At the beginning of 2013, I set myself a challenge; to write the first draft of Four Gigs.
The year is at an end. I haven’t met said goal.
I honestly thought I would though. I mean, how long can it take to write a first draft? Maybe I should ask Donna Tartt that question. But life happens right? And perhaps I didn’t apply the necessary discipline I should have. There, bingo, true to form, self-flagellation with guilt ridden should’s and could haves. Meh.
Personally, it’s been a very busy year, the first half absorbed by a house move from London to the home counties. The novel-writing got off to a rather tentative start in January amid booking viewings, dashing to viewings every Saturday morning, keeping the flat spotless for our viewings. The writing hardly got a look in. I found myself chewing up chapter one, untying sentences, replacing words. Over and over. Caught in the madness of edit-shaped spaghetti. A swift lesson was soon learnt there.
I attended a writing retreat in February, that whipped the middle-aged derriere into action. But by June, I had only managed twenty thousand words. It didn’t seem very much considering there are writers out there who type at such deftly speeds half a novel’s puffed by magic in the stretch of a leg…
Something changed. Must have been that six month mark. I applied elbow grease to goal setting; a minimum of five hundred words a day, fifteen thousand words in six weeks. I kept going and going. Plug. Plug. Plug. Interest from an agency pumped further fuel into the cause. I flew with the story, trusted the process against the planning, let the characters steer the course. Six months later, and after NaNoWriMo, I had written an additional forty thousand words. My novel currently rests at just over sixty thousand words. I want to write more. Lots more. But my recent setback, and the harried rush up to Christmas, has slowed down progress. Maybe I need to wind down a little. Cut myself some slack. Congratulate myself on this year’s achievement(s).
And I think a real positive has already emerged from last week’s rejection. For whatever reason in the ether, I decided to redesign this blog. I want to cast a more professional image, plough energy into my various writing projects. Take myself seriously. I have received such affirming reflections on my prose this year, I need to take on board the mirror, project the image of a confident writer. Confidence was never my bag, especially with words; after all, I am only as good as my next piece. Writing is oh so at the mercy of subjective scrutiny.
The new look, and money spent on the theme, is my commitment to my writing future, and a quiet knowing that one day, this may become my central blog. At the moment, I channel all my creative writing on Older Mum in a Muddle. But who knows? This may change.
See you next year!