Sunday, November 10, 2013
Well technically it's been nine days but the whole "week ends on a Sunday" thing kind of sticks with you after a while.
This is my first NaNoWriMo and I have had an amazing time plugging away at this book.
I've tried writing a novel several times in the past but I always seem to get distracted or frustrated with where the story is going or overwhelmed by the need to write 100,000 words.
This time, with the combination of pressure and support from NaNoWriMo and some wise words from one of my favorite authors, I have been able to get further along in the process than ever before. Even more important, I can now see where the story is going how its going to end. I just need to let the words hit the page - something that has been happening in alarming quantity for the last few days.
I think the main factor this time around is that I've turned my focus away from any kind of publishing goal for the final product. I'm not bound a high word count required by publishers (they usually don't even look at manuscripts under 70 or 80 thousand words, too hard to make money on them). I can just write the story for what it is and if the end product is worthy of sharing I can find the best way to do just that.
It's funny to me how we as writers get hung up on word count sometimes. So many of our stories will never see the light of day with a traditional publisher yet we try to shoehorn stories into those constraints. Allowing a story to be whatever it actually is has been amazingly liberating.
Maybe this is a lesson other writers have long since learned. Maybe I'm just late to the party but I've had enough conversations and read enough articles on the subject to think that's not really the case. Either way, it has helped me tremendously this first week plus.
In nine days I have written over 21,000 words. I've never come close to reaching that kind of production before. I'm over 40% of the way through my goal for the month and I still have 3 full weeks to go.
The best part is, I really think this will wind up being something to share when I'm finished. I was willing to treat this project as a learning exercise if the quality wasn't there but I really think it is. The story will of course need a large amount of revision and polish, after all I'm not stopping to correct as I go, but that's what December is for (and January, and a large part of 2014 most likely). Yet when it's all said and done I really think I'll have something to share with the anyone willing to give it a try.
Thanks again for all the support. And if you haven't already, don't forget to sign up for my newsletter! It will go out quarterly and anyone on the list will get first looks at some content. Subscribers will also be automatically entered into any drawings I hold for published works.