January 12, 2020

Week 2: Picking up the Pace

by Ryan

The week started with a bang and ended with a whimper. My writing across all projects added up to 7,164 words, so I averaged slightly more than 1,000 words per day. This week highlighted areas I can focus on to improve my productivity since it hit on several things that lead me astray.


Writing Successes

First full week of 2020. Here's what I managed to pull off:

  • Sunday. As a single-car household, my days off from the library often end up being days for errands and appointments. That was true today. I published the previous post in the morning and didn't get back to writing until the evening after watching Dean Wesley Smith's lecture about attitude at the 20Books conference this year. I ended up adding 1,724 words to Synthetic Pain. My total word count for the day was 2,496 words, including the post and working on short fiction.
  • Monday. Another great day! I took advantage of appointments today to get writing done while I waited and passed yesterday's word count with 1,737 words added to Synthetic Pain. Later I worked on studying short fiction, adding another 863 words. Total words for the day, including a little on the blog was 2,652 words.
  • Tuesday. Back to work today. I wrote 1,013 words on Synthetic Pain.
  • Wednesday. Vacation day with family was great. We had a lot of fun. I sat down shortly before collapsing in bed to add 396 words to Synthetic Pain.
  • Thursday. Another work day only I seem to have caught a bug. I wrote 275 words on Synthetic Pain.
  • Friday. Stayed home sick from work. Mostly spent on the couch watching TV, playing Minecraft, and reading. I didn't push myself to write. I thought about it, but didn't sit down and actually write.
  • Saturday. Still didn't feel good so I called in sick again. I spent the day pretty much the same as Friday, except I added 333 words to Synthetic Pain.

I started the week off strong for the first couple days. I'm still struggling to integrate my writing time into work days or days off when there is a lot going on. On my sick days I didn't feel much like writing. 

What to do about it?

I need to listen to Yoda.

“A Jedi must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. This one a long time have I watched. All his life has he looked away…to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing.”

It's true. Attitude is key. The deepest commitment, the most serious mind. Okay, but does that contradict having fun? I don't think so. Commitment to my art, serious about learning, having fun doing it. The point about looking away, to the future, not paying attention to now,  to what I'm doing, that's important.

OKR Confidence Ratings

My average words per day increased this week. That's a step toward meeting my objectives. 

Write fantastic novels

Key Results

  • Write 1,500 words (minimum) per day.
  • 40,000 words (minimum) each month on the current novel.
  • Complete 6 novels in 2020.

I bumped these up this week despite the fall off in my word count. It's a new week, I'm feeling a bit better, so I'm feeling more confident in reaching my key results.

Write Amazing Short STories

Key Results

  • Write 500 words (minimum) per day.
  • Complete a finished short story bi-weekly (26 stories).
  • Submit or publish each finished story within one week.

I spent time this week studying short fiction. That helps me feel more confident in my key results.

Achieve success with my novels

Key Results

  • 12 novels released on my store and retail stores.
  • Average 10 sales per day, per title.
  • Match my income from my full-time librarian job.

Though increased word counts don't directly impact this objective, it still gives me a confidence boost that I'll work in the things I need to do to reach these results.

Build a Community of Engaged Readers

Key Results

  • Readinary newsletter subscribers increase by 25%.
  • Broadcast open rate averages 60%.
  • Click rate averages 10%.
  • Reach 250 Patreon subscribers.

I'm at a 50/50 point this week with this objective. It's mostly a matter of making the effort.

This Week's Priorities

Typical week at work. No days off. Hopefully no sick days! 

  • Priority 1: Write early, adding words to Synthetic Pain before going to work.
  • Priority 2: Spend time in the evening working on publishing and marketing tasks to move those objectives on.
  • Priority 3: Write a new short story.
  • Priority 3: Submit stories to magazine markets and publish a new story on Patreon.

I think I'll print up my priorities and post them on the wall so that I see them each day. And do an evening review of progress made.


Ryan M. Williams lives a double life as a full-time career librarian and a multi-genre writer with over twenty books. He writes across a range of genres including science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, mystery, horror, and romance. He earned a Master of Arts degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University and a Master of Library and Information Science from San Jose University. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Pocket Books, WMG Publishing, and in On Spec Magazine.

Ryan M. Williams

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