my chest is a cathedral with arches for ribs my heart at the altar pounding away at the keys to the organ, its pipes filling me with a song the aria rising to the top of the dome to kiss the angels painted there
As I write this, my novel currently sits at 39,000 words. It might not seem like a lot, but it’s a huge step for me as I push through and continue writing it. Last year, I managed to reach 25,000 words as I reworked my novel, about half of what I had already written in a previous draft and I’ve learned a lot along the way. The most important? How to make myself write even when I don’t want to write at all.
I used to be one of those people who wrote whenever the inspiration (or motivation) struck them. As time passed, though, I wasn’t getting much done and I felt progressively worse for not working toward this project. I tried and failed a few times to implement writing goals, adjusted my word count quotas, got a few writing buddies to help motivate me. Nothing seemed to work.
It wasn’t until I found writing buddies who held me accountable that I began to write on an almost daily basis. There weren’t any negative consequences for not writing one day, except maybe a sense of dissatisfaction as we tallied our total word count, but it still helped me. I set up a daily writing quota for myself instead of a weekly or even monthly goal. Most importantly? I set aside time to actually write. That was another big factor in my writing. I did my best to finish my homework before a certain time, leaving the rest of my evening available for writing. Now, I’ve moved up the time so that I write first thing in the morning before I get bogged down by homework.
I continue to set goals for myself, too. This month’s goal? To reach 14,000 words before February 28th. I’ve already reached 10,000. Now I just need to push for those additional 4,000 words.
What about you? I want to hear about your novel-writing process! What tips and tricks have helped you keep up your writing? Anything you found particularly useful?
i. january – trip to london | ii. february – wizarding world of harry potter | iii. march – poppy superbloom | iv. april – flower fields @ carlsbad | v. may – college graduation | vi. june – lavender farms | vii. july – got to all the county fairs in SoCal (LA, Orange, San Diego, Ventura) | viii. august – oxnard retreat | ix. august/september – begin grad school | x. september – onerepublic concert | xi. october – pumpkin patch | xii. november – knott’s berry farm
*I tried to get moments from every month, but that didn’t always work out. And I didn’t have one for December but I did have an extra one for August/September. Oh well!
I meant to do this in January but time got away from me. Oops!
Last year was a tough year for me. I didn’t get as much writing done, especially the last half, and it really affected my mood. Not to mention, I lost complete and utter motivation for my novel. I tried to work on it only to find more problems than I could handle: plot holes, stereotypes, tropes… The list goes on and on. All of this led to me yelling, “Screw it!” and tossing my novel into the maybe later list. Even after I’d given it a few months, there wasn’t a creative spark. My novel was effectively dead.
But great news! I’ve made a turnaround this year and have started working on it again. It doesn’t have a name yet, but I’m very excited to start sharing more things about it on my blog as I go along. Keep your eyes out for updates!
I’ve also made some changes to my blog. With the new year comes a new theme and new content. I’ll try to update every two weeks or so, whether it’s novel-related, a new short story or poetry. Hope you like what I have in store!