Hello again, friends.
I’m quickly discovering that I’m not very good at keeping up with a blog. The last few weeks, I have worked on getting my life more in order. But, as you well know, life doesn’t always go to plan. Things come up and you have to handle them. For me, that has been helping my parents get their house finished so they can move back in post flood.
Anyway! So, November is (Na)tional (No)vel (Wri)ting (Mo)nth. NaNoWrimo! I was glad to see the friends of mine who decided to participate this year. It’s exciting whenever you get an idea in your head. In October, all I could think about was writing the story and developing the characters, but I refused to put words to the page until November 1st. As this is my first NaNoWriMo, I wanted to do things ‘by the book.’
For anyone unfamiliar with it, you spend the month of November writing at least a 50,000 word novel in any genre of your choice. It’s not necessarily an easy feat, especially if writer’s block is a problem.
Lo and behold, November 1st came. I jumped! In the first day, I hit 1,000, then 2,000, then 5,000! I was proud of having a good starting off number. If you span your 50K words out, it averages to 1,667 words per day. The week before the first of November, I sat down to do a test run on a fanfiction and found I could write that many words in less than an hour of true, concentrated writing. Having that early jump helped me get ahead. There were a couple of days in the last 17 that I was only able to write a couple of sentences, much less a thousand words.
Within a week, I reached 22,000 words, which isn’t necessarily unheard of. I exceeded my goals pretty quickly. The big ‘but’ of it all, however, is that I was finding my story lacked depth. It had a good, solid back story, the characters were intriguing, but I didn’t spend a whole lot of time developing them throughout what I’d written so far.
What does that mean?
A first draft is a first draft. It is meant to be rough. It is meant to need development. One thing Lauren and I learned throughout writing our joint series is that you are attempting to get the bones out in a first draft. That is what I’m reminding myself of. I reached 25,000 words (halfway, per the Instagram post below) on day 10 of 30.
A post shared by Abbie Lynn Smith (@abbiewritesx) on Nov 10, 2016 at 8:38am PST
Today is day 17 and I am currently at 42,328 words. If I wrote around 550 words each day the rest of the month, I would reach 50K.
My goal is to hit 50K, and then put the project down. Don’t get me wrong, the story has great potential. It really does. I just don’t know if it is something that I want to pursue just yet. It needs a lot of work, more work than I’m willing to put into it right at this time.
So, you ask ‘Abbie, what was the point?’
Hit 40K today for #nanowrimo! Very excited that I've been able to do this in 2016. Even though the project itself is very (VERY) rough, participating in this proves to me that I CAN write every day. It's about making time, not 'having' time. 😆 #nanowrimo2016
A post shared by Abbie Lynn Smith (@abbiewritesx) on Nov 16, 2016 at 8:21am PST
The point, my friends, is that I have proven to myself that I can write every single day. Every. Day. Even if it’s just for an hour or two. Or just a sentence here and a paragraph there. It is doable while working a full time job.
Nearly every single agent I’ve researched has the same message: don’t quit your day job. You can’t expect to jump out of the gate with a best selling novel. It doesn’t happen that way. I know this, I just never took the time to heed the advice. Being a writer has always been my dream. As a kid, you’re told not to give up on your dreams. I may have journeyed away from that dream for a little while, but I’m back on the path.
Once I reach 50K, the project will be saved on my computer for returning to later.
So, you may ask, what’s next?
I am returning to the world of HalfLife, to Dominick and Kate and Michael and Caleb and Rachel and Alec. And I am going to introduce them to the world. I am going to finish this round of edits and then seek out beta readers! Interested in getting a glimpse into a world of magic hidden beneath the stone streets of New Orleans? Hit me up!!
As always, thanks to you for sticking with me!
Yours truly, Abbie