Do you set a goal for the number of nights you’d like to spend under the stars each year?
A lovely dispersed campsite near Stevens Pass.
I find it easy to get swept up in “busy” if I don’t pre-plan my excursions. And if I don’t get out in the wild for some adventuring, I start to feel like a boring person. So I set goals for the number of camping trips I want to take as part of my personal annual review process (usually my goal is 3 trips), and I make reservations. While we prefer dispersed camping, I like the commitment that I make to myself when I pay to reserve a campsite — and the confidence that I’ll have a place to sleep for the night!
To hold myself accountable for finishing my novel revision, I’m beginning a weekly log of progress made and time worked on my novel, The Second Rebellion.
I spent the winter restructuring the novel with a focus on strengthening character motivation and removing unnecessary subplots. I am now implementing the structural changes that I planned. Unfortunately for me, this involves a lot of new writing as well as integrating substantial new writing with already-written scenes. I find it especially slow going to merge existing text with new material.
Writing Stats for February 6-12, 2017
- Starting word count: 129,679
- End word count: 133,486
- Words written: 3,807
- Scrivener hours (per Rescue Time): 10 hours 20 minutes
- Paper hours (estimate): 5 hours 30 minutes
- Scenes written: 2.5
status updates for the week
- Chapter 1: first draft in progress
- Chapter 4: first draft complete
Mock minimalist cover for The Second Rebellion. A real cover would have lots of space ships or maybe a woman soldier carrying a very sci-fi-looking gun.
The Second Rebellion (working title) is the fifth novel I’ve written, and I’m determined that it will be the first novel that I revise and attempt to publish. My first four novel attempts vary in length and complexity — my first attempt, in high school, maxed out just over 30,000 words, and my most recent, set aside in 2014 so I could start The Second Rebellion, is just under 160,000 words. As I’ve become more serious about my writing, my storytelling skills have improved markedly, and I continue to work to strengthen my craft.
Always striving to improve my practice and increase my productivity, I recently read Better than Before by Gretchen Rubin and realized that I produce best when I have external accountability. I attend a writer’s group several times a week, but that hasn’t been enough to make me maintain forward progress. I experimented several years ago with accountability partners, but the format we chose didn’t work — I’d be game to try again, with the right person. I love deadlines at work, but setting deadlines for myself wasn’t sufficient.
To hold myself accountable, I’ve created this record of my writing process for The Second Rebellion, and will post weekly status updates of my revision progress. I hope this record will be useful for other writers (and myself for future books), and entertaining if I do manage to sell The Second Rebellion. (April 2017: Check out my two month evaluation of the usefulness of weekly writing progress reports.)