So January was the month were I finally got started on doing my writing exercises again after NaNoWriMo, the Christmas holidays, and moving into our new house. It was also was the month were I finally managed to get three hours of deliberate practice pressed into one day. And I did that three days in a row. Overall, it was a pretty great month reading and writing-wise.
So how did I do? Well, my average still lands just below two hours of practice per day (1.9 hours), which isn’t too bad though. It’s the same as in November were NaNoWriMo was pressing me to put in some extra time. And, as I mentioned, I got in three hours or more three days in a row, and that was during the last three days of the month, so things are going in the right direction.
Looking at the day to day stats, it’s clear that it took me some time to get into gear, having spent most of December being less productive. But if I can keep up the the effort from the end of January, I’m in for some nice practice times.
In total, I managed to press in 59 hours, to the minute, of deliberate practice in January. 3.5 of those were spent on writing exercises, 14 were spent on writing stories, 40.8 were spent on reading fiction, and the rest, just above half an hour was spent on visualizing stories.
And times wasted? Here I landed at just about 3 hours, which is a nice improvement of 1.5 hours compared to both December and November. So all in all things a going great.
Now to the most important part: do I actually notice the difference when writing my stories? Well, yes, and, no.
I think it’s still way too early to clearly determine if this more structured approach to learning the craft of fiction writing is paying off, but I have definitely seen a lot of improvement in my sentence level writing, especially my setting descriptions.
This has been a week point of my for a long time, but having focused on it during a good deal of my exercises, I can say with some confidence that my writing is far less flat and jarring compared to just half a year ago. Some of the stuff I’ve been practicing, like using more active verbs, cutting adjectives and adverbs, and get more of the character emotions across, now happens, almost, on itself. And, really, practicing something until you do it right without having to focus on it, well, that’s what I’m hoping to achieve from all these, at times, tedious exercises.
Oh, and I almost forgot; I promised you a graph. Below you can see my average hours spent on deliberate practice per day during the last couple of months. (Well, almost months, the time frame wasn’t determined the first two months) Hopefully, what you’ll see is a nice straight line with a steady increase towards three hours pr. day. No? Well, all right, but just wait a few months at it’ll be there.