I started writing book 4 in the Sunken City Capers series at the end of October, which was a little behind my original schedule. I had hoped that working from an outline and having written three previous books in the series would mean that this one would right fast. I was wrong—sort of.
Truth is, I’ve been struggling to write book 4. I’m having a really hard time getting back into the flow of it. Not only are my daily/word counts down, but the individual writing sessions feel like pulling teeth while listening to someone scrape a fork and a knife over a plate. A big part of the problem is my health. Over the past few months, I’ve been dealing with ulcers and gastritis. It sucks. But among the biggest impacts is that the problems are most acute in the morning after I first wake up—which is when I historically get the majority of my writing done. So poof, the majority of my writing time is no longer available and when I do try and write, I’ve been generally pretty miserable.
The only real solution is to let the schedule slide to the right and prioritize getting healthy again, which is what I’m doing and I’m seeing some noticeable improvements. But I still couldn’t shake the feeling that writing book 4 was going slow, like slow down to the individual writing sessions. Fortunately, I keep track of my daily word counts, number of sessions, and total minutes spent writing. This lets me get at averages per writing session, words per hour, etc. Out of curiosity, I went back and computed my words per hour for writing book 3, which from my memory wrote fast: 754 words per hour. Then I calculated my words per hour for book 4 (I’m about 25% the way through): 760 words per hour. Boy was I surprised, book 4 is technically writing faster than book 3. The difference? The number of sessions and total number of minutes. It’s due to my health, which has impacted me across the board.
The result of this analysis, is that it restored my optimism for writing book 4. It’s not fundamentally different than writing book 3, it’s just I’m not able to have as many writing sessions as I used to, and that’s okay. Even if I were 100% healthy, I don’t think I’d be having as many writing sessions as I used to. Having this sustained dip in health has helped put a lot of things in perspective, but I think I’ll save that for another time.