Walls and Momentum

I’m still pounding away at the second draft of my novel, but I wanted to share something. I keep a word log of my progress. I find it to be my most important tool when it comes to motivation. It shows my effort compiling toward something bigger, and it reminds me how important it is to write whenever I have the chance. It all adds up. As long as I make progress, I’ll eventually reach the end.

Last year, I posted the word log of my first draft. Some people found it interesting, so I wanted to post the current word log for my second draft, with one highlighted exception. For those unfamiliar with the format, it goes

(word-count start) : (word-count finish) total

 

Jan 22: Chp 1 (0) : (1250) 1250

Jan 23: Chp 1(1250) : (2670) 1400

Jan 23: Chp 1 (2670) : (3655) 1000

Jan 24: Chp 1 (3655) : (3880) 150   3.8k start… not bad. Hope to go faster though

 

Jan 29: Chp 1 (3880) : (4870) 1000

Jan 29: Chp 1 (4870) : (5620) 750

Jan 30: Chp 2 (0) : (150)

Jan 31: Chp 2 (150) : (200) 50 … 2k 😦

 

Feb 10: Chp 2 (0) : (800) 800

Feb 10: Chp 2 (800) : (1300) 500

Feb 11: Chp 2 (1300) : (1750) 450

Feb 12: Chp 2 (1750) : (3150) 1400

Feb 13: Chp 2 (3150) : (5750) 2600

Feb 14: Chp 2 (5750) : (5725)

 

Feb 20: Chp 2 (5725) : (5750) 50 just tiny tweaks, low effort

Feb 21: Chp 2 (5750) : (6100) 350 but lots of edits

 

Feb 25: Chp 1 (5620) : (5600) Chp1 touchups and notes

Feb 25: Chp 2 (6100) : (6110) tweaks

Feb 25: Chp 2.1 (0) : (750)

Feb 26: Chp 2.1 (750) : (2150) 1400

Feb 26: Chp 2.1 (2150) : (2575) 425

Feb 27: Chp 2.1 (2575) : (3575) 1000

Feb 27: Chp 2.1 (3575) : (4250) 675 (pre-clean) (3890 post clean with saved section in place)

Feb 27: Chp 2.1 (3890) : (4090) 200 and a 4.4k week of total writing. Well done!

 

Mar 5: Chp 2.1 changes (4090) : (4300) 200

Mar 6: Chp 3 (0) : (1230) 1230

Mar 6: Chp 3 (1230) : (3500) 2300

Mar 7: Charlie (0) : (200) 200

 

Mar 11: Chp 3 overhaul (3500) : (4200) 700

Mar 11: Chp 3 (4200) : (5100) 900

Mar 11: Chp 3 purge (5100) : (2700)

Mar 12: Chp 3 (2700) : (3500) 700

Mar 12: Chp 3 (3500) : (4700) 1200

Mar 13: Chp 3 (4700) : (6000) 1300

Mar 13: Chp 3 edits (6000) : (6450) 450

Mar 14: Chp 4 (0) : (680) 680 Chp 4 basically unchanged from its original draft… kinda cool

Mar 14: Chp 5 (0) : (2450) 8.5k week? Damn…

 

Mar 20: Chp 3 rework (6450) : (6825) 375

Mar 21: Chp 3 rework (6825) : (7100) 275

 

Mar 25: Chp 3 rework (7100) : (7340) 250

Mar 26: Chp 3 rework (7350) : (8150) 800

Mar 26: Chp 3 cleanup (8150) : (7830)

Mar 27: Chp 3 cleanup (7830) : (8160) too long

Mar 27: Chp 5 (2450) : (3300) 550

Mar 28: Chp 5 (3300) : (3500) 200 but decent tweaks

Mar 28: Chp 3 again… (8160) : (8220)

 

Apr 2: Chp 3 split (8220 : (7220) + (1470)

Apr 3: Chp 5 (3500) : (4125) 625

 

Apr 9: Chp 5.1 (0) : (1500)

Apr 10: Chp 5.1 (1500) : (4000) 2500

Apr 10: Chp 5.1 (4000) : (4375)

Apr 11: Chp 6 (0) : (1625) 6k week

 

Apr 16: Chp 6 (1625) : (1700) 75 so sleepy and did a FF

Apr 16: Chp 6 (1700) : (3700) 2000 (good job)

Apr 17: Chp 6 (3700) : (6250) 2550 4.6k week… train kept a rollin’ all night long

 

Ask me if I got sick and tired of working on Chapter 3. Go ahead. Ask me.

On March 6th, I started working on that damn thing, and I didn’t put it away with satisfaction until April 2nd. Almost a month of working on the same chapter again and again and again. You wanna talk about hitting a wall… I hit a wall. On top of that, not only was I spending this time reworking the same chapter, it was an early chapter. At the beginning of the year, I had hopes of having this second draft done by July (not gonna happen). Now it’s taking one month to fix one chapter?

Double wall. A wall of time that ultimately brewed a substantial wall of doubt. My mood got darker. I fell into an emotional funk. Not depressed or broken or anything, just bleh.

But I pushed on. Partly out of spite, but mostly because I’ve already come too far to stop, and now I’ve put in two weeks in a row that are well above my weekly goal of 3 thousand words. The damned wall is behind me (for now), and I can build momentum again. Hopefully it’s enough to plow right through whatever wall waiting for me in the future.

I don’t really know why I’m posting this. Partly because I’m proud of myself. Partly because it’s almost 5am. Mostly though, I want others to see what happens when you keep trying. I know I’m not the only one struggling to reach a goal. I know others are out there climbing walls. All I can say is just keep climbing. Keep climbing, one day at a time if you have to. You’ll get there.

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