Amazon · Career · word counts · writing

Building up the word count.

One of my major goals this year is to build up my fiction word count. My minimum goal is to write a thousand words a day, and I’d like to build up to more like 5000 words a day.

I have a couple of things that help me make this a reality. I’m a relatively fast and clean typer. Unless I’m tired or drunk, I don’t make a huge amount of typos, and I can touch type (thanks MSN Messenger! Seriously, that’s how I learned to type fast, not any class or program…). My word per minute rate is around the 65-80 words per minute mark. Sometimes higher if I’m on a passionate roll. Not lighting fast, but fast enough. I can easily write 1000 words/30 minutes if I know what I’m talking about!

I also have a lot of free time. I work part-time. I don’t have any kids. My partner works evening shifts at the moment, which means he’s out of the house from 1pm-10:40pm every week day. I’m an introvert, with quite a few busy, mostly introverted friends so my social commitments are pretty slim during the week. That’s a lot of hours at home alone where I could be writing.

Why aren’t I there yet then? Why aren’t I writing 10,000 words a day like Amanda Lee regularly does? Or at least 5000 words a day? My amazing procrastination skills and short attention span work against me on a daily basis. This is usually at the beginning of my writing sessions. I get distracted by the new shiny ideas and musing that pop into my head, or by things I see online, or what’s going on in my backyard, or I should probably do those dishes before The Lovely Fiancé comes home or, or, or… you get the picture.

Lately I’ve been on a good roll. I’ve written over 10,000 words in the past 5 days, and I’m over 3000 words ahead on my writing goal for the month (18,200 words in the first 15 days of the month – goal is 31,000 for the month).

Part of what has helped this is recording not just my daily writing tallies, but my half hourly ones. I write down the time for a number of hours, and record my total. The other day it looked like this:

12pm: 536
12:30pm: 536
1pm: 536
1:30pm 557
2pm: 838
2:30pm 1807
3pm: 2218
3:30pm: 3120

You can see, I really ramped it up towards the end, while I obviously got distracted by something early on. I find the first thousand words harder than the second. By then I’ve been suckered in by the story again, and the words just flow a lot easier.

Recording my words like this doesn’t always work, but it does help to keep me accountable and on task, more so than when I don’t do it. I really dislike having to write no progress down! It’s a bit of a mind game, but hey, whatever works.

How are those sales going?

Not too bad! We’re mid-month, and I’m at 41 sales. Small numbers for a lot of people, I know, but good for me at the moment! The whole of January I sold 42 copies, and we’re only mid-month right now, so I’m happy with that progress!
The official numbers for Feb came out this morning. I made *drum roll* $78.24. 

Combine that with my January figure ($61.99) and we have US$140.23 for my next payment at the end of April. Now, Amazon will send 5% of that to the IRS thanks to the tax treaty Australia and the USA have, so they will send $133 odd American dollars to my Aussie bank account. If the exchange rate stays about the same (never know), that will be around $172 Aussie dollars. The bank skims $12 AUD off the top because they can, so I’ll be left with the leftovers of around ~$160! It’ll be great when/if Amazon starts paying Australian authors by direct deposit, like they do for US, Canadian, British and EU authors. Then I’ll be able to avoid the $12 bank robbery, and also not have to wait to hit $105 to get paid ($10 threshold on direct deposit payments). I guess it wouldn’t be as noticeable if you were making thousands a month, but when you’re only just limping over the $100 threshold, it sure is noticeable! It would be even more noticeable if the AUD and the USD were closer to parity, but in this instance the weaker AUD is working in my favour.

Ah, the dream… to make enough money that I don’t even notice or care about the bank nibbling $12.


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