But it's still nice to win!
I finished my 50K on Sunday the 28th with two days to spare and several hundred words over the minimum.
I thought I'd share with you what I got out of the past 28 days.
Let's get the bad stuff out of the way first.
- I've been a deficient friend for the past month. I admit to screening phone calls. Especially if they came right as I sat down to write. So, um, sorry about that.
- I've been a deficient housekeeper. So, nothing new there.
- I've been a deficient homemaker. So, there's been more takeout than usual. And quite a few things are in piles "to do" in December. I managed to double book myself at two doctors because I haven't bothered to write things down on my calendar. And let's not discuss the laundry situation, shall we?
- And the writing . . . well, let's just say I don't want anyone to read what I've written. It's sloppy. It's full of lazy metaphors and overdone explanations. It's also full of holes - plot holes, timeline holes and character holes. There's a good chance that it wouldn't make sense to anyone but me at this stage. Not to mention that while I've written 50K+ words this month, I didn't finish my novel. Not even close. Best guess, I'm about half-way there.
- I wrote 50K+ words in 28 days!!! I can hardly believe it. I wasn't sure it was possible. But it is.
- I still prefer to write in long, uninterrupted stretches, but if I can't get them, it's amazing what I can accomplish in fifteen minutes.
- I have a novel-in-progress! Before November 1st, I had an idea of where the story was going. Now, I have the makings of a real plot. Complete with drama, catastrophe and even - gasp! - death.
- I learned to block out my internal editor for most things. I still can't stand to leave misspelled words in the manuscript. And I did re-write the occasional sentence. But I tried to keep the focus on getting the story out, not in perfecting it.
- I learned I'm a "take-outer" rather than a "put-inner" and I'm OK with that. I'll cut at least 15-20% of this stuff. But that doesn't mean it was wasted effort. Even a scene that doesn't survive helps me flesh out the characters and their relationships.
- As a winner, I'll be able to purchase the Scrivener for PC program (a really cool writing program) when it comes out next year for half-price. Given that it will probably sell for $40, this equates to a $20 savings which means I made $0.0004 a word. Hmm...on second thought, maybe this should be in the "bad" list. :-)
- In 28 days, I only had 3 days where I didn't write a word. Most days I wrote over 1000 words, which, in writing circles, seems to be a bit of a magic number and one that used to seem out of reach to me.
- Even though I met my word count goal on Sunday, I don't feel any inclination to stop working on the novel. If anything, I feel energized to press on.