Welcome to my series, The Writing Journals.
A companion series to The Editing Diaries, The Writing Journals is me talking about writing and complaining about writing and mostly giving general updates on how it’s going as I write this first draft. I don’t plan to talk much about the actual story I’m writing, as I try not to share all my excitement now and here, but instead pouring it into the story. So, no spoilers, sweetie. Now run.
So. The writing is going really well. I’m just over 21K and while I’m not making fabulous progress, I am making progress.
Part of making progress is learning to just write and enjoy the process and don’t worry about how long it’s going to take.
I mean, I don’t want to spend a huge amount of time finishing up this first draft. I’ve been working on it since late July/early August. But three or four months isn’t that long of a time to write a first draft.
Yeah, you hear of writers all over the place writing a first draft in a month, a few weeks, a few days even. But last time I tried to write a novel in a month, I succeeded in writing 50k, but also writing something I have no desire to go back and edit.
I want to enjoy editing. I want to love a story so much that I can’t help but edit it so I can share it with other people.
It’s hard to love a story when I’m writing at 88 miles per hour.
I love that I have so many friends that can write so fast. That’s more chances that I get to read the awesome stories you write. You’re always working on something, always turning out something new and I wonder how on earth you’re doing it.
I also have many friends who write large word counts.
I also have friends whose novels don’t seem to need that much editing…
Sometimes, all three of these things coincide. A quickly written novel that is huge and doesn’t seem to need a bunch of editing.
Yes, yes, I’m naive.
All this to say that it doesn’t matter how long it takes to finish any draft. You are not running out of time. You are still young, especially by publishing standard. Writing doesn’t have an age or a time limit. Does it feel like that sometimes? Absolutely. But you know what? Feeling something doesn’t make it true.
Take your time and do it right. Write this story so it’s something you love and something you know is good. Don’t compare your productivity to the productivity of others.
You do not have to be Alexander Hamilton, writing like you are running out of time.
You also don’t need to worry about word count.
I have written 21K of this story. I’ve written the Midpoint. So this book should end up around 40K-ish. Which is not the 50K I was shooting for. Better still, I have figured out the rest of the story (except post-Climax) and I’m not sure if I can stretch this for 20K more.
But you know what?
YOU DON’T NEED TO WORRY ABOUT WORD COUNT, KATIE.
This is a first draft. If you decide to edit it, you can add detail and whatnot to get a higher word count.
Just tell the story.
With that, I close. I have to finish this story. And I have to do it right. (You may not hear from me here for a couple weeks while I finish this, by the way.)