An hour of writing a day

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

As we endure the final stretch of NaNoWriMo where half a million writers from around the globe challenge themselves to write 50,000 words in 30 days, I’d like to offer some words of motivation, if not inspiration.  It’s been difficult for me to find the time and the energy to write more of my novel, Idle Hands, every day of the month.  I’m happy to report that out of the whole month, I only skipped one day entirely (and it was a bear dragging myself out of the “word hole” that resulted from that lapse).  Even on days where I REALLY didn’t feel like writing, I at least kicked in 400-800 words.

And here’s what I discovered:  I was extremely disappointed in myself the whole day (and the following day) when I skipped writing entirely.  That’s 48 hours of disappointment that could have been averted with one single hour of creativity.  Talk about a positive return on your investment!  One hour of time invested for 48 hours of satisfaction.  And even if you can’t always contribute an entire hour of time,  as these monthly stats have shown, every word counts. Every word contributes to your final goal of finishing that book.  Even if you only put in 100, or 200, or 500… that’s more words than you had yesterday.  More words than you had the day before that.  Books are not infinite. They have a beginning, a middle, and an ending. If you always find a way to contribute SOME words to your book every day, there will come a day when you finish it.

And those days when you write your book, you’ll feel better about your craft, and your writing career. You’ll find that those hours of satisfaction and accomplishment are longer than the time you spent writing.   And that beats the 48 hours of feeling bad for NOT putting in a single hour.

Here are my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 25:

Average Per Day 1876
Words Written Today 2423
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 46,903
Words Remaining 3,097
Current Day 25
Days Remaining 6
At this rate, you’ll finish Nov 27
Words/Day to finish on time 517

50,000 words, here I come!

November 25, 2014 Leave a comment

It’s going to be a busy week: Work.  Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Family traditions (shopping, eating, decorating, etc).

And writing.

Lots and lots of writing to finish up 50,000 words to Idle Hands.  Even though I have through next Sunday, my personal goal is to reach 50,000 words by Friday.  I’m mainly doing this because the “confirmation” instructions sent out by NaNoWriMo have alluded to the fact that their word-count might differ from my own when I undergo the process of validating.  I’m not quite sure why it would be different, but I don’t want to be caught off guard on the night of the 30th by suddenly realizing I have 1000-2000 words more to write in order to reach the 50,000 word milestone.    Luck favors the prepared, as they say, so I plan to validate my word count with NaNoWriMo on Friday, just in case I need the weekend to make up any differential between their “official” word count and my own.

And speaking of which, here are my NaNoWriMo stats for November 24:

Average Per Day 1853
Words Written Today 2046
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 44480
Words Remaining 5,520
Current Day 24
Days Remaining 7
At this rate, you’ll finish November 27
Words/Day to finish on time 789

The Month of Living Dangerously

November 24, 2014 Leave a comment

In the month of November I’ve been trying to write 50,000 words to a novel AND lose 20 pounds to my waistline. What was I thinking??! I was thinking I’d take a break from writing (and blogging about writing) and starving myself, to create a disturbing poster in which I replace Mel Gibson’s face with mine.  Talk about a bad idea! What was I thinking??!

poster

Here are my Stats for NaNoWriMo for November 23:

Average Per Day 1844
Words Written Today 1768
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 42,434
Words Remaining 7,566
Current Day 23
Days Remaining 8
At this rate, you’ll finish November 28
Words/Day to finish on time 946

Writing a book is proving EASIER than losing weight. I’ve lost 13 pounds so far, and have a week to go.  That’s 1000 words and 1 pound each day.

I have a feeling I’m going to cross the 50,000 word finish line before I cross the 20 pound finish line, especially with Thanksgiving approaching.

What was I thinking??!

 

 

Categories: Brent Sampson Tags: ,

NaNoWriMo update with less than 10 days to go

November 23, 2014 Leave a comment

… and less than 10,000 words to go! We’re on the last stretch!

My NaNoWriMoStats for November 22 are:

Average Per Day 1848
Words Written Today 2153
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 40666
Words Remaining 9,334
Current Day 22
Days Remaining 9
At this rate, you’ll finish 28-Nov
Words/Day to finish on time 1,038

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Brent Sampson Tags:

A weekend of writing

November 22, 2014 Leave a comment

Taking the weekend off from blogging, but not from writing for NaNoWriMo.

My NaNoWriMoStats for November 21:

 

Average Per Day 1833
Words Written Today 1689
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 38,513
Words Remaining 11,487
Current Day 21
Days Remaining 10
At this rate, you’ll finish November 28
Words/Day to finish on time 1,149

 

 

Categories: Brent Sampson Tags:

What is the best self publishing company?

November 21, 2014 Leave a comment

With so much competition in self-publishing nowadays, how are writers supposed to determine the “best self publishing company” for their books? This is a particularly important question during National Novel Writing Month when 500,000 participants are going to have to choose a publisher for their book come December 1st.

It comes down to statistical analysis of multiple sources and reviews. This beats relying upon any single source (whether it be positive or negative) since it’s important to realize that single sources may lack knowledge, integrity, or applicability. Now that the Internet is replacing newspapers, we are bombarded with more information than ever before, but unfortunately, most of the Internet lacks one component that made newspapers and journalism valuable — the vetting process. You can’t believe everything you read on the Internet; you must do your own homework, and that involves researching numerous sources and then combining that data into a value system you can actually use.

And that brings me to a posting I originally wrote in 2010 to help authors with the process of statistically analyzing 3rd-party sources when making a self-publishing decision. I introduced 4 such sources to help writers compare the “best self publishing companies” in a logical, mathematical way.  By combining these various “reviews” together to arrive upon a “sum total” you are better equipped to see an accurate “average score” of the best self publishing companies for your book.

Here is a link to that December 20, 2010 posting, titled “Compare Self Publishing Companies“.

In the meantime, here are my NaNoWriMo stats for November 20:

Average Per Day 1841
Words Written Today 1582
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 36824
Words Remaining 13,176
Current Day 20
Days Remaining 11
At this rate, you’ll finish 28-Nov
Words/Day to finish on time 1,198

Winning word-count confirmation begins today at NaNoWriMo

November 20, 2014 Leave a comment

“Winners” begin being crowned today on the NaNoWriMo website for successfully writing 50,000 words in … 20 days (10 days faster than required!). If you’re one of those overly-ambitious few, first of all, congratulations; that’s impressive! And secondly, reaching 50,000 is no reason to stop writing. I know I’m sounding like a broken record (do people even know what a “record” is anymore? ) by constantly repeating that we should all keep writing after 50,000 words, but I’m mostly doing that to encourage me to continue writing once I reach 50,000. I know it’s going to be hard since Idle Hands is on pace to be about 90,000 words,  50,000 words just isn’t going to cut it.  And like I said the other day, but it bears repeating again– one doesn’t publish 50,000 words.  One publishes a book.   And once you finish your book, where should you publish it?  Well, I’m glad you asked. Tomorrow we’ll talk about comparing the top self-publishing firms in an analytic way.

In order for NaNoWriMo to accept your word count you need to cut and paste your manuscript into their word-count validator.  Sounds easy enough, but I’m surprised so many writers are so willing to give their hard work to an organization without a second thought.  Perhaps I speak from experience, but some of the writers I’ve worked with exhibit hesitancy about sharing their work;  and that’s even AFTER a contract has been signed expressly protecting them and their copyrights.  No such agreement exists on the National Novel Writing website (at least, not what that I’ve seen, or agreed to).

I personally don’t have those reservations, because I know how official US copyright “works”, but if a certain percentage of our writers have expressed that concern (and that number is lower than the 500,000 writers NaNoWriMo claims to be participating in this year’s adventure), it surprises me that this isn’t more of an “issue” for National Novel Writing Month and its organizers, too.

It’s clear that it has come up from time to time because on their forums, they provide a link to another website that “scrambles” your manuscript for the specific purpose of only providing your word count to NaNoWriMo, rather than a book that makes any sense.  But that’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul — or, in this case, giving your manuscript to 3rd-party Website X in order to scramble it for NaNoWriMo.  Frankly, I’m surprised that’s even a suggested solution since an author who is worried about such things (which I already said I am not) is probably more likely to trust NaNoWriMo than some nameless third-party “scrambler” website.

Anyway…. here are my NaNoWriMo stats for yesterday, November 19:

Average Per Day 1854
Words Written Today 2231
Target Word Count 50,000
Target ~ Words/Day 1,667
Total Words Written 35242
Words Remaining 14,758
Current Day 19
Days Remaining 12
At this rate, you’ll finish Nov 27
Words/Day to finish on time 1,230

My estimated day of completion moved one day sooner, to November 27th.  Of course, now the goal is to to keep it there, or at the very least, prevent it from moving later than the final deadline again…

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