On writing 50,000 words

I’m writing 50,000 words in a month. One story, one manuscript. The other day my undisciplined child side screamed, “I hate this novel!” while my adult goal-striving and reaching side exclaimed, “I’m proud that I’ve reached this far!” I really have never written this much on one single subject before without outside material (i.e. research paper, etc.). I had a vague outline in my head but really it can only take me so far. I wrote so much crap yesterday that it gave me a headache. Or should I say that perfectionist/critic inside me gave me the headache and maybe I needed some caffeine (damn you, caffeine!). I feel that if I don’t write something that has some kind of substance whether it is a joyride or enlightening then I am wasting my time. But then I have to remind myself that this is about my goal: 50,000 words in 30 days. Making sure that it has substance can wait for the rewrite, right? *sigh*

*maniacal laugh* Or I will print it out and ceremoniously burn it bit by bit. I read in “On Becoming a Novelist” by John Gardner that your first novel is often the sacrifice for all the other novels because it was a learning experience. It may be that white whale you fish off the shelf and rewrite again because you just can’t give up on it but really it is just the one that got away from you. Of course, when something from a book sticks in my mind there is always a purpose for it. When I read this, I decided I would pick which idea would die. Alas, that is the hard bit. Do I let my story about the power of belief inĀ  the everyday as well as the fantastical settings be ground up by my strategy? Or this one or that one? Ugh, when an idea is born between you and your muse sometimes it is a challenge letting go. Truly I have heard this from more than one creative person.

It’s funny writing a lot about one single story makes me want to write more about other things. I’m resisting this urge because I think it is my way of trying to sabotage the path to my goal this month. So I write it down in my (now) overflowing notebook and move on with my current goal! Because I know what’s going to happen. If I write something else (not including this blog) then my mind will start to wonder if it counts or if my time is better spent writing other things, etc. etc. fill-in-the-blank-excuse-not-to-get-to-the-finish-line-of-50,000-words.

Last week was really hard. I had another goal already in mind for Lily’s birthday before I decided on doing this word count. We painted her dresser with magnetic paint and chalkboard paint. Cut to the chase, it took more time and energy than we expected but it got done and it is really cool! But it was a little bit of a distraction. Don assisting with it, even though we had our disagreements and loud grumbling, got it done in a timely manner (thank you, my love). Then the bright idea of a slumber party with her two other girlfriends. It was an absolute blast and absolutely exhausting and guess who did not get any writing done! It was worth it though. Lily doesn’t have any girls to play with in our neighborhood or it could be their parents just don’t let them out because of the rambunctious boys outside. Caught Lily fighting with a boy not long ago and had to explain to her that the boys may fight but she will not; she will come home if that’s all they are doing. So, it was very important to me to fulfill her need for girl time with her friends, who are Washington Local, on her birthday. Must make more time for girls!

Well, somewhere in there my car died, as well. It’s hard to just be done with that sort of thing but I’m getting by. A mechanic recently said over the phone that the engine is worn out (over 181,000 miles, maybe it is) but Don won’t have that. We’ll see. I really love my silver compact…sad panda.

*breathe in, breathe out* But my goal is in sight regardless!!! I’m getting it done. And then I’m going to take a month off from writing such an exorbitant amount of words. Oh, yeah, using exorbitant made me think of my favorite thing someone has said when I told them my goal: (my boss said this, lol) “Why would someone do that to themselves!?” That was a reaction I would expect if she saw someone with a septum piercing, rofl.

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