Chapter 5: Too Many Hobbies, Too Little Wordcount (Words, Words, Words)

Words Words Words : All the pages not fit to print

This is a book (sort of) about writing and all the ways I’m trying to get better at it. It functions as my ‘write something every day’ dumping place and is a MuseFic about that effort. This isn’t MuseFic focused on an existing story (those will continue as normal), but more of a general writing exercise.

This story is cross-posted to Wattpad.

Too Many Hobbies, Too Little Wordcount

“Well, since your last update to this story was in October of last year, I’d say the whole ‘writing habit’ thing is still on the resolutions list.” The Muse sighed and got up to help her Writer clear off the writing desk (and the heavy layer of plot dust. “So what’s the plan?”

“Honestly? I’m not sure.” The Writer carefully packed away all of the old writing, pausing to pet the plot bunnies as they woke up from their long hibernation.

“But you are still going to keep trying… right?” The Muse gave her Writer a worried look. “You’ve been writing stories since you were, what, 5? You can’t just give up.”

“I’m not giving up, I’m just reevaluating.” The Writer finished up the last box, wiping dust hands against her jeans. “I always overcommit to things and this time I want to start very very small.” She looked around the faux-living room that had shrunk back down from it’s NaNo heyday.

The story mists had swallowed up everything except for the interdimensional couch and the writing desk. All of the comfy chairs, Dragon’s beanbag bed, and the massive whiteboard were nothing but fond memories.

NaNoWriMo is 1,667 words a day three months of the year (Apr, Jul, Nov), is, well 750 words… there are even challenges out there for 500 and 300 words a day.” The Writer sat down and the blank slate of her desk.

“But writing isn’t the only thing I do,” she said with a sigh, giving the Stargate plotbunny a skritch as it danced around in the emptiness. “I have artwork that I’m creating, an Etsy store I’m running, eBooks that need formatting, NerdFitness challenges to play in, custom story prompt books that need writing– and I’m trying to learn some new coding languages. I have no idea what sort of challenge would even work.”

“…Why do I feel a spreadsheet coming on?” The Muse sighed and summoned up another chair from the mists as the writing desk expanded.

“Because this is me and I love spreadsheets?” The Writer grinned sheepishly. “But seriously, unless I start crazy small and have a plan for recovering from setbacks, this is going to fail just like last year.”

“Righto,” the Muse snapped her fingers and turned the writing desk’s surface into tablet. The writing desk was not amused. Neither was the Stargate plotbunny who hopped down with an insulting tail twitch.

“So we track all of the wordcount per day. Saturday Story Prompts, Blog Posts, MuseFic, actual stories… if it’s words it counts.” The Writer sketched out her ideas and the writing table translated them into columns. “Then we add it all up. At the end of each week the average for that week is used as the goal numbers for the following week. That way it’s easier to recover from a bad week.”

“But harder to succeed following a really good one,” the Muse countered. “So add in some math so that the new goal is never more than 1.5 times the goal from the previous week. So if the average from week 1 is 100 and the average from week 2 is 500, the goal for week 3 is only 150.”

“Unless the resulting goal is under 100, then we want to use 100 instead.” The Writer added.

There was a pause as the writing table helpfully mathed.

The Writer threw in some test numbers and leaned back and gave the spreadsheet a thoughtful look. “That could work.”

“It doesn’t have to be perfect to start with.” The Muse waved a hand over the table and the spreadsheet turned into a Google Docs link. “Here, just start at least and we’ll tweak it as we go.”

The Writer rolled up her sleeves… “Onwards!”

(Want to follow the madness? Watch the spreadsheet here:

Martha Bechtel

My name is Martha Bechtel and I write fantasy and science fiction stories, paint small model horses silly colors, cast resin and plaster magnets, code random code (and Wordpress plugins)... Come on in and join in the fun!

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