^ That's my first draft so far. The three at the bottom are full, the one at the top is getting full and the one off to the side in plastic wrap is going to get full. I estimate I'm currently at 160,000 words. I'm writing this old school in modified cursive writing with a mechanical pencil because they don't run out of ink or decide to stop working on a cold morning (hence, "no pen"). Editing and rewrites are unheard of. At least not yet. Am I writing too much? I answer myself "the story is done when it's done". Hello, I'm Readable Joe and I'm introducing myself to the wider writing community as of today. Now, we all come to writing for different reasons and we all have different goals. For me, it's the overwhelming need to tell one particular story. Writing is the method I'm using to do that. I've never had a day where I've suffered "writer's block", but I've had days when I've struggled with the fact there's too much story to tell and I'll never see this first draft finished. Then there's the second draft that will need to be typed up in WORD (but I'm not planning to do that, hence "no keyboard"). But that's still more work I don't look forward to. Writing is a chore for me, but the reward is the story that comes out at the other side, and for me, that's worth it. So what's my story about? It's a coming-of-age story about a boy in a land that resembles France at the time of Louis XIV (think muskets, sailing ships and powdered wigs). The book is filled with adventure (I think) and a strong cast of supporting characters (I hope). One of the things that binds everything together, other than the hero's trials and growth experiences is that the book has a lot of philosophy in it. Have you read Sophie's World? Yes, that kind of level of philosophy. I've started a blog, here it is [LINK REMOVED] and I would be happy for you to join me as I continue my trip through my first draft, then the all important second draft (and beyond) and then how I'm going to get this darn thing to publication. Every time I write, I'm going to tweet for how long I wrote and how many words I wrote. This will make me feel accountable and if you join me, maybe you'll also be motivated to keep writing (and I'll join your Twitter feed to keep myself encouraged!) I can't give anyone any advice, because I don't know all that much, but what I can do is share my experiences. I've promised myself I would have the first draft done in the next 3 months. The next 90 days are going to be 3 NaNoWriMos for me - I'm working full time and I have a family. But...if you want it bad enough, you'll make the time, right? How badly do you want your novel? Hope I learn something on these boards, I'm confident I will. If your dream is having your story told, then I'm backing you all the way because we're on the same trip.