As a general rule, week two should be your most productive. Your momentum is going along nicely, you’ve passed the week one struggle of getting into the routine and you’re starting to feel like you’re accomplishing exactly what you intended to accomplish.
However, it can also start to feel like all you are doing is writing and sometimes a little bit of boredom can set in. While it’s important to stay focused, you might need to mix in a few writing-related activities with the actual writing. According to the log I was keeping, my writing-related activities for week two included:
*Re-watching a couple of episodes of the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice – a terrific example of pacing, something that is crucial in what I was writing at the time.
*Watching the first episode of Bosch. I kind of wish the producers had left it in the time period in which it was written. Adaptations are always challenging. But the main thing that bothered me? No moustache.
*Watching the second episode of Bosch. Enough has stayed the same to remain true to the books but enough has been added to make me unsure. Also the plotting is patchy. But Titus Welliver is growing on me.
*Going out with the intention of buying birthday presents for several family members but coming home with three books for myself (they were on sale)!
*Reading a few chapters of Tokyo by Mo Hayder – nearly finished (book review will appear in November).
The key with these writing-related activities is always to think about how it links back to Project October. For me, it was the pacing in Pride and Prejudice (there is always a temptation in a crime novel to make things happen fast but that’s not the type of crime novel I’m writing), the adaptation aspect of Bosch (since I am essentially adapting the first part of my novel to write the second part) and buying and reading books in preparation for when Project October ends (the blog schedule waits for no one). If you can’t relate your activities back to what it is you’re trying to write, then it’s only a distraction and best put aside until after Project October finishes. After all, it’s only a few weeks away now.
One more tip to keep the words coming. A lot of writers (me included) find it helpful to end a writing session mid-scene. This means that when you return to your writing the next day, you can immediately plunge back into it. Personally, whenever I have to come up with the opening words for a new chapter at the very start of the day’s writing session, I find it can take up half of my allotted time. So if I finish a chapter, I try to write the first paragraph of the next chapter before calling it a day. That way, even if I end up changing the first paragraph (as I almost always do), I have the previous day’s draft as a prompt to springboard me into that session and prevent dithering.
My week two target: Between 3,500 and 7,000 words
My week two total: 5,710 words