Writing 1,000 Words a Week?

One of my belated-resolutions was is to write 1,000 words a week for my book Four and Twenty Blackbirds. As my belated-resolutions began on 1st February, and I’m counting a “week” as a calendar week starting on a Monday (playing it fast and loose, I know)… that means I have until the end of tomorrow to write my week’s quota.

writer’s block

As much discussed in i.am.sophus., I’ve been suffering from writer’s block for a time now. I started this blog to address this, I’ve also attended a drop-in session at an Anne Aylor writing class. Both of these things have helped in revving my mind up. I’ve picked up a pen for the first time in an age and have started working on my novel again: the background, the characters, the world in which it is based. No actual word count increase yet, but I’m moving in the right direction. In writing this blog, I’ve reminded myself of my novel writing rituals, which is helping me get back in the groove. I’ve even gone out and bought a scrub stick because I associate the scent with sitting down and writing.  I’ve included a photo of my sage-burning and character background planning, below.

Char Dev

It’s an outline of the Twelve Families Harbottle – the 12 families that make up the Harbottle tribe of brownies. A brownie is the point of view of a little less than a third of my narrative, so a comprehensive background is really important. By brownies, I do mean the small elf-type individuals (and the fairy tale/ folklore type of elfs that live under toadstools, not the elves from the Lord of the Rings/ Forgotten Realms vein).

slash and burn editing

Writing from a brownie POV for an adult novel is challenging, and my aim is to make the brownies very dark. I’ve written about fifteen thousand words or so thus far, and very sadly, it’s too light and fluffy. I do really like what’s I’ve written. However, having restarted my writing brain and dedicated some proper time thinking about 4&20 (I think that the sage burning helped too), I’ve come to face the fact that it’s going to have to go. I’m going to have to start again. It feels like I’m severing a limb. But better to do it now than later on. Still, it is very dispiriting.

I will be counting my rewrite as going towards my 1,000 word a week count. Not to do so would be far too depressing. I will keep planning this evo, and get cracking on the rewrite early on tomorrow. Wish me luck.

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17 responses to “Writing 1,000 Words a Week?

  1. Luck. And my goal has been 10,000 words a month, which works out to about 2,500 a week. I don’t always make it, but I’ve been trying.

    • Thanks, 10,000 words a month is pretty impressive. If I can get the 1,000 words a week going well, I may think about upping the ante a little to follow your example. Colour me inspired. 😉 . Respect with the writing, keep going.

  2. I might take a leaf out of your book. I set my target at 1000 words a day! I managed just under 9000 in January, some weeks I didn’t work on the manuscript at all. This month I think I am up to 3000, I won’t need to feel like I underachieved again if I stick to 1000 words a week. It is more realistic as I have 4-6 other submissions to work on each month as well as a day job! Good luck with ridding the block and cracking on with the word count this month.

  3. Good for you for getting the scrub stick. I hope it helps! That’s pretty tough having to start over, especially since you like what you’ve written. Good luck! I would definitely count the rewrite towards your word count!! 🙂

  4. Rewrite counts to me. I have a brownie type character in my stories. I too wanted to go a little darker with him, so I had large thorny protrusions extend from his back. I can’t imagine trying to write from his POV, however. You are brave, and as always I wish you the best.

  5. I really must get more disciplined and get on with my novel which has made no progress for ages. I might try some of your tips for getting in the mood. Thanks for visiting my blog.

  6. 1000 words, 10,000 words, or even only 100 words. Whatever. Be disciplined but not too harsh on yourself.
    You go, girl! I am 200% behind you.

  7. Good strategy. I’ve heard it said many times that the important thing is that you ARE writing, whatever remains after the edit. You’re on the job and doing it better every time. It’s hard, but persevere – “The easiest thing in the world to do is not write” – William Goldman,The Princess Bride.

    • Thanks, I’ve started handwriting again, so I’m not sure if the actual word count from last week yet, but the more I write, the more I realise that I have to write backstory. One step forward, five steps back, but I’m in the headspace and I’m pushing through. I’ll get there in the end

      • I usually handwritten while I am at work. Then I am usually surprised at how many words it ends up being. Generally only half the ideas are worth anything, but at least it is writing.

  8. The late, great Australian author Brian Courtenay (The Power of One) said that ‘bum-glue’ was his most important writing aid!

    I am so ashamed of my handwriting – I am unable to read it myself since Windows 95. Good on you and the luck o’ the Irish to ya 😀

  9. Good luck on your writing goals. I usually have to feel pressue to write, like time crunches and deadlines, so I write on my lunch hour. When you only have 40 minutes of good writing time, it is amazing how forgiving you can finally be to yourself. Also, I used to hem-and-haw about which scene to write. Now I just read over my outline until something catches my brain, then take off for 500-1000 words.

    As for editing, good grief! I am in the middle of that mess right now. I think I’d like to draw a red line through myself sometimes.

    • Thanks. I’ve been trying to do the lunch break thing, but it doesn’t seem to be taking very well. I think that I’m definitely more of a morning writer.

      Well done that you’re already at the editing stage, and I completely know what you mean about wanting to draw a red line through yourself – well put!

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