If you ask my three-year old what comes after March, she’ll tell you it’s “the Daisy niece months” because Daisy Duck has three nieces named April, May and June. Anyway, it’s that time again…
Here’s what March 2016 looked like in writing…
215,892/600,000 words (36%)
Total Words Written
65,099 words (My highest word count month so far this year!)
Average Words Per Day
- Nothing. Nothing, you hear me? *sobs*
Other Works Actively in Progress this Month:
- The MG novel nicknamed WOC1
I’m getting my Van Der Beek tears on because, as you know gentle reader, working on only one project at a time makes me cranky, but I’m forcing myself to stay completely faithful to my MG novel until it’s ready for Beta readers. Why am I forcing myself to do something I hate? Because I am a big believer in giving everything a fair try and a lot of writing advice recommends focusing on one project at a time, something I have honestly never done. Since I’d never claim to be an expert on this, I figured I owed it to myself to at least give this advice a solid try for this one project and see if it makes a difference. So far, me no likey.
The novel revision is going… as revisions do, where some areas are cake and some are a pudding of vipers. I have rewritten the middle a dozen ways already because I know it has to be just so and I can’t get it quite right yet. Some days it feels like I’m nearly there. Other days I suspect I am still miles away. This is the way of the revisions. The only way out is through. But, even with all the backtracking and rewriting of the middle, I do think this revision is going faster and better than novel revisions I’ve done in the past so I am hopeful. I would estimate myself at over 50% done but I know the ending needs a ton of work so… let’s not estimate, estimations are depressing.
The one thing I do need to whine about is that I’m finding it much harder to revise in the little spurts of time I get here and there as opposed to when I wasn’t a parent and had all the time in the world (so to speak). Pre-parent, I could bang on the writing for hours at a time and those long stretches made it easier to get more work done in each session because I was already in that mindset. Now, I sit down and it’s like “OK, you have 45 minutes… GO!” which, while doable, is certainly not quite as easy especially when I’m tired/distracted/annoyed/whatever by whatever I was just doing. It never fails that, when the writing is going well, the toddler will not cooperate at all and I only get minutes if that to work but then, once I’m completely stuck? That’s when she takes a nice long nap. It feels slightly like a conspiracy.
That said, I made the mistake (?) of telling her about the book, particularly that I am writing it for her. So now she not only asks about it all the time, she also perks up whenever I’m talking about it, retains random plot details and is generally VERY interested in the whole routine. This is at once extremely motivating and intimidating because, oh, the pressure! Sadly, this excitement for the book does not translate into giving me more time to work on the book, she hasn’t grasped that connection yet.
Sobbing Dawson and Discerning Toddlers aside, some publishing shaped things happened this month the details of which I won’t be able to share for a little while. So while technically nothing was completed, things are happening behind the scenes, things that REALLY make me want to get back to work on my plays and not be slogging away in the revision bog. It’s the same thing it always is. I find myself asking why the heck I’m wasting all this time working on a book I’ll probably never be able to sell when I could be working on something that’s a sure thing. This used to be the struggle between novels and non-fiction books and now it’s the struggle between novels and plays but it’s still the same thing.
There are people eagerly anticipating my next plays. My plays have an audience. They will sell. And while I understand my own rationale for putting off working on them to finish this novel, on the days when the writing is going poorly, it still seems like a stupid move. The only thing I keep coming back to is that this book feels different and I might finally know what I’m doing. I’m probably wrong, but it’s still nice to have that feeling to hold onto.
I’ve signed up for the April Session of Camp NaNoWriMo and my goal is simply to finish this novel revision by the end of the month, no matter how many words that ends up being. Assuming I pull that off, I’ll give it to Beta readers in May and use that time to hopefully finish my Tale of Tales full length play. Then I can give that play to beta readers while I incorporate the Beta feedback on the novel and so on with the eventual goal of having both done by early summer. While there’s no real deadline on the novel (other than I’d like to start querying it well before I have to start NaNoWriMo stuff in the fall), having the play out at the start of summer means schools could do it for their fall play which would be a pretty a big deal. (Which, again, begs the question why am I working in this blasted novel instead of giving myself the best chance to hit that target? ARGH!) Anyway…
In NaNo What Now?, I mentioned that I hate setting a deadline for a revision and that I finish editing faster if I just commit to working on it until it’s done instead of setting a specific date. That said, it would make my life a heck of a lot easier to have this book to Betas sooner rather than later so, while I’m not going to stress about the April 30th date, I am going to do everything I can to try to get the book done before then. I do love this book, I’ll just love it much more when I’m not stuck working on it every day anymore.
But yesterday’s writing went fantastically due in no small part to it being nice enough to have the windows open so I’m feeling very optimistic about the start of spring and the Daisy niece months!