The last thing I was expecting a month ago was that this blog post would be about achieving, about setting an insane goal and attaining it. Instead, I thought it’d be about my struggles to still be striving towards that goal heading into December.
Yeah, I’m a bit shocked.
Yesterday I completed the draft of So Others Might Remember. 141,025 words in 28 days. I’ll grant that I only work part time (20 hours/week), but still…
In truth, I exceeded my daily goals and that’s the only reason I reached my monthly goal. At the end of October I mapped out a plan that would get me to 125,000 words by the 30th in the hope that would be enough. It wouldn’t have been, but fortunately I exceeded my goal each day and did so significantly on several occasions.
The month was a three-act structure: ten days of unbridled enthusiasm followed by ten days of struggling followed, at the last, by eight days of renewed determination when it dawned on me I had an excellent chance of reaching my goal in November.
The novel has everything you’d expect in a first draft: holes, inconsistencies, bad writing, you name it. I can work with that. It doesn’t bother me because I’ve been here before—many times. What matters is that it exists and is ready to be sculpted. It’s provided me with a few improved ideas for its direct predecessor, A River in Each Hand.
That’s the advantage of writing a series before any of the novels are published: each book influences and helps improve the book after, but also the book(s) before it.
Right now, I don’t want to think about the one that follows this one at all!
There’s exhaustion from all the long hours, short nights, and sacrifices. There’s also elation at having accomplished a goal, and at having created something from nothing. Given the obstacles this time and the excessive goal I set, this, my fifth win, might easily be my biggest.
So, if there’s a takeaway, know that even an excessive win like this one came at a huge price and required an equally huge effort just to produce rubbish in a dumpster that later I’ll sort through to find all the good stuff, and I know there’s good stuff.