Project 150 : The plan and the reality

2020 wasn’t a great year for productivity (and I’m fairly confident it wasn’t just me.) I start almost every year with the determination to be more organised, write more, write better, use my down time more productively…. And yet, usually by this time of the new year, I fall short of my high aspirations.

This year was going to be different, like all the other years were. For one thing, I wasn’t listing the projects I was going to do – no page in my journal saying “2 one-acts, 5 sketches and a full-length by July”. Madness, they say, is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results. Well, not this time!

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I thought about the times I had written long fiction – Eddie and the Kingdom, or Tribute. Each had come out somewhere around 50,000 words, and been pretty much ok. I wanted to do that again, but the conditions were very different. Back then, I was going to Ringette practices, to violin lessons, and I would have time to kill alone with my laptop.

So I took the total number of words I was looking to write and divided them by the number of days in the year.

50000/365 = about 137.

I was surprised. I only had to write 137 words a day? What does that look like? Well, this is what 150 words looks like:

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I could easily write 150 words a day, right? So I began project 150. I wrote a quick outline of the first couple of chapters of the sequel to Eddie and the Kingdom. Writing is easier if you know WHAT you’re writing. Pantsing can be fun, but I’ve found int he past I write myself into corners that way.

I soon found that 150 words a day is not only easy, it’s REALLY easy. Before long I had passed my goal for the whole of January. This meant that, on a couple of days off work, when I didn’t get to write what I wanted, I did not feel guilty. This is huge.

So, here I am, on the 26th of January, with 8,003 words in the bank. I’m planning to keep going, because 150 words is really, really doable.

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