writing during the day is gravy.

So far it hasn’t worked out that way with the exception of one morning. But there was that one day.

So at this point I need to renew my focus on that, shove the silliness aside and begin writing a little earlier. Say within an hour after I get up. Starting tomorrow.

If I get up at 3, I should be awake enough to write by 3:30 or 4 (the leeway is to allow flexibility in the plan).

When the writing’s going well, I generally churn out around 1200 words per hour. So I’ll count on 1000. So by 6 on those days, I should be able to hit around 2000 publishable words of fiction.

If I get up at 2, I should be able to hit my daily goal of 3000 words of publishable fiction. I just have to get my work ethic back to the fore.

Of Interest

See Dean’s Chapter Three: Writing a Novel in Five Days While Traveling (

Today, and Writing

Rolled out right at 3 this morning, then set about wondering why. The plan was to wake up, then write for a couple hours before the rest of the house wakes up (see above). But I’d lost sight of that plan recently.

I fiddled around. I actually played Spider solitaire for over an hour. (Yeah, that’ll get me to my goal.) As a result, this morning I headed out to the Hovel around 7, and that’s when I started writing.

I did some necessary cleaning (rodent leavings on a thick window sill right above my desk) then hit about 500 words in the first session, mostly cycling. I also started a new chapter. Then the topic above occurred to me, so I wrote everything above.

9 a.m., back to the novel.

Up to the house around 10 for a sandwich for lunch and some other stuff, then back to the novel by 11:30.

I had a slow, long session as I had to cross-reference some stuff with the earlier novel. Finished that around 1:30 and took a short break. But I’d surpassed my daily goal, so everything else today is gravy.

Back to the novel at 2.

Good day today. Back tomorrow.

Fiction Words: 4953
Nonfiction Words: 920 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 5873

Writing of The Claim (novel, working title)

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

Total fiction words for the month……… 29970
Total fiction words for the year………… 29970
Total nonfiction words for the month… 7550
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 7550

Total words for the year (fiction and nonfiction)…… 37520