Where it all started

Day 1: Starting my diary, where I am in my projects

I’m re-reading Write Better, Faster: How To Triple Your Writing Speed and Write More Every Day , and I realized that while I’ve tried the other techniques in the book, I never actually did a consistent writer’s diary. She gives good reasons why it’s important, but I just never got around to doing it when I was setting up my spreadsheet to track my writing statistics. So I think I’ll try doing this and see how it goes. I’ve never actually taken a good look at my writer’s process in all its ugly glory. I think it will be good to do this diary because it will be raw data for me—a record of exactly what I did each day for my writing. A review of each day will enable me to record any insights I might discover about my writing habits, good and bad. With that collection of raw data in my diary, I’ll be able to see larger-scale trends in my writer’s process so that I can adjust and correct as needed, and hopefully improve my productivity. So this will be a diary that will detail how I, as

Not quite an ending

Lately I’ve been taking a course on launching your book, and one lesson (and live office hours) discussed blogging. I enjoy blogging, but I fully admit it’s probably just narcissistic of me to like doing a public journal. This blog started off as a means of public accountability, and also a “lab notebook” where I could record my experiments in trying to improve my productivity. It’s been really useful for that, and I’ve learned a lot. I’ve also learned that you can never really stop trying to tweak and improve your productivity, because life always changes and you have to change with it. So essentially I could never stop doing this blog because I’ll always be trying experiments to improve my productivity. But I also have been working on improving other aspects of my life, like learning to work around my IBS and learning to put more thought and intention into my marketing. This blog doesn’t actually take up a lot of my time, but it takes up mental space because I feel bad when I’v

Day 1057 - Broke my dictation streak

I was simply way too busy last week to get my work done, and so I broke my dictation streak. :( I just had a lot of house chores to do, and then I had office hours and homework for the book launch course I’m taking. The course has been really useful so far, but taking a lot of time because I find myself wanting to attend all the office hours in order to learn from other students’ questions. I also made a mistake and kind of? broke my website. That whole thing was really stressful and ate up a ton of time on Saturday. So rather than trying to stress myself out and try to squeeze in my dictation, I decided to just do some of the cleanup editing I never got around to doing, and then called it a day. Even though I know that skipping dictation makes it slower the next time I do dictation, it’s just a bit too difficult to try to find something to dictate every single day. It’s easier because I’m working on two projects at once, but not when one of those projects is imply editing an o

Day 1051 - A blah dictation day

I stayed up too late last night doing marketing work for my release next week. It was all stuff that needed to be done, but it took a lot of time, and I went to bed too late. I slept in this morning, which made it feel like I had less time to get stuff done in the morning. I’m taking a course on launching your book, but it didn’t have homework last night which was why I spent so long doing marketing. However, they have office hours every weekday, which is really nice because you can ask questions and listen to other people’s questions and learn a lot. But it also does take up time during the day, and I have to plan my activities around those office hours. As a result, I got some house chores done in the morning rather than going walking and writing right away. I went to office hours, and then went walking and dictating right after it ended. I got about 90 minutes of dictation done, which was great! But it was late by then and I ate dinner. Now I’m feeling tired since it’s late in

Day 1050 - Dictation with Dragon Anywhere

On Sunday, I was again put in a position where I didn’t have blocking notes for the next scene to dictate. I had been thinking I would simply dictate some brainstorming for my Hawaii book, but I realized that wouldn’t be dictation practice for writing prose. I ended up doing more blocking work yesterday than I had intended. There were a couple co-op battles (multi-player monster battles) on , and since the type of monster being battled is usually up to pure luck, I decided to jump into the battle since I needed to fight those monsters to complete a quest. I don’t usually do long hours of writing work on Sundays, which is supposed to be my rest day, but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to fight those monsters. I have found that 4thewords is usually more active on weekends than weekdays, and I need other players in order to participate in co-op battles. So I ended up working on the blocking for the next scene for almost 2 hours. I did the co-op monsters I needed for

Day 1048 - Battle procrastination by leaving the house

Since I have been having such issues with procrastination for the past few days, I decided to nip it in the bud. When I leave the house and write in a different location, it always forces me to get work done, so I went for a walk with my digital voice recorder. It worked really well. I dictated for about 90 minutes. My dictation speed was a bit slower because I was outside and I often had to pause and wait for a car or some chatting old ladies to pass by me, but I still managed to get a lot of words written. I usually walk before my other “ frogs ” are done, but today was a little unusual because I slept badly last night. Because of that, I actually was awake and did some of my frogs in the early morning hours, so I didn’t need to do them when I finally woke up. So my schedule was even more free than usual and I had fewer obstacles in my way to prevent me from immediately going out for a walk. I also avoided doing anything that might sap my energy before I started my writing—I di

Day 1047 - Reorder tasks or schedule downtime

I’m really struggling today with procrastination. It might be because I didn’t sleep well last night yet again—even though I went to bed early, I lay awake and didn’t fall asleep until close to six o’clock in the morning. So I ignored my alarm and overslept. I don’t know why I felt such resistance to starting work earlier today. I was a little mentally tired, because it was later in the afternoon—I exercised this morning, but I also had to attend an online orientation for a class I’m going to be taking for the next four weeks, and it was not only a lot of information, but also I found it a bit mentally tiring since I’ve been a hermit lately and I’m not used to all the social interaction.
 Maybe that contributed to it—I was trying to start work right after signing off from the online orientation, when I should have scheduled some down time after that before I started work. It’s the same reason I can’t do marketing first and immediately start writing after that, it’s too mentally tax

Day 1046 - Where did the day go???

Again, it was one of those days where I don’t know where the time went! However, I overslept this morning, and then I actually had a lot of house chores to do today, so I’m not entirely surprised that I only had a few hours to get writing work done. I feel bad that I overslept, but at the same time I was really exhausted. It might have been because I’ve been stressed lately about the infection on the peach tree, but I hope to get to bed early tonight and get up at a normal time tomorrow. I ended up doing a small amount of dictation just to keep up my streak and to not get rusty in my dictation skills. My dictation speed was only about 2300 words today and yesterday, so still a bit slow. But today I had more accurate transcription because I was speaking more clearly and slowly, so that’s a little less cleanup work. Unfortunately, editing took longer than I expected because I decided to rewrite some introspection into dialogue, and that took more time and effort than simply cleanin