My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Novel Update 1–Word Count: 0

Image description: Writer getting started.
*cracks knuckles*

Well then....let's write a novel, shall we?

I made it.

Seriously, I actually made it.

For months I've been looking across the hellscape off my life and schedule toward this time–this time way off in the distance–when I would really have time to dig into writing like Scrooge McDuck swan diving into his money. Even though I still write during my slumps, for literally years now, I've been looking ahead to this time when things were actually going to clear up and I would have time to write. Real time to really write, in hours long chunks of fevered creativity instead of stolen hours dug out from deep, hidden crevasses or plucked with meek apologies from needful fingers. But every time I felt like I was actually getting close to a schedule that actually facilitated writing, something (like a baby or a health crisis or a pair of back to back moves during a relationship upheaval) popped up like the monster in the last ten fifteen minutes of an eighties horror flick and the time to write behaved distressingly like the dolly zoom hallway in Poltergeist.

Come back here writing time!
Image description: Hallway seeming to get longer from Poltergeist 1982
But I finally made it. I actually, really, truly, finally made it.

This is the page turn. Right now. Literally today. September 19th, 2016 marks the new chapter of my life. Baring some unforeseeable horror that somehow extends some of this shit, I will look back on everything before today as the three-year-long slump and talk about that as my "Meh period." And everything after it as "That year I worked like Neve Campbell and Antonio Banderas in the late nineties.....combined."

Yes, my readers, now it's time for you to see the "serious shit" that I've been promising, swearing, and threatening for months (and even years) now.

Let's fucking do this thing!
GIF description: Back to the future clip of car time traveling. Back to the Future 1985

Tomorrow I'm going to put out a new schedule for Writing About Writing. One that isn't "I'll get whatever shit up that I have time to write when I have time to write it, OKAY???" The new schedule will include a dedicated weekly day for the Mailbox again, weekend posts, occasional brunch posts, writing for other blogs, at least two "meaty" articles a week.

And of course the no-big-deal job of writing a book.

Totally not panicking.
Gif description: Beeker Muppet....panicking.

On that note, every Monday for the next year will be a word count tracker and meta-novel experience in addition to my return to Monday personal updates. Monday is a long work day for me at both of my part time jobs (nanny and teaching), so a blog post that's a little easier to splurt out will be in order.

This will serve two functions:

Number one, it will keep a measure of transparency. To myself of course, but also to folks who generously contributed to the Kickstarter. A year might seem like a long time, but for a project as involved as "Write a book" (from draft, through draft 2, through revision, through more revision, through alpha reading, through editing, through beta reading, through more editing, through final editing, through galley proofing, through publishing) it is actually going to be a pretty slammin' pace. The normal timeline for a book is between two and five years for a first time author who really sits down with some grim determination and has no research to do, and turning around in 12 months from draft to publication is a pace even an established working writer would be proud of. Posting word counts (and revision word counts) will keep me on my toes and all-too-aware of my charge to everyone who pitched in so that I could work only part time for a year.

The more writing is seen as a job that you just DO, the easier it is to slog through the parts that aren't unicorn farts and pixie spew–which, ironically, gets you back to those magically delicious parts all the faster. And I intend to be accountable.

If I get behind, you'll know the reason why (and it won't be because I was checking Facebook). So none of you will have to dramatically arm yourselves as you say "...or I'll know the reason why!" Folks paid to give me a year to work, and if I get hung up in the publication process or there is something that goes over like a depleted uranium balloon with the alpha readers and sends me back to the drawing board, it'll be clear and obvious what happened, and never that I just wasn't working.

Number two
, it will continue the ongoing mission of W.A.W. to not only be advice about writing, but also a real-time, meta blog showing you all the time, energy, and ceaseless dedication it takes to chase the ever elusive "be a writer." For those who think writing a book is a November's work, or even an easy year's work, you will soon see how difficult it can be and how many hours of long, hard WORK go into such an endeavor.

Note: I don't really have zero words written. I'm actually on page 37 or so, but today is the first day of dedicated pacing.

1 comment:

  1. I always love it when I come on and find there's a new post - this one is especially good :) I'm glad things are coming together for you!