I left the house to run an errand and what happens? I get challenged. Or rather, I get asked to challenge others. In the comments section of my last entry, Jessica said:
So you’ve started your new book? How many pages did you write? I’d love for you to come up with a challenge: Robin writes 10 pages/her readers write 10 pages. Robin writes 15 pages/her readers write 15 pages. Mmmmm, I wonder if could keep up.
Yikes! More pressure? I don’t need more stinkin’ pressure! (Sorry.)
I completed page nine yesterday. I wrote the first four pages in August, so yesterday I wrote five. I am now officially 7% done (it’s a novella). In the early years of my career, when I was younger and there was no such thing as email, the Internet, and blogs, I consistently wrote 10 pages per day. That doesn’t happen anymore. It’s always my goal but it just doesn’t seem to happen. I consider a good day 5 pages and a great day 7 pages.
My pages are pretty well finished when I’m done writing for the day. I don’t do a lot of adding and layering in later drafts. I’m a one draft person, plus what I call my “final revise and polish.” Thus, writing five to ten pages in a day is actually a lot because I am editing as I go. Some writers put bare-boned words on paper and then do another five to ten drafts, adding and layering and changing with each draft. For them, 15 to 20 pages a day in first draft isn’t unheard of. So I would never put a set number of pages as an example to others because everybody is different.
If you wrote anything today, it was more than me. I spent three hours this morning completing an Art Fact Sheet and searching for photographs of Central Idaho and of people who resemble my hero and heroine of the book that will come out in February 2007. Then I sent the document and all of the graphics off to the publisher.
These are the types of career interruptions that make writing hard. In addition to that time consuming art fact sheet, I’m expecting my galleys for my February 2006 book to arrive any day and my edits for the recently completed novella (April 2006) are due to arrive next week. So I will be working on this Christmas novella in fits and starts. Writing on it daily, as a challenge implies, will be impossible. Nonetheless, here goes.
The Challenge . . .
For those writers out there who would like a challenge to keep you writing, let’s set a deadline of December 1. Look at your WIP (work-in-progress) and decide how many words and/or pages you want to complete by that date (36 days), then divide that up by the writing days you have in your week. On Saturdays, I will post a call for challenge updates and then you can answer in the comment section. No actual numbers need be reported. You can say, “Yes, I made my goal” or “No, I didn’t make my goal.” And if you wish you can give a percentage of how you did (I made 85% of my goal). Fair enough? Ready, set, go. See you on Saturday.
P.S. Let me know if you’re playing along in the comments section.