I started making videos to document my writing journey, but it soon turned into a creative outlet all its own. Still, I like to pop in every now and then to share my progress. With November nearing an end, it feels like the right time to look back on the “journey”: from my very first NaNo (2012) to today.
Rock Your Query: A Simple System for Writing Query Letters and Synopses by Cathy Yardley (available as a Kindle ebook)
October was a MONTH. I had a hard time focusing and felt like I was split in 20 different directions, but it’s done and I managed to make it through with minimal strain.
Some November updates:
- I am not doing NaNoWriMo. Not even for inspiration. I have a goal for in 2018, and I’m going to focus on that without the distraction of a NaNo goal.
- I have a few videos planned, but if November looks like October, my posts are going to be sporadic at best.
- If you’re a Mary Poppins fan, we just recorded a whole episode on Mary at The Bluestocking Circle. Give us a listen 🙂
So all plans re: blogging/vlogging/social media were tossed out the window in July. But that’s ok—the writing is strong and the words are coming. Unexpected circumstances aside, this draft will be done by the end of the month…
Now, for the stats:
- Words (re)written in June: 16,888
- Words (re)written in July: 33,609
good job, self. keep at it.
Just another monthly update: life, health, birthdays(!), and more. With technical difficulties for that extra touch *wink*
It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a 5 things, and with the death of Polyvore, I’ve been thinking how to create new themes.
For today, I give you 5 of the Spotify Playlists I listen to when I need to focus on writing, or while working on projects where I crave no distractions.
Thor: Ragnarok soundtrack
This album is electronic, atmospheric, and just the right amount of adrenaline-pumping to get me going. Really good for writing action.
Late Night Jazz
This playlist works for me at any time of day, but particularly when I want to relax into writing and forget about everything else. I also enjoy this playlist when settling in for a good reading session.
The Dark Knight Rises soundtrack
Like the Thor soundtrack, this one is atmospheric enough to get me going, but smooth enough when I need to focus on words rather than pacing.
I listen to this at work. It’s my version of office muzak. Unobtrusive and easy to listen to when working in an office.
Sometimes I need something dark and sexy to set the tone.
I have news! The draft is complete! Except, it’s not… not really, but you know what I mean. This draft, as it stands, is completely revised and mostly rewritten. I finished it on Saturday and had a nice lunch to celebrate, before writing up a quick plan for next steps.
The first step: proofreading and a deep review of the first 50 pages (plus, take care of all those notes I added in the margins).
Next: query and synopsis research, as it’s been a while since I’ve done this and need a refresh.
Agent research, list-making, and more to follow. But, for now, it’s in a happy place and I can relax when I go to my yearly library conference next week.
- Words (re)written in May: 9,998
- Total wordcount: 80,163
- Previous wordcount: 83,124
- Words that survived from the last draft: probably 163
*Patting myself on the back.*
I wrapped up the month just shy of my goal, completing 5 chapters (including the prologue. I started the month strong, with some serious, day-long editing sessions, but the end of the month brought a couple of health issues (knocked out by migraines and cramps) and some personal life drama that made it difficult to do more than the basics. That said, it was my best month yet (wordcountwise) and I’m ready to take on the last three chapters.
- Words (re)written in April: 15,530
- Words (re)written in 2018 (to date): 47,222
My goal is to finish this draft by May 19th (ideally, the 13th), giving me two/three weeks before I proofread, and time to focus on the switch from drafting to query prep. Deep breath. I’m going to get over my anxiety and do it.
Morning pages, tulips for color, and greenery for life. (with a kitty cat cameo from Friday)
My DSLR has ceased to be and I need a new camera.
I’ve been thinking about writing lately (the act, not the manuscript) and reading a lot of posts with lots of opinions. I too have opinions, but I also know that for every writer who gets up two hours early to shell out 3000 words before breakfast, there is a writer like me: slow, who has to balance a day job and a drive, the split-mind persona of scholar and creator, and the drain of being an introvert in an extroverted world.
Here are some truths I’ve learned about (my) writing:
- I can write fast, but I must edit slow.
- Rushing the process only leads to more revision and poor development. I am coming to terms with this, but it is hard. It requires a lot of humility and learning to set aside lofty goals and expectations. The process takes long but it is a process.
- I can let go of writer jealousy.
- I do not need to follow in another writer’s footsteps. I can make my own path, take my own journey. I can only write as I know how to write.
- The story is mine.
- Writing is personal. I am willing and open to critique. I seek improvement and welcome feedback. But, ultimately, it’s my book and it’s my voice.
- Every book is different.
- The process changes every time. I am currently a weekend warrior. It’s a slow draft and a slow process, but it’s the best process that I’ve found for this particular draft. The next one will be its own beast.
- I need to take care of my physical and mental health.
- I don’t believe in sacrificing my body for my art. I need sleep. I need exercise. I need food. And I need to work to pay the bills. These things have to come first or my writing will and does suffer.
There are many more truths. Every writer has their own. These are mine.
It’s been a rough year, which really shows in my writing. I had a hard time focusing—-life, work, health, it all came together to result in a convoluted mess of a draft full of gaping holes. I was brutal in my cuts during the last revision, and what I thought was the right choice, led to a weak plot that really lacks punch. But I couldn’t see it until now. The readthrough was painful, but I received some solid feedback from two of my betas (thank you for being my victims) and had a major breakthrough. I’m in for a hell of a lot of rewriting (and new writing) but I know where things went wrong and I know how to fix it (fingers crossed), which is a very good thing.
Here’s to another round as a NaNo rebel. No real word goals, just a purpose: rewrite, revise, redraft.