Last week, my sweetie came down with something. Left him with a sore throat, slightly congested, and tired. It was only a day or so before he got back at it. Minor summer cold.

Since it had been a week, I’d kind of thought I’d managed to avoid it.

Nope. Came down with something very similar yesterday, sleeping for 12 hours then spending the day on the couch, not moving much. No writing.

One of the things that occurred to me was that my kitty was quite happy with me yesterday. Finally figured out that I used to spend a lot (A LOT) more time sitting with her. Since I’ve gotten better, I don’t have as many couch days.

What I have been doing is dividing up my time. I generally stand when I write. (I’m standing right now as I’m typing this.) I’ll spend the first or second writing sessions in the morning standing at my desk, then I’ll go sit down someplace where she can come and sit with me, either the bed or the couch.

This was a pretty easy schedule to figure out, as my kitty can be very communicative. In the tiny house, she stands on the bed, which is directly across from my standing desk, and then meows at me. Obviously, I’m in the wrong place and need to come over and be with her. In the house, she gets up and comes over to where I’m standing, then proceeds to meow at me, letting me know that I am doing it wrong.

So, in addition to changing my schedule to fit my kitty, I’m also re-dedicating myself to the writing.

Last month I wrote 92K words. Now, I did have a writing marathon in the middle of that.

However, I’m planning on maintaining that speed, or a little slower, namely, about 84K words per month. 3000 words per day, all done during my primary writing time in the morning. There are at least a couple days per week when I have it scheduled to write in the evenings as well. That way, I can take days off here and there as necessary.

The number of words I’m aiming for is officially known as “Pulp Speed One”, from Dean Wesley Smith:

There are days, like today, when that 3000 words were SO EASY. I’m working on the next of the Franklin books, and that Voice is easy to follow. I’m sure there will be days when it’s more difficult, or even impossible (like yesterday.)

But I don’t feel as though this is an impossible goal. Last year, hell, anytime before last month, it would have been impossible. I’m mostly well–even when I get sick I don’t get migraines like I used to. And I feel good.

One of the other things that makes working on Franklin a bit different–I actually have an outline. Of sorts. I have a general vague notion of where the book is heading. Most of the time I write into the dark. All the Franklin books, though, have wanted an outline first.

And that’s part of the joy of having written as much as I have. (29 novels and counting.) I’m not chained to a single process. The last book I needed to “outline” what I was going to write for the day–maybe six or seven sentences at the start of the day. Period. This book, I have a vague outline (it’s about 700 words long). A lot of things will happen that won’t be in the outline, and I’ll probably not adhere to it tightly. Previous book before that had no outline whatsoever. The next one, who knows? I sure won’t, not until I start.

Do what works for you. For some, outlining is the surest way to failure. For others, it’s the only way to succeed. For me, it depends on the project, though I never do a long or complete outline, and I never stick to it too closely.

Again, do what works for you. Not what works for other writers. Keep your eyes on your own business. It’s so easy to compare yourself to others. Just stop. right now. I’m doing what works for me at this moment. You can only do what works for you at this moment.

And yes, here’s a picture of the kitty, contentedly laying in the sunshine on the floor in the tiny house.