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Thread: The "Page-A-Day" Club

  1. #1
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    The "Page-A-Day" Club

    There have got to be other people out there, like me, in utter awe of those who claim to write some multiple thousands of words every day. I wish I could do that. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to make that happen, although I have been trying for about 20 years.

    Maybe I don't push myself hard enough. Maybe I'm simply not as talented or creative as these other folks. But I still love writing, and I still have this dream of being a "professional."

    So I've decided to stop setting lofty word-per-day goals. I have accepted the fact that it will take a pretty good long time to complete my novel. A great big long humongous pretty good long time. I've decided to write one page a day. 250 words. And what is more important, I've decided that when I get those 250 words written, I will move on with my life and do something else for the remainder of the day, instead of ruining everything else about my day wondering if perhaps I should write a little more, or do some research, or take some notes or something. I want to be a writer, right? I should be writing!

    It wears me out, after awhile. I'm like "always on writing," and I've been like that since I was about 20. If my daily word goal is too high (say, 1000 words ... stop laughing please), then I sit there tired because I had to get up two hours early to get it done before work, or I sit there tired because I waited until after work, and I sit there, and I sit there, and then I get restless and kinda panicky. At least until my son wants to tell me something, or my wife wants me to do something...then I get mad. My writerly frustrations boil up and then over.

    When I was aiming much higher, I noticed that no matter what I set the daily goal at, I could usually get at least a page down before engine started to misfire. So I'm thinking, what the hell? Why don't you just do a page a day? I enjoy that one page. I enjoy writing that one page. For the length of time that I am involved with that one page, I am feeling every emotion that is involved with why I ever wanted to write in the first place. It's after that that things go wobbly.

    So this is my resolve, and I'm hoping that there are others like me who will do the same thing and check in here daily to tell us about their "page" ... and their wip in general ... one page per day. 250 words. And then done. No guilt. Done until tomorrow.

    No guilt.

    Not one single solitary ounce of guilt.
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  2. #2
    Hand? What hand? AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    You know what, skelly? I'm gonna join the club. Today. Right now. I haven't written my page yet today... so I'm off to do so. See ya back here tomorrow.
    aka: OFG








  3. #3
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
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    I'm a part of the page-and-change club since January 1st. I decided on 300 words a day, with Saturdays off.

    Still haven't missed a day
    The Memory Gatherer - Redstone Science Fiction
    The Automatic City - Broken Time Blues
    Death in the Family - Danse Macabre

    my blog - twitter

  4. #4
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fashioned Girl View Post
    You know what, skelly? I'm gonna join the club. Today. Right now. I haven't written my page yet today... so I'm off to do so. See ya back here tomorrow.
    Thanks Jen!

    Nothing says OFFICIAL like your screen name at the top of the thread...and I am dead serious.

    Enjoy your page! That's the point!

    And since I've finished mine (and not really thinking about it or feeling guilty about it or anything) I'll say that I have revived my YA novel, which has sat gathering dust every since the second draft. And I'm excited about it. Some new things are happening...and I am really falling in love with the characters again. It's like going back to a place that you enjoyed visting the first time--minus that part where you ate some bad take-out and puked for two hours straight.

    Which will stand eternally as my assessment of how it feels to finish a novel and find out you have to edit the g.d. thing.

    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  5. #5
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dempsey View Post
    I'm a part of the page-and-change club since January 1st. I decided on 300 words a day, with Saturdays off.

    Still haven't missed a day
    THAT'S what I'm talking about. I take Sunday's off. I don't just want to write a novel and sell it. I want to enjoy the process. Everything else that I've tried just pisses me off and makes me miserable.
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  6. #6
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skelly View Post
    THAT'S what I'm talking about. I take Sunday's off. I don't just want to write a novel and sell it. I want to enjoy the process. Everything else that I've tried just pisses me off and makes me miserable.
    To be fair, I regularly clock days of 2-3K. But once I pass 300, I'm allowed to rest. And until I write that 300, I cannot

    The theory still stands, though. Some days, you just stink at writing. If you force it, it's just that much more editing you'll have to do. (Other days it's just hard to get it started, but part of being a writer is knowing which is which.)
    The Memory Gatherer - Redstone Science Fiction
    The Automatic City - Broken Time Blues
    Death in the Family - Danse Macabre

    my blog - twitter

  7. #7
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dempsey View Post
    To be fair, I regularly clock days of 2-3K. But once I pass 300, I'm allowed to rest. And until I write that 300, I cannot

    The theory still stands, though. Some days, you just stink at writing. If you force it, it's just that much more editing you'll have to do. (Other days it's just hard to get it started, but part of being a writer is knowing which is which.)
    I'm glad you said that. I always finish my 250 feeling like I could go another God knows how many words.

    Part of the process is that I have to stop there. Part of the problem is that I ALWAYS feel I could go further.

    So I stop there, and the next day I am eager to pick it back up and I enjoy the moment. If I told myself "250 minimum...but you can go past if you want to," then I would be right back where I started.

    But if it works for you demp, I say YAY! As long as we are enjoying the process. That's my new buzzosophy (as if you couldn't tell). Check in here occasionally and tell us how the wip is going.
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW
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    I abandoned a wip that I loved to work full time for four months on a revision of a MG novel. I sent it back to an agent over two weeks ago, and I haven't been able to force myself to write. I like your idea of 250 words a day, but that may be a little too much pressure for me at this time. What I plan to do is to start writing and continue writing until I get bored, at which point

  9. #9
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW c2ckim's Avatar
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    you shouldn't feel guilty that you can only write 250 words a day. As long as you ENJOY writing those 250 words what's there to feel guilty about? Its still a goal. Lots of people can write more than that and that's fine. Isn't that what writing is supposed to be about? Enjoying what you write? If you didn't then why do it? Its just like a job, if you learn to hate it then you bring less enthusium to your work and pretty soon it doesn't mean anything to you or your readers.
    www.roguephoenixpress.com 3/25/09 The Darkness Within July 25, 2009
    Meghan's Legacy- Sept.1, 2009; Shadow Chaser- Jan 2010- Witness- Feb 1, 2010 ;Legacy of Murder- April 2010; Secrets and Lies, July 2010; The Prophet out in Oct- Bucks County Publishing; The Unknown Son- Rogue Phoenix Press- out in Oct.
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  11. #11
    Hand? What hand? AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    Last night was a good start! I hadn't touched my WIP in about three weeks (unless thinking about touching it counts). Subsequently, I had to read it to figure out where I'd left off and think about where I need my two MCs to go next... more work than I'd done in a while.

    Thanks, skelly.
    aka: OFG








  12. #12
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    Excellent advice Kim. That's pretty much my thinking as well. I aspire to be a 2000+ word per day professional, someday, when I don't have to work my "day job." Until then, this seems to work well for me. I'm still headed in the same direction as everybody else, just going a LOT slower

    OFG, that's fantastic! Glad to hear it, and keep it up. I just got off work, have a few more errands to run, the I get to crack a beer and sit down at my writing comp for...well, for about 250 words.

    I think somebody actually says something on today's page. How exciting!
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  13. #13
    Wonderful post! It's made me rethink my approach to writing as well. Even if I wrote one measly page a day (which is more than what I do now), I could have a first draft book in a year. Thanks for starting this thread! I've subscribed to it and look forward to reading more thoughts and progress reports from everyone.

  14. #14
    practical experience, FTW Atlantis's Avatar
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    I used to set word goals for each day once. I stopped because every time I failed to reach my daily goal, I would get so stressed out and angry at myself, it made writing not fun. Now I do as much as I can in a single day and that could be anything from four lines to two and half pages. I don't care how much I write, as long as its GOOD. One of the hardest things for me to do are scene openers. If all I can manage to write in a single day is a two line opening for a scene, I'm thrilled with myself. It doesn't matter that all I've written is two lines. What's important is I can build on those two lines tomorrow. Who CARES how many pages you write per day? I'll rather write one kick ass page then ten shitty ones. Its about the quality, not the speed. I'm a slow writer. I don't care. It takes me two and half months to finish a single short story....so?

  15. #15
    Good thing I like my day job geardrops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skelly View Post
    As long as we are enjoying the process. That's my new buzzosophy (as if you couldn't tell).
    I almost completely agree.

    Some days it just sucks to write. But I still do it Because it's not always fun and games. Sometimes it's just straight-up hard work.

    But I always feel better for having done it.
    The Memory Gatherer - Redstone Science Fiction
    The Automatic City - Broken Time Blues
    Death in the Family - Danse Macabre

    my blog - twitter

  16. #16
    Hand? What hand? AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    I didn't get any dialogue today, but I got 289 words!
    aka: OFG








  17. #17
    living in the past ishtar'sgate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skelly View Post
    I'm glad you said that. I always finish my 250 feeling like I could go another God knows how many words.

    Part of the process is that I have to stop there. Part of the problem is that I ALWAYS feel I could go further.

    So I stop there, and the next day I am eager to pick it back up and I enjoy the moment.
    That's exactly how I write, too. I don't have a page or word count goal but I stop writing after a couple of hours and just before I've finished a scene so I can pick it up from there the next day. Works like a charm.
    Linnea

  18. #18
    I less than 3 you! Chameleon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skelly View Post
    There have got to be other people out there, like me, in utter awe of those who claim to write some multiple thousands of words every day. I wish I could do that. Unfortunately, I cannot seem to make that happen, although I have been trying for about 20 years.

    Maybe I don't push myself hard enough. Maybe I'm simply not as talented or creative as these other folks. But I still love writing, and I still have this dream of being a "professional."

    So I've decided to stop setting lofty word-per-day goals. I have accepted the fact that it will take a pretty good long time to complete my novel. A great big long humongous pretty good long time. I've decided to write one page a day. 250 words. And what is more important, I've decided that when I get those 250 words written, I will move on with my life and do something else for the remainder of the day, instead of ruining everything else about my day wondering if perhaps I should write a little more, or do some research, or take some notes or something. I want to be a writer, right? I should be writing!

    It wears me out, after awhile. I'm like "always on writing," and I've been like that since I was about 20. If my daily word goal is too high (say, 1000 words ... stop laughing please), then I sit there tired because I had to get up two hours early to get it done before work, or I sit there tired because I waited until after work, and I sit there, and I sit there, and then I get restless and kinda panicky. At least until my son wants to tell me something, or my wife wants me to do something...then I get mad. My writerly frustrations boil up and then over.

    When I was aiming much higher, I noticed that no matter what I set the daily goal at, I could usually get at least a page down before engine started to misfire. So I'm thinking, what the hell? Why don't you just do a page a day? I enjoy that one page. I enjoy writing that one page. For the length of time that I am involved with that one page, I am feeling every emotion that is involved with why I ever wanted to write in the first place. It's after that that things go wobbly.

    So this is my resolve, and I'm hoping that there are others like me who will do the same thing and check in here daily to tell us about their "page" ... and their wip in general ... one page per day. 250 words. And then done. No guilt. Done until tomorrow.

    No guilt.

    Not one single solitary ounce of guilt.
    I love u, I love u, I love u!!


    Great Idea. I am down for the club.

    I have had a hard time writing lately too. whenever I get the urge to write, it's usually around exam time. My dilemma is that every time I sit down to write, I am thinking about what I need to be studying, and when I'm studying, all I can think about is studying. It's a no-win situation.

    But a page a day does not seem so intimidating. I'm with you on this.
    Last edited by Chameleon; 07-12-2008 at 05:43 AM.

  19. #19
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeowGirl View Post
    Wonderful post! It's made me rethink my approach to writing as well. Even if I wrote one measly page a day (which is more than what I do now), I could have a first draft book in a year. Thanks for starting this thread! I've subscribed to it and look forward to reading more thoughts and progress reports from everyone.
    MG...that is exactely what I am talking about. At one page per day I actually write more.

    I've always been the world's worst at starting and abandoning writing projects. Tackling the thing one page at a time seems to work for me. I look forward to my day's writing, rather than dreading it

    Atlantis, I am right there with you my friend.

    Demp, I don't mind if it is easy, hard or otherwise. It's just one page, right? Back when I wanted to write 2000 words a day, a rough day meant the death of the story. Just another chapter one to add to my huge pile of chapter ones for which there will never be a chapter two.

    OGF, YAY! Holy crap it has taken me nearly four hours to get my page done. Damn fambly anyway. But it's a damn good page
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  20. #20
    Kickin it old school, posers beware skelly's Avatar
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    A whopping 300 words today, and finished before the rest of the family woke up! Whatever will I do with the rest of my day?

    Oh, yeah. Mow the lawn. Well, I never said that there wouldn't be drawbacks.

    For all intents and purposes, my "third draft" is turning into a "complete rewrite," with draft #2 amounting to little more than a really, really in-depth outline. Goals: Cut out all the angst, add more action, increase the pace.

    Oh, and add more "ghost" stuff. It's a "haunted house mystery" and I think the second draft has all of eight pages of actual spooky stuff. What the hell was I thinking?
    ---Scott

    This Prophet Speaks the Rhythm --- available online, free! Comments are appreciated!

  21. #21
    I wrote half a page, not a whole one. On the positive side, my hero and heroine are on the verge of a major argument.

    ETA: scratch that. I wrote a whole page! I love little victories.
    Last edited by Bubastes; 07-14-2008 at 09:31 PM.

  22. #22
    I less than 3 you! Chameleon's Avatar
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    I rewrote a page and a half. Does that count?

  23. #23
    I should be writing. Alpha Echo's Avatar
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    I think that's a great goal!

    I don't set goals. I just do what I can do as often as I can do it. That way I'm never disappointed and often pleasently surprised.
    "All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible"
    T.E. Lawrence


  24. #24
    Here to network and learn. jenngreenleaf's Avatar
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    I want to join this challenge, too!!!

  25. #25
    Hand? What hand? AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    No words this past weekend, but lots of research. Do y'all know just how much was going on in the Midwest in 1871?
    aka: OFG








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