Reaching Goals and Writing More

Win

It happened! I reached my goal for Camp NaNoWriMo yesterday! Very happy and proud, but mostly stunned because the reason my Camp goal was to re-write 100 pages was to give myself something challenging but also easier than the NaNoWriMo goal of 50.000 words. Well, turns out those 100 pages amounted to a word count of 63.000. This might be the first time sucking at math has worked out in my favor!

How is everybody else doing? If you’re ahead or behind, I hope you make the most out of these last few days of Camp. Doing something is a lot better than doing nothing, even if you ultimately don’t reach your goals. I believe in your ability to do great things 🙂

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So now that goal is out of the way, I’m faced with that decision obsessed over last week (and every day since), which is how to plan and schedule my work from August and onward, especially until November. I want to get back to putting out things on Wednesdays, but the problem with having no ideas for short stories is still an obstacle. I have settled on a compromise for August; for that month, I will only be putting out episodes of Valentine & Maxwell every other Wednesday. Let’s call it going back to work part time.

And next week my Critique meetings are starting up again from a little summer hiatus, and though I am so excited to get back to the people and the stories, I am a little anxious. Since I’ve only started Draft Two this month, the Spiralling version I’ve been submitting to the group is Draft One. And since I’m not just suddenly going to start submitting from the beginning again, I have to keep submitting from halfway through Draft One until I catch up with my re-write. If that even happens any time soon.

It will be strange to be working on two fronts, especially since I still need to inform my group of all the changes that have been made and yet submit what already feels like an outdated version. I will pretty much be doing twice as much re-writing as I should which sounds exhausting and time consuming. I’m willing to do it and put the effort in, but I won’t pretend to look forward to it. I get so much of my creative energy from my three critique partners, though, so that part I certainly am looking forward to!

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I’ll also go back to outlining the Perrinne Legacy Book One in August, and since I’m starting to get a much better idea of the climax, that should be a lot of fun, too. So excited for November when I get to start drafting this. Technically I already wrote the first draft a long time ago, but things have changed dramatically since then. It was always supposed to be a trilogy, but Book One was supposed to be split into three parts, and I made it about halfway through part two before realizing I’d fucked up – part one needed to be Book One, parts two and three needed to be Book Two, and what was supposed to be Book Two needed to be Book Three. Absolutely everything needed to be re-thought, re-outlined and re-written.

This is what happens when you don’t outline properly with the first go! Not making that mistake again. I love having a road map, and with the way I’m doing it for this book I am starting to love outlining. I definitely subscribe to the idea that writing with an outline is so much easier. It doesn’t put restrictions on my creativity – just the opposite. I’m not tied to the outline, it’s not an unbreakable bond that holds me back. With an outline, if I realize things that need changing or want to do something differently while writing, it makes it so much easier to make that change, to see how it influences the whole story. Outlining frees up my creativity. It gives me a box to think outside of.

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As excited as I am to get back to outlining, I have to remind myself not to lose track of the big picture. Draft Two of Spiralling still needs to be finished by October 31st. Thanks to Camp NaNoWriMo, I’m about 1/3 through, with another three months to get the rest. Totally doable. If I can remain focused and disciplined. Lack of self-discipline is the only reason I fail at getting things done. I truly am my own worst enemy when it comes to… well, anything. But I made a vow a long time ago not to let that part of myself stand in my way.

I will get this draft done by November. It’s not something I hope, it’s something I know. I will make it happen, and for once that thought isn’t a burden. It doesn’t feel like putting too much pressure on myself or setting my expectations too high. It feels amazing. Terrifying, but amazing. It’s going to be hard to do this when I’m also going back to writing Valentine & Maxwell, and eventually more short stories, but I can and I will do it.

It wouldn’t be fair for me to believe everyone else can do what they set their mind to if I can’t even believe it about myself.

But like I said – I believe in your ability to do great things.  And I believe I can do that, too.

Rain S.

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