A Week of Mondays – Week 4 #BehindtheBook

Week 4 and more than halfway through the rough (emphasis on ROUGH) draft!

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. And notice the MASSIVE drop in mood this week! YIKES!

Mood Chart Week 4

Click on chart to see it bigger.


Date: 9/24/14 – 9/30/14
Weekly Words Written: 6,701 (ouch!)
Total Words to Date: 43,577
Number of Writing Days: 2
Average Daily Words: 3,350
Weekly Pages Written: 34 (but only because of retreat and a few chapters that ended at the top of the page!)
Total Pages To Date: 191 (almost to 200!)
Average Daily Pages: 17
Weekly Chapters Completed: 5
Total Chapters to Date: 32
Average Mood  (1-10): 5 (yikes!)

I did NOT do well this week. I have to give myself a tiny bit of leniency as I was traveling a ton this week and only managed to get in two days of writing on the manuscript, plus a bonus day (see day 28 for more about this). But of those two days, it was not pretty. Wowza. Here’s to a better week starting tomorrow!



Day 22

Date: 9/24/14
Words Written: 5,3,24
Pages Written: 28 (deceptive number as there were a few part breaks and chapters ending at the top of a page)
Chapters Completed: 4
Time Elapsed: 6 hours
General Mood (1-10): 6 (slipping!)

The last day of the retreat. I really had to push myself to break through the 5k ceiling and let me tell you, it was not pretty. This muddle of the manuscript is feeling pretty dang messy right now. I feel like all my characters are just talking heads and all my narrative read like this, “She looked. He smiled. We laughed.” UGH! This is the part of the manuscript that I DO NOT LIKE. Even though my word count was high, I was pretty unhappy with most of what I wrote. I kept having to remind myself that I can fix it later. I can delete it ALL later. Future Jessica is a brilliant, all-seeing, rested genius who will save everything. I look to YOU, Future Jessica! Do not disappoint me!

Day 23


Day 24


Day 25


Day 26


Day 27

Date: 9/29/14
Words Written: 1,377
Pages Written: 6 (whoa, there must have been a LOT of dialogue!)
Chapters Completed: 1
Time Elapsed: 1 hour
General Mood (1-10): 4

UGH. My first day with a mood rating below 5. Yup. I’ve officially reached the middle of the book and it’s officially awful! It’s also my first day writing at home after the magical writing retreat. So it felt like I’d just returned from a light and bright fairy castle to my dark and dingy writing dungeon, looked around, and then threw up. Today I tweeted, “Just wrote 1300 of the crappiest crap words in existence.” And that’s exactly how I feel. It was a struggle sitting down to write today and a HUGE struggle even getting those 1300 words out. I’m now in the place where I hate everything about this book. The plot, the setting, the characters (except my special crush character!), my vocabulary, even my keyboard! It’s just all BLAH! MEH! BLERG!

And of course it doesn’t help that I just finished reading Jandy Nelson’s I’LL GIVE YOU THE SUN which is art in written form and has effectively inspired me and made me feel like a hack at the same time. Impressive! I did, later in the day, have a minibreak through about a character that’s been giving me trouble, so I maybe tomorrow I shall have a bit more inspiration to work with. But right now it feels like I’m scraping the gunk off the bottom of an empty well. YUM!

Day 28

Date: 9/30/14
Words Written: 2,504 (but not on the manuscript, see below.)
Pages Written: 11
Chapters Completed: n/a
Time Elapsed: 1.5 hours
General Mood (1-10): n/a

Okay, after yesterday, I decided to give myself a break on the WIP and try something new. I’ve heard countless writers give the same piece of advice: when you’re stuck, write something else in the same world. So I decided to give that a try today. In order to get to know a character that’s been eluding me since I started this manuscript, I decided to write a short story about the time my main character first met this character. I thought it might help get me out of my slump and back on track. It was really a wonderful exercise! I learned SO much about this elusive character and he’s now so much clearer in my head! I really do hope to include this short story somewhere in the manuscript, maybe in a flashback as I think it will help illuminate this character to the reader as well. But I’ll have to find the right place to do that.

In the meantime, I think this exercise really did the trick. I hope tomorrow I can jump back into the WIP with a renewed enthusiasm!


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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