I submitted my first work to a market. It’s a horror short story I wrote. I won’t be posting every submission I do, but figured my first one should be commemorated 🙂 Still working on my novel. More on that later.
My writing group has grown to include some great writers this year and we have started something new. We are now critiquing one novel at a time in my writing group, 15,000 words (roughly 40 pages) per meeting. After we finish going through the first novel, mine will be next. The soft deadline for me to be done is June 2nd, which I really want to make so people have plenty of time to read the first section. My hard deadline is June 11th. I will be editing after every meeting, fixing problems in one section and correcting future. After I go through this (most likely) grueling process, my novel will hopefully be clean enough and ready to submit to agents and editors by the end of summer, maybe even before if my group doesn’t find major problems. I now have a real deadline to finish my first book!
I did not finish NaNo this November which I am bummed about. (Not surprised though). I did get down over 10,000 words in the month. I think I was getting frustrated with how well other people were doing compared to me. There were people that exceeded way passed the 50k mark and I wondered why I was so slow. The good thing that came from NaNo was that I got work done. December is another month and although I am shooting far beyond 10k for this month, I can think that I will at least get down that much for December. I reread this post, Patrick Rothfuss NaNo, on his blog and how he failed at NaNo which makes me feel a little better. It’s a good read if you are a writer. In fact, he has lots of good things to say so I will be following his blog from now on.
I now have over 50,000 words for my book. That means I’m half-way there assuming an end of 100k. Feeling accomplished, but moving forward. It’s a good possibility that I will not be making the 50k word count for NaNoWriMo(Writing in month of November only). But, I have no doubt I will exceed 10k words for the month and hopefully crack the 15k mark. Sadly, even that is still 35k short. But, who knows, maybe I will have a bout of inspiration and still finish it by the 30th. I have found that while I have to push myself and write all day and night just to get close to 2000 words, what I am getting down is pretty good stuff. It needs editing, but it’s at least manageable. In the end, it’s not a race for me to finish my book, as I am looking to make this my career. I still would like to have the first draft done or near done by the end of the year, so any encouragement people can give me along the way is much appreciated.
The month of October I attempted to work at least 2 hours a day on my book. I am happy to say, I exceeded that goal for the month. My word count has gone up, although not significantly because of editing, planning, plotting, outlining, etc, which is not a bad thing. I have some really good stuff, I think. But I want more words on paper and I have a plan for that. This next month is November and that just happens to be NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically you attempt to write, only write, no editing. I believe the goal to shoot for is 50,000 words.
I am going to participate in NaNoWriMo and for the first time since I’ve written I am not going to edit, nor am I going to reread anything until I make my word count for that day. In case you forgot, November has 30 days and 50,000/30 = 1666.6666666. I have to make this word count of 1667 every day. A lot of people use this to write a completely new novel. I am going to add to my existing novel. If I am able to follow through with this, I will essentially have my draft done. Wish me luck!
I want to start out by saying I have a wonderful wife. Our home has a bonus room above the garage and when we moved in, she kind of let me take it over. Since then it has been the gaming/writing room, but not as much on the writing front even though I had a desk up here for that purpose. I realized this week I didn’t like writing there because my desk was facing a wall and I don’t like staring at a wall two feet in front of me.
So the last couple of days I rearranged the room a little and have my desk looking out into the room. Now I have a space in the corner that feels conducive to writing. Perhaps it’s more feng shui, perhaps I like being closer to my sword should I have to fight off any intruders. Whatever the reason, it feels right. As a plus, I cleaned up and rid the space of some clutter which always feels great. Oh, and I’ve been writing too. Been a good week!
First off, I want to share a milestone I hit today. I passed the 40,000 word mark on my novel. I’ve never written this much on one project, so it’s pretty amazing for me. “Hooray, that’s awesome!” you might say. Of course, I will interject
that I still have roughly 60,000 words to go, give or take 10,000. So yeah, a way off, but feeling gooood. I also have been about matching my goal to work on the book each week which leads me to the topic of this post.
I decided to change my weekly goal to a monthly goal. I will continue to update my progress bar, it’s just a monthly thing now so I’m not resetting it every single week. Also, along with my goal of simply sitting at the computer for 2 hours a day focusing on my book, I am going to push myself to write 750 words every day so I make my deadline to finish the draft by the end of the year.
Also, instead of writing a weekly update which pressures me to write a post every Sunday, I am going to try to simply post when I have something to say. Hopefully this means I will still post at least once a week and keep me engaged with the website.
I forgot to post last night, so this is my weekly update for last week. Unfortunately I didn’t keep track of my hours like I should have, but I am positive I exceeded my goal. My outline took up a lot of my time which was spent staring and updating index cards. Because of this, my word count suffered, but still I progress. With every day of work on my book, I feel like it’s time well spent. I can’t say that about a lot of things that I do.
I also thought, while I hate deadlines and tend to do poorly with them, I am going to set another deadline. This one is to have my first draft finished before the year is up. I counted that up, and that’s approximately 717 words per day or about two and half to three pages per day. Because of this, I am going to be paying attention to my word count more. While I haven’t been getting as much words on the story as I would like, my thoughts are that once I get my outline in shape, I should be able to get a lot of writing done in a short amount of time.
On just Tuesday of this week and already ahead of schedule. I’m on track to easily make my 14 hour goal for this week. Also, I have been using Scrivener to write (highly recommended), and I decided to print off my chapter note cards and lay them out on the ground. It really helped me this evening to get a visual idea on my book and already have sparked new ideas and new directions to go. Excited to see how the rest of my week goes!
This week proved to be more challenging to write than I thought. Schoolwork is overwhelming and continues to push writing to the back of my mind which is extremely frustrating. The more I work on my book, however, the more I believe that this is what I should be doing with my life. I’m 34 years old. I’m not getting any younger. I wonder why I am pushing myself to get a degree when all I really want to do is write.
We watched a video this weekend that my wife found. It’s about why we fail at having a great career. Here it is and I think it is a really, really good ted talk:
I believe this is why I have built up in my head that I need a back-up plan. It’s because I am afraid of failing. Perhaps it was an odd thing to do, go to school as a back-up plan, but that’s the way my brain works.
Even with these somewhat distressing thoughts tumbling in my brain, I managed to work on my book and even get some new writing done. Didn’t make my weekly goal again, but I am progressing which is more than I was doing before. Have my writing group critiques and homework to get through tonight, so I’m done writing for the weekend. It’s a new week again tomorrow. That means I get another shot at reaching my weekly writing goal!