I did it! I just ran the draft through the validator and came out with a whopping 53,158 words (that’s about 1,000 shy of my Office word count). I’m so excited and proud of myself for sticking to it. I’m really jazzed about finishing it. I’m building up to my climax now and don’t want to lose my momentum, so I’m going to push myself to stick with my writing schedule before I let any academic side projects take me away from creative writing. I’m loving this! aaaaah! I’m a bit too hyped up right now. Gotta go! Need to save and back up!
Writing must be a kind of masochistic, multiple personality disorder because I have several lives in my head and am constantly punishing myself.
On the eve before NaNo, I finished Secret Project #1.
It’s called Cassiel, though that’s just the working title I gave it when I started in 2006. Yes, 6 years of on again, off again writing. I started right before I entered grad school (the first time), and worked on it steadily for that first year, then I just stopped. I had too much to do between school, thesis drafting, and work, and it seemed like something that could easily wait. And it did.
A couple of years after I started the project, I had about 10 chapters sitting in a folder, so I edited and charted out all the details so I could start writing again. Then I stopped again. It was time for grad school, part 2.
Last July, school was finally over. I would have professional and academic drains on my time. I would have to juggle a full time job and a relationship, but writing was suddenly something that I wanted to spend time on—even on days when it seemed like my time was compartmentalized into a crazy schedule of workout, go to work, go home, eat, write, sleep. I wrote. I took breaks and told myself I needed time off, but I kept coming back to it and plowing away.
Then I told myself I would take part in NaNo this year, and start working on one of those other secret projects I had stashed away in my writing folder. I gave myself until November to finish what I had started. I would not be working on two projects simultaneously, ain’t no way, ain’t no how. So I finished. Draft 1.5 at least.
It’s long, to start. Too long, so I will have to do some major revisions. And I know my voice changed halfway through the writing process. The writer who started this novel is not the writer who finished. My voice changed, how I write changed, and this work will change again before it is really worth shopping. But, for now, I will let out a long, contented sigh, and wait to tally up my word count (well over the 100,000 mark, so far as I can estimate) and make editing decisions. Maybe I’ll even start looking for a reader (a daunting thought for someone who refused to let anyone even see her work when she was writing).
This is one resolution I can scratch off my list 🙂
Now, for Project #2.
I stumbled on The Writer Librarian’s blog a couple of days ago (hurray for Twitter!) and read a fantastic post that she published on trying to have it all and accepting that sometimes you can’t, but you can appreciate what you can have. It made me stop and reflect because I have been trying to have too much. Between work, working out, writing, and juggling “me” time and “Bchan” time, I’m drawing myself far too thin.
I’ve been working on a writing project for far too long but it’s almost at a stage where I can call it a complete first draft. It needs a lot of polishing, but it’s something I told myself I would stick at until I was satisfied. I also gave myself a deadline–I want to finish before NaNoWriMo so I can actually take part this year (as I rambled on about a few posts ago). I’m not sure this is going to happen quite the way I want it to, but that’s something I have to accept. I’ll do what I can, when I can, and plod along until it’s finished. And I’ll give NaNoWriMo a shot, even if I don’t reach the full word count.
Unfortunately, this goal means giving up some things. Realizing I barely have time to spare (writing this post meant sacrificing reading time), I resolved to un-enroll from a programming course on Coursera. There’s no way I can dedicate an extra 6-8 hours a week on learning a skill that will be fun and challenging, but will just fade into memory when the course ends. Until I decide to go for a full tech-related position, there’s only so much I can do to gain new skills and keep them active. I’ll wait ’til January and take the philosophy course I signed up for instead. It’s the sort of “useless” knowledge that’ll help me with all those philosophy questions freshmen tend to ask.
Tomorrow, I will workout. And I will attend a Hell’s Kitchen finale party (with trifle in tow). Tuesday will be writing day.
Just experienced that bright moment of all-consuming excitement when I realized my article on multicultural programming had been published… followed by the numbing dread of “Oh no, this means people are going to read my writing.”
I’m trying to get past a writing slump–both creative and bloggish. Today, I made time to just write. Nothing but writing for a few hours. So here I am at Starbucks on my favorite chaise longue typing away. And it’s been good. Not the highest word count, but something that makes me feel there is something to my plodding away at this project.
I’ve also gotten myself a Starbucks card after much urging from one of my students. The hope is that this will keep me within a coffee/tea budget while spurring me on to get out of the house and just be. Just me and Bellatrix (the laptop. I have a thing about old Latin names for my devices. The iDevice is Zephyrus).
The goal is to finish this project before NaNoWriMo. Because after years of being bogged down by coursework, I think I can finally take part in the challenge. I have an idea, I just need to find the time and discipline to write every day.
Also have two professional development courses coming up in the next two months. I may have challenged myself a bit too much this time. Off we go!