Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Writing for Baby: SUMMER WRITING CHALLENGE Countdown Begins

The title of this post could be taken a number of ways, but for me, it is simply this. Last night during my customary insomniac moment (when all good thinking occurs, or at least I get 2-3 solid hours of it), I began formulating a specific plan for how to get writing done before the baby comes.

So I downloaded Catch, an interesting and highly useful app, and began writing notes to myself (so I wouldn't lose these early morning jewels).

First I got lost in product and sales lines, which, I can't help it. Even though I'm pretty sure that for at least the foreseeable future I won't do that, I keep letting it simmer because I have a few ideas that might be worth trying out.

This however was quickly replaced by my writing plans, which since the weekend have been whipped to a frothy frenzy in my head. I needed to get them out. I needed to figure out how long certain books needed to be (especially my ventures in non-fiction - and the answer is however long it needs to be, or between 20 and 200k). I needed to figure out the major steps for each book (LILITH needs to be finished, in about 20k words, JEREMIAH needs some polish, BELOW THE BELT needs somewhere between 30 and 50k, just to name a few).

I figure I have half of May, all of June, July, and August to write and work. At just the fiction books that are mostly done, I've got at least 70k I need to write (if I include ANDREW, I have another 50k on top of that). In non-fiction, I have at least 10k and a bunch of research. If I want to do more than the book that is half done, then I need to add around 40k to be safe. None of this includes formatting the digital copy or the print.


I know, it seems like a lot. It might be a lot, when considering I'm trying to figure out ways of making some extra cash on the side, forcing myself to exercise (which I did today! Yay me!), as well as dealing with third trimester symptoms (which I expect to be a whole other beast qualitatively different from first and second), and keeping my apartment from becoming a sty (as you know, I refuse to live in my own filth. Gross!).

That said, remember: I wrote THE BROTHERS in a week and a half. That's 130k. I think JAMES was written in three weeks during a particularly successful NaNoWriMo, and I was being leisurely. That was 110k. And now [insert maniacal laughter] I have nesting on my side.

I can totally do this.

The key is daily goals. So, let's take the outside edge of the word counts and make this interesting.

So let's say I have 170k I need to write before September. Starting from tomorrow I have 116 days until September 1. That is assuming the baby doesn't decide to change my schedule, which is ENTIRELY possible (little bugger!). If I just wrote 1500 words daily, I could get to my word count by that time, however that doesn't allow for any formatting of the last books to be completed. Ick. Formatting takes time, especially if I'm going to do both digital and print versions (though for the purposes of this exercise, I'm shooting for digital only). So, how much should I speed things along? If I doubled my writing goal to 3000, I could finish the word counts in 58 days. I could be finished writing by mid-July. If I tripled my word goals to 4500, then I'd be done even faster. I could finish by mid to late June. That would give me plenty of time to edit, rewrite, and format.

Yes. I think we have a winner.

I'm going to shoot for 4500 words daily. I know some days I'll write more (I hope) and others I'll write less. However I am determined to get this stuff out there. I'm tired of waiting for publishing professionals to see the value and purpose in my work. It's time to take things to the next level. So, my intent, along with a regular blog post, is to give updates on my SUMMER WRITING CHALLENGE. I will try, to the best of my ability to give a daily account of what I did with my writing (short stories may also pop up from time to time).

While I'm counting down, and giving word counts, I'm trusting you (my beloved readers!) to help keep me accountable and keep me going when it gets hard. Because let there be no misunderstanding or mistake - there will be times where this is going to be really fricking hard. There are times where I'm going to want to sit down and cry or quit or curl up with some icecream and the boob tube.

Sometimes I might even do that [insert cringe].

Still, keep pushing at me. Hold me accountable. With any luck, we'll get through the SUMMER WRITING CHALLENGE and I'll have several new books published all before the baby arrives. And you can be proud of me. And I'll be proud of me. Because seriously, if I do this, I will have kicked some major writing ass.

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