Friday, 1 July 2016

A million words in 2016 (July)

I'm writing a million words in 2016!

Below is the progress diary for July (I'll be updating it as the month goes on). If you're interested, here's the intro, and here are the diaries for January, February, March, April, May and June.

The red number in the right-hand column is the total word count. Please wish me luck in watching that number tick up to 1,000,000 over the rest of the year!

The Million-Word Diary: July

1st July839,330
The "million words" project is stalled at the moment because my poor old faithful laptop died a horrible death. It's okay though - I've buried it in a Pet Sematary so it's sure to be resurrected. In the meantime, I've ordered a new one! Come on, New Laptop, hurry up and get here! 

5th July839,330
Still no laptop but I'm writing a few bits and pieces occasionally. After all that typing-up-of-notebooks, however, I'm really not keen to write longhand ever again! 

There was a nice moment today. I had a piece published called Hybrid Herd. It's only 50 words long, but that 50 words has taken me to a new milestone... I now have over 25,000 words in print! :-) 

Well... it's 25,041 to be precise! Yes, I do keep a record of what's been published... is that a bad thing? :-)

In other news: According to the postal tracking info, New Laptop is having quite an adventurous journey! A week ago it left from Edinburgh, then passed through Preston, Tamworth, and Barking. On it bounced to Germany, and is now apparently somewhere in Milan. Come on, little laptop. Hurry up and get here! Come help me get back to failing to write a novel :-)

17th July839,330
It's here! New Laptop is here! God, I never realised just how much I rely on having a laptop these days! How did anyone manage to write books in the days before computers? It can't have been possible, can it?! They must have all travelled into the future, typed everything on a handy keyboard, then travelled back with a completed manuscript. That's the only possible explanation.

I spent far more on this machine than I should have, but there's another year before my credit card starts charging interest so for now I'm just going to forget how much I spent and worry about it later. *gulp*

Slight teething trouble, though. I made the mistake of installing Windows updates. Ouch. Nothing worked and, then I had a big fight with the blue screen of death (which, these days, is a much more pleasing shade of blue). Finally, I had to reset the whole thing. And this happened after a day - yes, a FULL DAY - of sitting at an Internet Cafe, installing all the software gubbins that I need. So I had to start all over again. 

Sigh... I'm starting to get the feeling that God does not want me to write my novel. That's probably because he's already read the ending and knows it doesn't end happily! :-)

Word count is still stuck at 839k because I'm still setting things up. Did you know you have to subscribe to MS Office these days? They want $10 a month, the gits! If they get that much from everyone who uses it then they'll be rolling in gold. Haven't they screwed us over enough?

20th July840,452
Am attempting to get my head back into "writing mode" by typing up a few of the flash fictions I wrote longhand while waiting for the new laptop to arrive. Sadly there's not much... after all that typing-up I did last month, I just don't have the heart to write longhand any more! 

For the record, here's my progress graph since the start of the year. That long horizontal bit is very disheartening!

A long straight bit at the end... noooooo!

In other news, I'm a technical genius. Okay, I'm not... but I used the new laptop to fix the old laptop, which was kinda clever as the old one was very broken. And now I have two laptops, which obviously means I can write twice as much :-)

Typing up the flash fics gave me 1,122 words, so my total's now 840,452.

22nd July848,042
I was determined to get straight back into writing yesterday, but then slept instead. Oops. Ended up feeling horribly guilty, which must have helped motivation because today turned out a lot better! I started a new novel and am 7,590 words in after just one day. Yay! :-) It's not the most amazing of plots (it's a bit grim actually!) but I think it has legs. Eight legs, in fact, seeing as a huge spider is part of the plot. Total word count is now 848,042.

27th July849,380
The past few days have been a mixture of good and bad. The "good" is I wrote a story. The "bad" is that I was so pleased with my story that I haven't written anything since!  

The story came about because I've signed up to the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge. It's a writing competition that runs all the way until December. You get told what to include in your story, and then have just 48 hours to smash out something amazing. It was hard work but I was really happy with the final result. 

As I said above, I've had a few "write nothing" days. Sad face. Word count for 23 July was 1,338, and then it was nothing at all (unless you count blog posts, which I don't!) 

Oh well, hopefully I'll get back into writing soon. Total is now 849,380.

31st July861,132
A few "blood out of a stone" days of writing and then had a proper glitch today - nothing done at all! After a month-ish without a laptop, my enthusiasm for writing seems to have died. 

Sad face. 

Sad face with extra tears. 

Just can't seem to get back into it... which feels horrible because it was all going so well. Admittedly the heat is pretty intense at the moment (my wimpy Englishness can't cope with the toasty Greek weather) but that's not really an excuse. Oh, and I'm trying to get used to a laptop with an American layout. Urgh. They tell you it's not that different but it is. It really is. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, a keyboard layout change is not a big deal... but when you're trying to smash out several thousands words a day, it's quite a big deal. Okay, to *me* it's a big deal, even though of course it's very much a first world problem.

Sigh... oh well, at least I've now passed the "150k to go" barrier. Word counts for 28-31 July were 3,653, 2,436, 5,663 and 0. Total is now 861,132.

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