A Week of Mondays – Week 3 #BehindtheBook

Okay, wow. Week 3 is already complete. Sorry for the delay in posting! I can’t believe I’ve been working on this book for nearly a month! It has FLOWN!

As always, below is my weekly summary (with chart!) and my daily breakdowns in case you’re interested in the more day-to-day process of writing.

Mood Chart Week 3

Click on chart to see it bigger.


Date: 9/17/14 – 9/23/14
Weekly Words Written: 19,729 (includes first three days of retreat!)
Total Words to Date: 36,976
Number of Writing Days: 5
Average Daily Words: 3,945
Weekly Pages Written: 83
Total Pages To Date: 157
Average Daily Pages: 17
Weekly Chapters Completed: 12
Total Chapters to Date: 27
Average Mood  (1-10): 7.2 (1.3 lower than last week! GAH! The middle!)



Day 15


Day 16

Date: 9/18/14
Words Written: 2,047
Pages Written: 6
Chapters Completed: 2
Time Elapsed: 2 hours
General Mood (1-10): 6

Well, my word count was strong today but I dropped back down to a 6 on the mood scale. I don’t know, I just felt really meh about the words today. They were fine. Just fiiiine. Nothing special. I felt like I was just kind of going through the bullet points of my outline today, checking things off. Nothing about today’s writing felt at all inspired or surprising. It just…was. So I rated it a 6. I’m trying to get to a certain point in the manuscript before I leave for a writing retreat on Saturday, so today felt like a “going through the motions” day. Hopefully tomorrow I’ll bounce back.

Day 17

Date: 9/19/14
Words Written: 3,477
Pages Written: 15
Chapters Completed: 2
Time Elapsed: 2 hours
General Mood (1-10): 8

Wow. I was on a roll today! Almost 3500 words. And, AND! I finally finished day 1! I leave for a writing retreat tomorrow and my goal was to get to day 2 before I left. So mission accomplished! As expected, the first day is WAY TOO LONG and will require some major trimming in the next draft. But I can’t really edit it down until I write the rest of the Mondays so I know what parts turn out to be important.

My mood also bounced back today! I felt pretty good about what I wrote today. It’s rough but it was still better than I expected.

I did skip my first scene today. It’s a pretty important scene and I felt like I needed to be in a different place (time wise and creatively) in order to write it right. So I skipped it. I put a place holder in of what needs to happen there and I jumped to the next scene. This is why I always outline, so that I’m able to do this. So I always know what comes next. Learning to skip scenes and keep the momentum going on the manuscript is one of the most important things I’ve learned in the seven years that I’ve been writing professionally. And today that lesson paid off. I was able to write 15 pages without getting bogged down on a scene I wasn’t yet inspired to write. One day, I will know it’s time to write that scene, and it may not be until the second draft, but all I know is that day wasn’t today.


Day 18


Day 19

Date: 9/21/14
Words Written: 5,641 (First day of retreat bliss)
Pages Written: 25
Chapters Completed: 4
Time Elapsed: 6 hours
General Mood (1-10): 7

Ah, the first day of my annual writing retreat. It feels like I just vomited 5600 words onto the page. They’re not pretty, but they’re there. I got so much done in the manuscript. Eventually I will have to clean up the vomit (that’s future Jessica’s problem!) but for now, I’m pretty happy with what I have. I gave myself a 7 mood rating for the day. Some chapters were more of a 9 while others were more of a 5, but all in all, 7 feels right.

This is why I do these retreats, so I can spend entire days just writing and force myself to get as many words down as possible in the shortest amount of time. So right now, I’m feeling very productive, even if my brain feels like it’s been lit on fire. Let’s see what tomorrow brings!

Day 20

Date: 9/22/14
Words Written: 6,063
Pages Written: 29 (although some might have been mostly blank part break pages)
Chapters Completed: 4
Time Elapsed: 6 hours
General Mood (1-10): 6

Retreat continues! I notice my word count has stayed up but my mood about what I’m writing is dropping. There’s no doubt these words are total crap. But they’re crap I can eventually fix! When I’m in retreat mode, I just write and write and don’t look back. I try to get as many words down on the page as possible and keep myself from reading back through it. It’s a mess right now but I’m nearing the middle point of the manuscript and that’s exciting!

Day 21

Date: 9/23/14
Words Written: 2,501
Pages Written: 8
Chapters Completed: 1
Time Elapsed: 3 hours
General Mood (1-10): 9

Well, I think I burnt myself out on those first two days of the retreat because today it was like squeezing juice from a rock. I got 2500 words which is still great and still better than my usual word count at home, and my mood about the writing went up (I really loved what I wrote today!) but I just couldn’t bring myself to write anymore. I hope with the mini “break” today, tomorrow I’ll be able to bounce back into the 5k mark!


In case you missed the first post, I’m live blogging (diary style) the progress of writing my new manuscript,  A WEEK OF MONDAYS (which will be released by FSG/Macmillan in Spring 2016), to give fellow writers (and readers) an inside look into my writing process. And maybe give me a little insight as well!

Click here to read the first post or you can follow all the posts by clicking here.

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