Progress Report

July 20, 2012: 30 minutes. Reached 41.2% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2

July 21, 2012: 5 minutes. Reached 41.6% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2

July 22, 2012: Random stolen minutes. Reached 45.2% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.

July 23, 2012 
  • AM: 48 minutes. Stamina building goal was 35. Reached 46.12% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2
  •  Afternoon: 30 minutes. Stamina building goal was 30 minutes. Reached 45.3% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2. (Note: trying to work while children are awake is frustrating and not very effective.)
  •  PM: 35 minutes. Stamina building goal was 30 minutes. Reached 46.8% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.

July 24, 2012
  • PM (AM and afternoon sessions were spent dealing with the toilet situation from hell): 38 minutes. Stamina building goal was 35 minutes. Reached 47.1% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.

July 25, 2012 
  • AM: 40 minutes. Stamina building goal was 40 minutes. Wrote 1,168 words and reached 47.9% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.
  • Afternoon: 35 minutes. Stamina building goal was 35 minutes. Wrote 1,231 words and reached 48.7% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.
  • PM: 45 minutes. Stamina building goal was 40 minutes. Wrote 1699 words and reached 50% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2.

July 26, 2012
  • AM: 45 minutes, but it was broken into two blocks. I need to get up earlier to avoid being interrupted by kids and chores. Stamina building goal was 45 minutes. Wrote 1,545 words and reached 50.7% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2. 
  • Afternoon: 40 minutes, again interrupted by various things. Stamina-building goal was 40 minutes.Wrote 1587 words and reached 51.6% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2. Desperately wanted to sleep instead of writing, but knew that was a critical juncture so forced myself to write instead.  
  • PM: 45 minutes. Stamina-building goal was 45 minutes. Removed some sections, brainstormed a lot, and wrote 761 words. Reached  54.6% of PHOTO FINISH draft 2. Really tired.
July 27, 2012
  • Much non-writing related heartache and discouragement in our home. Many tears. Shouldn't have let it throw me off my writing groove, but I did.
July 28, 2012
  • Previously planned camping trip. Could have squeezed in some writing time, but was busy and still incredibly enervated by events of July 27, so didn't.
July 29, 2012
  • Sunday. Day off.
July 30, 2012
  • AM: Slept through it. Late night getting home. 
  • Afternoon: 45 minutes. Stamina building goal was 45 minutes. Truly, deeply did not want to write, especially since I had no idea what was coming next. Forced myself to sit down and do it. Most of it was brainstorming the next section and changing some details in earlier chapters to match new brainstorming.  
  • PM: 50 minutes. Stamina-building goal was 50 minutes. This session felt kind of like I'd hooked my brain with a grappling hook and was trying to drag it behind me through a swamp full of sludge. I know that the best way to get through this is to keep tromping, but it's very annoying and more than a little unpleasant. Is it fatigue? Not knowing where the story's going next? Annoyance with this ms? Discouragement about non-writing related aspects of life? Hormones? I have no idea. I just know that I need to keep trudging.  
July 31, 2012--Reading "How to Write a Damn Good Thriller."

August 1, 2012--Still reading. Starting to get ideas of how to unblock plot.

August 2, 2012
  • PM: 50 minutes. Stamina-building goal was 50 minutes. Entirely brainstorming, but hoping it will help direct the plot more efficiently. 
August 3-8, 2012--Toasted. Smoke. Flamed. P'au hana. 

August 9, 2012
  • AM:  30 minutes. Trying to ease back into the flow of things. More outlining. More wondering what the heck I'm doing. 
August 10, 2012
  • AM: 40 minutes. Outlined antagonist's (or maybe he's just a really unlucky contagonist) perspective. Hoping that all this prep and exercising actually pays off in increased craft and skill and doesn't just end up being some wild goose chase that sends me spinning in circles for another four years.
  • Afternoon: 20 minutes. Sat down to write at 4:30 but discovered file was missing. Spent half an hour recovering and backup up, then wrote for 20 minutes. Bone-weary and pretty sure everything I wrote was garbage, but hopefully the scene was at least in the right place. Please heaven, after all the plotting and drafting I've done, let it be in the right place! 
  • PM: Fought down a serious case of whyamIevendoingthisitis and put in 30 minutes. Stamina-building goal: 30 minutes.  
August 14, 2012
  • AM: 30 minutes. Stamina-building goal was just to get my butt in the chair and do something. Wrote 1282 words. Had to be pretty firm with the kids about leaving me alone. Definitely best when I can write in silence. Can only fantasize about how productive I could be if I could keep up this pace for a long time and/or had long, dedicated times in which to write. Oh well. I guess we just do the best with what we can.  
August 22 2012
  • AM:  Stolen minutes. Reached 63.6% of the way through this draft. This number is largely artificial since my re-plot calls for thousands of words before this point to be deleted and tens of thousands of words after this point to be written from scratch, but artificial as it is, the progress meter keeps me going.

August 24 2012
  • AM:  66.9% of way through this draft. Was shocked at how bad original version was. Clearly a time when I didn't feel like writing but was doing it anyway. Or a time when I totally felt like writing and thought I was really in the zone. May be interesting to start a log of how I feel about various sections and then see how close I was. 
  • PM: 20 minutes. 797 words. 67.2% of the way through this draft.


  1. I feel for you. Non-relating issues can make it very difficult to write. It's harder for me as I am pregnant (first child, new experience for me). One thing that has really helped me out with non-relating issues is to post them on a forum where I can get advice and help from people who have been through the same or similar situations that I am facing. I have gotten some excellent support and advice from complete strangers on an online forum that use. This works for me. It might work for you.

    Best of luck with photo finish. I hope that those non-writing related issue go away.

  2. Thanks! I don't know that it will go away, but hopefully the angst from it will go away!

  3. Yes, we use the Portneuf library all the time. In fact, we're doing the health challenge right now. My kids are SO excited to earn their t-shirts. (BabyGirl and I were supposed to go the princess party, but she got sick.)

    I thought about ILLing through the Portneuf library, but you can only request one a day and you have to GO IN PERSON to do it. Can you believe that?! Drive! In person! So I can put one in every couple of weeks when we got.

    PYP AND Twitter, huh? Who are you? Are you a fellow writer? We should do some in-person sprints! Get together for drinks at Main Street Coffee and burn up some pages!

  4. PM me or Tweet me or email me ( or whatevs! We'll get our hookup on!