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Progress Report 2024 Week 19

I can be slow on the uptake sometimes (and if you just resisted the urge to respond “Sometimes?” and repressed it, thank you!). I’d been sitting on a way to improve my output by about 15-20% without a major change to my schedule. Well, I suppose realizing it comes under the heading “better late than never,” right? We’ll talk more about that after we take a look at the infographic!

Last Week’s Progress By the Numbers

I fell below 10,000 words for the week, but not by much! And I had a good excuse.

I wasn’t able to write on Thursday, but it was for an excellent reason: my wife and I got to babysit my grandson. So, totally worth it! Other than that, the characters impressed me this week. One of Ira Malhotra’s chapters took off in a completely different way than I had originally envisioned, which is perfect: it drove home some earlier plot points in a better way than I had planned. She even brought a reference to General Patton into the story in a way that thematically fit. Shocked the heck out of me.

Even Owen Payne’s character got into the act. I had intended to reveal a plot point earlier, but he intentionally ignored the implications so it could be revealed later — with greater dramatic impact.

I gotta say: it’s great when the characters step up like that! It makes my job as a writer a lot easier.

An Easy Way to Boost Productivity

Until the Winter 2024 and Spring 2024 anime seasons, I had been publishing anime posts once a day on my anime site, That meant a lot of my non-working time went to anime reviews. They didn’t directly interfere with my novel writing, and they kept me busy. Down-time and I just don’t get along very well.

Late last year, I changed jobs, and to give myself time to acclimate, I cut back to publishing four times a week. But I kept my other schedules the same. That included novel writing five nights a week. I skipped Monday to write this progress post, and I skipped Friday to visit all of the active anime sites looking for cool posts.

Now that I’m settling into my job, I started thinking about adding three posts back into my anime schedule. Then I realized that I could make better use of that time. Right now, I’ve picked anime to review that aired on a schedule to met me write the reviews on Saturday and Sunday. That left the week free for novel writing. Well, it’s not a stretch to move my progress post writing to Sunday evening. If I do that, I can work on my novels on most Monday nights!

I’m surprised how well this story has flowed. It’d be cool if I could deliver it a week sooner!

The “cost” is only publishing four anime reviews a week. I’m cool with that. I enjoy writing for that audience, and I like interacting with my fellow anime bloggers. But I had to remind myself: I started my anime site, in part, to learn the ropes of social media publicity — to prepare for the day I knew I’d start writing again. Well, that day is now. I think it’s time to codify this and crank out an additional chapter a week.

Will that really matter? Well, The Sword of Sirius Book 2: Collapse Zone was thirty-seven chapters. It took me about six weeks to write, at an average of 6.1 chapters per week. If I could push that to an average of 7 chapters a week, I could shave off around a week for each draft. Given that my schedule is the bottleneck, this seems like something to try! In fact, I’m writing this post on Sunday, when I’d usually write it on Monday. So we’ll see!

Progress against Last Week’s Goals

Here’s how I did against last weeks goals:

  1. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 1 Part 2: Done! Though it grew to part 3 with part 4 coming this week.
  2. Finish Ira Malhotra’s Midpoint: Done! It stretched into two parts.
  3. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Midpoint: Pushed! I had to extend Payne’s Pinch 1.
  4. Start Owen Payne’s Midpoint (I have a feeling it’s going to need more than one chapter): Pushed! It’s all Payne’s fault; his Pinch 1 grew, and I experienced a Real Life Family Event this week.

Goals for the Week in Progress Report 2024 Week 19

Here’s what I hope to finish this week:

  1. Finish Owen Payne’s Pinch 1 Part IV
  2. Finish Luisa Brunner’s Midpoint
  3. Finish the helper plot’s chapter, “Unseen Eyes”
  4. Start Payne’s Midpoint (as I said last week, this’ll probably grow; looks like Payne’s the main POV in this book!)
  5. Receive the final beta feedback on The Sword of Sirius Short Story: Fallback Position

What Do You Think?

How often do you review your workflow? It it an ongoing thing? Do you just wait for the inspiration to hit you? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

3 thoughts on “Progress Report 2024 Week 19

  1. Our paths are so similar. When I started focusing on my writing, I started a blog and had no idea what to write about. Since I watch a lot of anime, I decided that I’ll start writing about them as it was a good way to practice and build some good habits.

    I had some time off when we had our second child and found it impossible to write so I poured myself into the blog and that took over. Now, I find myself at the same point as you where I’m slowly starting to pull back. I think my goal is going to be to maintain a post a day, but I’m going to be more focused, picking one anime series to cover at a time while I continue to review manga. Once the current season ends, I’ll pause my seasonal reviews once more.

    I feel like I’m constantly adjusting my workflow as and when I realise something is off. I’ve got a forced break coming in the summer, so I’m going to use that to implement my changes.

    1. I think we’ve both learned a lot from anime blogging! Not just about the mechanics of running a blog, but also of writing consistently and on a deadline. For me at least, both of those new habits have been helpful!

      It’s hard to find the right balance between blogging and fiction writing. I only need 5 or 10 minute blocks to write bits of a post. For novels, I need a two hour block of mostly uninterrupted time. Many of my days are skewed to the former! I’ve never found a way to write a novel chapter or even a scene in small units of time. Everything flows, chapter to chapter, scene to scene, or it doesn’t flow at all.

      When I try, the number of continuity errors explodes when I try.

      I think constant tweaking is healthy. I prefer to think of it as continuously getting better instead of not being good enough before. I have to face it: no matter how good I become, I can always get better, and I want to encourage that continuous improvement mindset.

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