In an effort to be more transparent about exactly what I’m working on and how those word counts I share divide up, here’s a recap of what’s been going on since I last checked in:
- February was a mad dash to finish my total rewrite of Mistress Novel. I finished it with about a week to spare before the end of March. It’s like a first draft all over again but it was good to at least get that step done and figure out a new version of the plot.
- I used that last week of February to finish the first draft of my new e-commerce book. That hasn’t been officially announced yet so that’s all I’ll say about that for now. I finished February with 65,449 words.
- This mad writing dash was all because we were going on vacation the first week of March and I wanted to be able to take that week off. Every year, I make all these writing goals for over vacation and then end up not writing a single word. This year, I decided to take a true break and not even attempt to write while away since I was already so far ahead for the year. I didn’t even bring my laptop. I thought I’d take that time to reflect and then I’d be ready to start editing the novel version of Polar Twilight as soon as I got back.
- Except, (plot twist!) everyone ended up getting sick (mom was even hospitalized but she’s fine now) and, for whatever reason, I was the least sick. (Shout out to my immune system, which is a boss.) So every day, as sick husband and toddler took a nap together, I sat on the balcony over at Kidani Village at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge and wrote on my tablet with zebras and giraffes chilling right next to me. It did not suck. I actually got a ton of writing done. I finished outlining two e-commerce books and wrote the first draft of a children’s book. We also had a really nice time and took a much-needed break from the cabin fever and cold of back home.
- When we got back, everyone was still sick. In fact, while the worst of it for me was only a week or so, the toddler and husband were sick from the last day of February until a couple of days ago. But, alas, health was short-lived and noses started running again a few days ago so it’s either a new sickness or allergies or who knows what. It’s rather annoying.
- During this period of endless illness, I kept whining to anyone who would listen about how I was “getting nothing done.” This fact was debatable as, regardless of how I felt at the time, I actually edited half of the aforementioned e-commerce book, wrote a rough draft of yet another children’s story, did some work on Fourth Orange and then rewrote a play. The play was one I’d written in high school. I’d originally discounted it as mostly terrible but, upon reflection, there was actually enough good to make a pretty decent 10 minute play once I cut it down so I decided to take that plunge. We’ll talk more about this in a later post on playwrighting.
- I finally started editing the novel version of Polar Twilight that I wrote in December. It’s been all-consuming. I am OBSESSED with this book. It’s very different from the play and I love it but it’s still deeply flawed. I’ve been trying to figure it out and that means a lot of writing the same chapter 9 billion different ways until it feels right. It’s slow going but I’m so full of fire for it right now that I don’t want to lose that momentum by setting it aside to work on other things which means a lot of other projects are falling by the wayside. Considering I was doing so well by project hopping, I’m not really sure if it’s a good idea to devote 100% of my time to a single project like this but it’s all part of a grand experiment to see if I can make myself revise faster. I’ve given myself the deadline of the end of April to get it to beta readers so I won’t have to put everything else off for too long though that goal seems slightly impossible at the moment considering how long it’s taking me to get the beginning right. I’m using the April session of Camp NaNoWriMo to keep me motivated, tracking editing as 1k words an hour which would mean doing 50 hours of revision this month. I don’t know if that’s going to be enough to get me all the way there but, coupled with all the hours I did in March, it has to get me somewhere, right?
- I ended March with 44,993 words. I could have hit 50k but it would have meant putting the PT novel aside for something I could write a little faster (editing is so slow, yo) and I decided the book was more important than my arbitrary goal and just kept up the revision.
Here’s where I am on my word count goal as of 4/10 (which is when I’m writing this post):
Potato’s anger is reflective of how I’m feeling about my revision right now. Clearly, I should probably up my goal for the year but considering I’ve been much more focused on specific projects this year instead of the numbers, I haven’t felt the need to yet.
Once I get the Polar Twilight novel in shape to show people, I’ll be finishing up the new e-commerce book while waiting on beta reader comments and then devoting myself to getting my adaptation of The Green Bird and Fourth Orange finished. I’m writing the two simultaneously because they share a new character and her scene in FO actually happens chronologically before GB, even though, overall, FO takes place after the other play. It’s all very confusing and will make sense someday if you see the plays. Then I hope to get Polar Twilight ready to shop before moving on to the rest of my massive To Write list.
It’s been busy, is what I’m saying, and I’ve been so focused on getting this novel done that I didn’t want to take time away from the revision to blog. (I’m only doing it now because I’m stuck at the moment and hoping a break to write something else will solve that problem for me.) The funny part of having a stockpile of blog posts to fall back on is that you get cocky and just sort of assume you’ve still got posts happen when actually, surprise!, there’s been nothing up here for a month.
I will say this: writing at this quantity has definitely had a massive effect on my production. Yes, I’m literally writing more words but I’m also finishing more projects and writing better first drafts. I just need to figure out how to speed my revision process up and I feel like I’ll have achieved some kind of next level.