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Sunday, August 1, 2021

Talking Shop: Eric's Writing Challenge Update 6

I had a migraine for most of yesterday, so the always highly-anticipated update on my writing challenge comes a day late this week. 

First up, the writing challenge. Thus far, I've written approximately 36,900 words for the writing challenge. That puts me approximately 42% of the way toward the 87,500 word goal for the rest of the year. I wrote approximately 9000 words last week. Broken down across 7 days, that works out to just shy of 1300 words per day. 

On to Rinn's Run: 

Total words: 45,200

Chapters completed: 25

Percentage complete (theoretical): 45%

What can I say? Consistency pays off. There is also an element of discipline involved. There were a few days when it was late and working on the novel felt like a chore. I did it anyway. On one of those days, I think I only wrote about 700 words. The other days, I obviously wrote more. 

I generally find that just making myself start when I'm tired or irritable is the biggest challenge. Those are the moments when you have to dig deep, as the fitness people like to say. You decide that getting the words on the page matters, put yourself in front of the computer, and write. Pro tip: the same principles apply to getting exercise. I've also found that, once I start, it's usually not too bad unless I'm utterly exhausted (see above: 700 words). 

Therein lies the benefit of having an easily achievable minimum number of words. Knowing I'm only on the hook for writing 500 words makes it an easier sell. It's low-hanging fruit, so to speak. For me, that often means just getting through one scene. Being able to say things like that to yourself helps break down that resistance you likely feel toward doing anything when you're tired or out of sorts. So, I say unto thee, oh writers of the world, go forth and write the words!

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Eric Dontigney is the author of the highly regarded novel, THE MIDNIGHT GROUND, as well as the Samuel Branch urban fantasy series and the short story collection, Contingency Jones: The Complete Season One. Raised in Western New York, he currently resides near Dayton, OH. You can find him haunting obscure sections of libraries, in Chinese restaurants or occasionally online at ericdontigney.com.

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