An Actual Writing Update

Since this is supposed to be my writer’s page, I suppose I should put some updates about writing here.

Being a published author is something I’ve always wanted to be (and have attained to a very limited extent) but it is a familiar story, isn’t it? People want to be a writer with books in libraries and bookshops, but it is so hard to write. It is so hard to finish something.

It might be writer’s block. It might be the day job. It might be family, if you don’t live alone like I do. It might be depression.

Sometimes, at the end of the day–or even the beginning of the day–there are so many reasons not to write than to write.

I feel like writing, in particular, is one of those activities that require the highest level of self discipline because so much effort is put forth without, seemingly, anything to show for it except for a word count.

For example, my brother is a filmmaker. He’s working on a short film. He can’t show us the project because it’s not finished, but there is a whole folder of behind the scenes photographs that he was able to share with us. And he’ll probably share some other steps as the project continues, and I’ll enjoy looking at them, and tell him so.

But all I could say was….I wrote x number of words!

In some ways, this is why writing fan fiction can be so validating. You post it, people read it (maybe), give you likes, recommend you, reblog you. They can comment and share what they liked…or what they didn’t like.

I think that’s why I stuck to writing fanfiction for so long. I hadn’t developed self discipline to write huge chunks of words without sharing it with anybody. And then eventually, writing fanfiction faded into the background.

I was that person who didn’t write for x reason for a long time, and truth be told, I can still be that person again. I should write, I would say to myself as I closed my computer for work, and went instead to the tv because work is hard, and I’m so fucking tired from work.

There were always reasons. Some were valid. Some…weren’t.

I cannot tell you how many NaNoWriMos I failed.

I don’t know if it was because I’ve been going to the Writer’s League more often. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been reading more craft books about writing. I don’t know if it’s because I took a writer’s workshop. I don’t actually know what the final straw was for me (I do suspect large it was work).

But for whatever reason, I decided I wanted to practice a pitch for Quill’s and I wanted a mostly completed novel for which to practice. So, I used the blueprint method in Lisa Cron’s Story Genius (which I only read because of the League), and I blueprinted a novel that had been kicking around in my head for years, and was also a failed NaNoWriMo.

I was extremely excited when I began on June 22 and finished the shitty first draft yesterday on July 11. I thought I had enough plotted out to make it to 90k words, but I’m only at 60k and some change.

I say “only” slightly tongue in cheek because this is the first time I’ve actually written that many days in a row consecutively and it’s also the first time I’ve written that many words a day (I aimed for 3k give or take a few hundred).

Obviously, I still have 30k to go to make this marketable as an adult speculative fiction novel, but I’m going to try to draft a matching subplot and elevate one of the characters to a deuteragonist. I’m hoping to have that done by end of July.

The reason I share this story is not because it’s the only way to write. I know some people who have been very successful writing only a few times a week or just on the weekends. But, for me, I need something more regimented, and even if later works might not necessarily make 3k word counts (in fact, I’m not entirely sure how to can’t brainstorming possible plot lines), I will still be aiming to write minimum two hours a day, every day.

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