Lexifabricographer For when the right word just won’t do…

October 31, 2012

MRP Day 31 – Writing every day

The Month of Relentless Positivity comes to an end in a few hours and, wow, I caught up. I came into the month with the plan to write a blog post every day, and on average I succeeded. This Halloween entry brings the tally up to the requisite target number, even if I did have to double up over the last couple of days to make up for some slow days.

To be honest I expected to fall short. Not because it was an especially hard target to meet, but because I knew there would be days when I was too busy or tired in the evenings for writing. I had a further cunning notion that I might not stockpile a few extra entries ahead of time, and what do you know, I’m more cricket than ant.

No surprise there.

I got what I wanted out of the exercise though. I got back into the habit of sitting down and hitting the keyboard, more or less every day, and pumping out words to some specific purpose. Sure, there were probably a few days – okay, probably more than just a few – when I was more or less going through the motions to meet an artificial goal.

I’m okay with that. I don’t know how it works for anyone else, but some days I’m happy just to put down the words, and I’m learning to be okay with the fact that there will be days when they’re just not very good words.

Tomorrow is the first day of November. National Novel Writing Month. I have a novel to rewrite that I don’t think is going to get any better-thought-out for further procrastination. It’s probably going to be about 90,000 words or so. If I enter and ‘beat’ NaNo, I’d have it more than half-finished. If I kept that pace up, it’d be done by Boxing Day.

I’ve thought it over. I’m not entering. I wrote about 20,000 words in October, chunked into unrelated articles  of about 600 words apiece. I don’t expect to have all that much clear air in November – by which I mean the freedom to do whatever I want after 8 pm until sleeping every day – so the thought of hitting wordcounts of three times the size every day for the next thirty is…daunting, yes, but also unrealistic.

That doesn’t matter. If I can match even the pace that I’ve set myself over the past month, I could have this novel done in five months. Maybe it’ll take a bit longer than that, or maybe I’ll hit a groove and get it done sooner.[1]

So I am not doing NaNo, but I am going to try to keep myself honest and at least track my progress here. I’m probably not going to blog much, but I will check in once in a while with updates. Tomorrow I start writing the second draft, this time keeping themes and endings in mind and the dead end, go-nowhere plotlines excised. I take it as a good sign that even after spending months on the first draft only to finish with a frustrating incoherent story, I am jazzed and excited to take another shot at getting it right.

Now to go off and spend a little time tinkering with Scrivener to get it all set up.

Good night. Stay positive.


[1] And as soon as I wrote that, I realised that the first cricket test match against South Africa starts in a week or so. I’m doomed.[2]

[2] But in a positive way.

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