It’s halfway through May so I’m halfway through my challenge to write (the first) 20,000 words of my novel this month. And, as luck (and a lot of writing) would have it, my word count has just gone past the 10,000 mark. I’m officially on target!
I’m particularly chuffed to have achieved this because it’s actually the most words I’ve ever written of a novel. I have written 20,000 words on the evolving persona of Arnold Schwarzenegger for a dissertation (but frankly, who hasn’t?! I mean, that’s totally normal isn’t it?) but never that many of a book.
And now I’ve admitted that, I feel something of a fraud calling myself a writer! But we all have to start somewhere! Somehow every story I’ve written so far has been short. And the two other books I’ve attempted to write have stalled at chapter four. But with this novel I’m now on chapter six so it’s uncharted territory for me. It’s a bit scary and quite exciting.
I have learned some things about (my) writing already this month though:
- The more I write the more I want to write. Writing breeds writing. I guess I get into the flow of things and it doesn’t matter quite so much that I’m completely knackered with lack of sleep because I JUST WANT TO WRITE.
- Having a target is a big help/incentive. If I set myself a goal I want to achieve it. Setting myself this word target has kick-started me into a cycle of writing and out of the cycle of feeling too tired. For now anyway. The jury is out on whether I can keep it up beyond the end of this month!
- Sometimes rushing at something half-cocked does get me somewhere. I am impatient. I do tend to get ideas and want to carry them out NOW. (This is why I ended up re-decorating my bathroom during the easter holidays when I was covered in kids which was blatantly a stupid time to start the project.) My husband often despairs of this tendency of mine and I don’t blame him; it can be counter-productive. But I’ve found with writing my book this month – although in someways I could have planned it more before starting to write it – a lot of ideas have come to me as I’m writing and the story has shaped itself in ways that I suspect lots of planning couldn’t have achieved.
- Writing a book is exciting but also intimidating. I was chatting to a writer friend yesterday who said six or seven drafts of a book is normal. And here I am having only written a fragment of the first draft – what a massive mountain to climb!
- I’m up for a bit of mountaineering. Hell yeah.
Have you got any particular writing targets, projects or goals at the moment? I’d love to hear about them!