Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekend warrior -- mowing, exercising, and writing 5,000 words

Okay, I admit it. I published my first novel, CLAIMING MOON, on Kindle a few days ago and I’ve checked the sales reports for it about a million times. I’ve tweeted about it, posted on Facebook, let a few writer friends know, even sent out a couple of e-mail blasts to a list of folks supposedly (hopefully) interested in my writing.

In the midst of holding down my fulltime job, watching the Olympics, doing a few things around the house, and all of this “marketing,” guess how many words I’ve written on new work?


I was afraid this might happen. Other writers have told me it would. You, as a writer, get so caught up in the work you just published, in marketing and talking about it, in finding potential websites to do a review of your published novel, that you lose focus on what’s most important – continuing to write.

I’m going to remedy that right now.

I’m leaving work sometime between 7 p.m. and 7:15 p.m. I don’t work this weekend, so these are my plans, my to do list, what I have to accomplish between the time I leave today and when I return to work on Monday morning.

First, I have to mow the yard.

Second, I have a couple of trips to make to the gym – one tonight and another either Saturday or Sunday.

Third, whatever else it is my wife has on my list.

Fourth – write 5,000 words on my novel-in-progress.

Yep, that’s right – 5.000 words.

I got the inspiration to do this while perusing Brian Keene’s website. I came across a blog post from July in which he talks about writing 80,000 words in a weekend. A single, three-day weekend.

That’s astounding. Far beyond what I can manage at present.

I don’t have the advantages he had – I’ll not be alone, but instead surrounded by my wife, my five kids, boyfriends of the two oldest will no doubt be making a few appearances, maybe even friends of the younger ones will be running around the house.

Still, I’m going to do this.

I’ve written little over the past week. First, I was spending time formatting my novel for Kindle. Then I was spending my time fixing screw-ups in the formatting. Then I spent time telling everyone about it. All totaled, I’m guessing I actually wrote 1,000 words on my novel in progress.

For the whole week.

This is not how to make a career as a writer.

So, from the time I arrive at home tonight, somewhere between 7:30 and 8 o’clock, and the time I go to work Monday morning, I’m chasing down 5,000 words.

I’ll let you know how it goes.


  1. You go John! I hear every word of that post, and I agree. A really good day, between all the imperatives from the so-called real world, is 2,000 words. I'm ecstatic on any day I manage that (rough it, write it out, polish it once).

    I recall reading that Maxwell Grant (who wrote The Shadow) and Robert E. Howard (Conan et al) steadily wrote 5,000 words a day for YEARS without a break.Imagine. And for maybe 2 cents a word- and their publishers held them up on payment!

  2. I would respond, Will, but then people would know I'm online and not writing.

  3. Oh, wait, guess that secret's already told.

    My personal goal at present is 800 a day. There was a time just a few years ago I routinely did about 1,500 words daily, but there are just too many things going on right now for me to do that.

    Five-thousand? Wow...although I have to say, I'd love if I could do this fulltime -- I'd sure give that 5,000 a run.

    Thanks for stopping in and leaving a comment1

  4. I relish days like today, when I'm marginally caught up with life and can devote myself to cranking out some words. So far, so good today.

    If only I could bring myself to go out and mow that damned lawn before it swallows the house.

  5. Ah, yes, those days do seem to be harder to come by. As for the lawn, I struggle with that myself. Sorry I can't offer any words of wisdom there.

    Thanks for stopping by and commenting.