1. Biggles

    Biggles New Member

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    Little victories

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Biggles, Jun 11, 2015.

    At the start of the year, after god knows how long dreaming about it, I finally decided that that I had to stop messing around and just get on and do it, I had to write a book. I set myself a target to have at my fingertips a novel length piece of fiction by the end of the year, whether it was finished or not I decided was unimportant, but I wanted 100,000 words in my hand come midnight on December 31st. To achieve this I would do my best to write every single day, but If I missed one I wouldn’t let it slide and would get right back on I the very next day, and every day that I wrote I would write for at least an hour.
    It’s not quite midway through June and I broke 100,000 words this morning on the train. I’m nowhere near finished, I have my story in my head but have no idea how to turn it into a novel and I’m just writing everything down. I figure I’m maybe halfway through, so I’m going to be closer to 200,000 words when I’m finished, and then I will have to take an axe to it and start chopping, taking the legs out from under the minor characters, cleaving the extraneous scenes in two and reducing a forest of dialogue to kindling. And that should be a hell of a scary proposition, but it’s not. 100,000 words was a scary proposition, but I kicked its ass in double quick time. Sitting down with serious intent knowing I might fail was a scary proposition, but I didn’t fail. Today, I didn’t fail, today I won. But nobody knows, because the truth is I’m still scared enough that I don’t want to share this with anyone else, no one who knows me anyway. I will finish this thing , I look at myself in the mirror each night before I go to bed and tell myself I’m a writer and then order myself to finish the novel, but I’m not ready to share it with anybody yet. Maybe I never will, maybe it will remain unpublished and unread forever. Maybe it will spur me on to write something much, much better. Or maybe when I finish it I will never write anything ever again.
    But today, I won, and I couldn’t just let that pass, so thanks for listening.
     
  2. Aaron DC

    Aaron DC Contributing Member Contributor

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    Good job :agreed:
     
  3. aguywhotypes

    aguywhotypes Active Member

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    +1
     
  4. sprirj

    sprirj Contributing Member

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    Excellent post. I'd like to hear more about your timetable you gave yourself, how easy / difficult it was to stick to it, and obstacles you had to over come?
     
  5. TiffanyAnne

    TiffanyAnne New Member

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    That's awesome! Feel proud of what you've accomplished :) It's a huge achievement :agreed:
     
  6. Biggles

    Biggles New Member

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    Thank you for the kind words everyone.
    Sprirj, my timetable was to start January 1st (it seemed appropriate, New Year resolutions and all that) and I gave myself the whole of January to plan it out using the snowflake method. I’ve e had the idea for this novel kicking around inside my head for about five years, so I wasn't starting form scratch in that respect, but actually planning it out did help me to focus on the task ahead and make it seem (slightly) less insurmountable. The actual writing began 1st February and I initially set myself the task of writing for one hour a day with no fixed word count. I discovered last year that I could write on the train (I have a train journey of a little over an hour in the mornings) and that became my writing time five days a week, I took Saturdays off and added another hour on Sunday evening. Initially is was hard, and a little dispiriting, I found that I was maybe getting a few hundred words a day if I was lucky. I knew I needed to hit something like three hundred words a day to have any hope of getting to my 100k target by the end of the year, so I focused on that and slogged it out. I wanted 10k words by the end of February, but I ended up with 20k. At the end of March I had 40k, at the end of April 60k and so on. My target now is at least 1k words a day, today I hit 1.5k.
    It was difficult to stick with it initially, I had to push myself hard. I work a full time job, I've got two young boys (the youngest is 4 months old) I've got parents I have to visit every other weekend and in-laws I have to see on most of the weeks in between and I've got a hundred and one jobs that I need to do around the house. But it got easier, and it got better and then it got necessary. I will finish the book simply because I can't not finish it, I have to write now. Before the kids came along I used to run a lot and I would liken it to that. When I started it was agony, and that lasted for about two weeks. After that it became just bloody painful for a month or so, and after that it sort of became fun. Not every day, some days were still miserable, but sometimes it was fun, joyful even. And I haven’t been able to stop since. I don’t enter races anymore, but I still run three times a week in my lunch break (time management, it’ll save your life) and I really cannot stop. If I go more than two days without a run I start feel very edgy. And it is becoming the same with writing. I don’t have any problem sticking to my schedule now.
     
  7. annshman

    annshman New Member

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    Go you Biggles, I admire your determination. You'll share your story when you're ready, just like you smashed it out when you were ready. Timing is everything, afterall. All the best, keeping writing!
     

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