November 8th, 2014

On Friday night I went to my first-ever write-in (well, one that also wasn't a kickoff party). After all these years of writing alone in a small box, I decided this year to try and socialize a bit.

I was admittedly hesitant, because (to me anyway) writing is not a social event. It's just me and my brain and everyone and everything else just gets in the way. Further, when I write alone in a small box, there's zero overhead. Write-ins mean traffic and parking and spending money to support the local establishment hosting your write-in and lots of tiny things that all add up to one thing: cutting into my writing time.

But I'm glad I went.

However, let's get on to the real focus of today's update. On Friday morning (yesterday, November 7) I started looking at my numbers and my trajectory and two possibilities became apparent:

  1. Breaking my seven-day word count record was within reach.
  2. I might actually be able to hit 50,000 in ten days.

I was cautiously optimistic about both. Especially the latter, which would mean a 7,500 word Saturday, a 7,500 word Sunday, and nearly 5,000 words on Monday. Anyway, first things first. Breaking that seven day record.

After I got home and took a brief break, I merged my "mobile" document with my primary manuscript, cleaned things up, and checked my word count. 29,846 words. It was around 10:30 pm and I only had an hour and a half to add another 1,871 words. I honestly thought, "No way." You see, I keep a spreadsheet which tracks my progress details: words written, time spent, velocity, and so on. And that spreadsheet told me I'd never written that much in that little time before.

In fact, I actually wasted time working on these calculations and predictions. So it was that I didn't even begin writing until exactly 10:43. But I set my fingers loose and somehow reached and maintained a pace of 1,712.4 words per hour. I not only met my goal but added 2,169 words in that last seventy-six minutes of the day. That's the fastest I've ever moved.

The writing is terrible of course, but it's serving its purpose. The story is growing, and beyond word counts and record-setting paces, that's my true goal this month: to have a fully fleshed out, end-to-end, complete story. And in all the years I've been hacking away at this, that's the one goal that's always eluded me.

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