500 words

So it appears that I finished a story draft this week. It’s not a good story, not yet, but it started the week with a 200 word opening and by Wednesday night I declared the draft zero complete around 2,500 words. It will need some rewriting – that’s what this weekend is for – and it’ll need some fleshing out in order to make the story bits actually resemble a story, but it’s a draft and it’s finished and it’s broken a somewhat long drought. Many droughts, actually, in that I have a) finished a story draft, b) that’s shorter than 7,000 words, and c) actually started the next story more-or-less right away.

The pattern I’m aiming for is 500 words a day, every day, and a finished story every two weeks. My instinct is to scoff at that pace, to write it off as easy to accomplish, because my instincts were forged in the days when I taught session classes at university and worked about ten hours a week. It’s easy to be a writer when you’ve got that much free time to waste. These days I find myself looking back and wondering why the fuck I didn’t do more with the opportunity.

Aiming for 500 words a day suits my life right now, even if my daily average tends to hover somewhat higher. Most I can get this done by getting up a half hour earlier, doing a short sprint before heading to work, and catching an early enough train that I can get  another short sprint done before work actually starts. That gets my 500 down early, and anything I do in the evenings is gravy.

So far, it’s working.

Experience says the first week is the easiest, though, and it’s the next two stories that’ll be harder to produce. The whole thing may fall apart in two or three weeks, in which case I start looking for another alternative to work with.

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