You may have noted that I have not been updating as often and that my posts have been mostly about word count. I do apologize and I promise that once Labour Day is past, I will be contributing better to this blog.
I’m on track to break 20K for the month tonight, or at the latest, tomorrow. I’m still behind but not disasterously so.
How’s my August?
My August is brutal. I was expecting some very quiet weeks at work. Instead, it’s been one disaster after another to recover from, with enough overtime to drain energy but not enough to make it fiscally worthwhile.
Such is life.
Socially, the month filled up very very quickly. Every weekend is packed, culminating in an extremely busy Labour Day weekend (which, I thank god isn’t a part of August this year, so it won’t interfere with my challenge)
I was counting on some slack time at work to catch up on writing.
Still, with the best of support from friends, family and my wife, I’ve moved forward.
What have I learned? What am I feeling?
Here’s what I have to say in relation to my current project:
- One hundred thousand words is a truckload of words! It’s a lot! It’s a figure I respect a lot more than 50K. My friend Daphne wrote 100K in the first NaNoWriMo I participated in (where we met incidentally) and while I have always respected her and her accomplishments, that respect for her has grown by an order of magnitude.
- Magic is fun, but when stressed I start to use it as a seriously bad McGuffin. “But but but MAGIC!” “How does she get out of this? MAGIC!” and it’s starting to wear on me. My current answer is to make a note in the text for the revision (ie “using magic here is a lame cop out, do better on the rewrite”)
- There are a ton of really neat ideas that I started with that I haven’t even touched, and I’m sad because I was looking forward to them. I know it’s not too late, but I find this is a side effect of NaNoWriMo that is really frustrating.
- I love my story, my wife loves the story…but it will still need a major rewrite from scratch before I let anyone else read it. I’ve scheduled this massive rewrite for sometime in the new year. This first draft will serve as a guide for an extensively detailed outline. Cutting and pasting from it will be somewhat minimized.
- I’m marvelling at how writing the story out is making me rethink where I wanted to go with it. It’s a good thing. I am now wondering if I’d have this feeling if I had spent a month making a detailed outline. We’ll see in November with my next project.
- The first writing group helped move this along and make it real for me. I’ve chosen well and I have really awesome friends that I can experience this with. I am lucky. I hope to give back as much as I am getting.
- This story could easily be made into YA. I’ve never been comfortable when someone suggests I try publishing YA novels, but for this project, the thought is nagging me enough to seriously give it some thought.
- 100K is too long for this story. I will meet my 100K goal, but I think my rewrite will trim that down to 80K, maybe even 70K.
- “I can do better, but that’s ok” is the mantra this month. It’s a first draft. Get it on paper, then improve it.
All in all, I have mixed feelings today about this whole “100K in 60 days” challenge. I’ll be really glad when it’s over and I (hopefully) succeed. I am getting tired at night of getting my “Butt in chair” time down (props to I Should Be Writing for the expression). I am behind so I can’t really blow off a day or two. I worry about burning out.
Those feelings, I’m realizing, are ok. It wouldn’t be worth it if it was easy, and there are some really cool things I’m feeling about it too.
The challenge did exactly what I wanted it to do. I’m getting used to writing every single day. If I skip a day (and I did early this month) I feel weird. Every day it’s both easier and harder to sit and crank out 2000 words, but in September when there is less pressure, I think I will enjoy how easily I’ll sit and crank out 500 or 1000 words and enjoy the process. I’m thrilled because at the volume of words that I am writing, I can try a lot of crafty things I read about and see how they work and how they feel.
I’m also thrilled because all the ideas that are popping into my head have basically scheduled my next year of writing. I really like that it’s all planned out and I know where I’m going.
By this time next year, I will have 3 or maybe 4 completed and revised manuscripts that will be either sent out, or near sending.
I am thrilled about that.