Homestretch

So November was somewhat of a bust. I put together 50K words for NanoWriMo, but it was nothing good. It seemed more of a task than a goal. There was not the same excitement as I’ve felt in the past. I’m not sure exactly why. I think part of it is that I have been goal oriented for the entire year. Now looking into December I’m just ready to be done with the 365K in 365 days challenge I’d set for the first of the year.

The goal itself has been useful and I have written a lot. I have gotten up early on a lot of mornings when I didn’t want to, because I knew that my word count was lagging. I think my writing has improved through the daily discipline of just writing every day with a goal in mind. I’m glad I took up this challenge, but at the same time I’m ready for it to be done.

The biggest reason is time. It is not so much the sense that the writing takes so much time, but more that there are so many other things that I need to do surrounding the writing that taking the 45 minutes out of every morning keeps me from doing other things that need doing. There are currently only 3 of my books that are available for purchase. At last count there are at least 6 more books and 3 screenplays that need attention and need to get to market. I have so much to do on the sales and marketing and editing sides of things that have been put on the back burner that there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day. And I’m to the point that I want to get more on the market to get better exposure and increase the chance of one of the stories catching fire.

It seems to be a numbers game that I’ve been playing. I play the game and have won this round of writing 1000 words a day every day. I’m at just over 335K words before this post. I’ve got 31 days for the month of December to finish out. That is not a problem. I just need to keep pushing and keep writing.

So what does that mean for next year? I’ve been thinking about this a lot these last couple weeks and I’ve decided that I have to devote the time to the stories I’ve already written. I think the goal for the next year will be to get a couple of the stories ready for market and work the query system and try to get an agent who will help with the sales and exposure part of this game.

I’ve got enough stories now to keep me busy for the next year. I’ve also got the physics things that have been rattling around in my head that I need to spend some time examining. I also have a non-fiction book idea for which I want to put together a proposal. I think for the next year the goal will be to take the things I’ve been sitting on and get them out to the world. Writing is nothing if it is not read.

Of course, there is still the rest of this year to get through. I’m almost there. The stage is set for the completion of the year long process. I think I’ll be a little sad when it is over. I think I’ve done some of my best writing this year and have discovered through the medium of screenplay writing the ability to play with a story idea in a much tighter and faster pace, which I think will make for more efficient story telling for me in the future. I just need to figure out what to do with those scripts and whether I should try and market them as they are or if I need to expand these stories into novel form. The question is something I think I’ll explore in the coming year as well. I’m looking forward to working on the craft from a different angle, and maybe will get a book to catch fire.

I keep telling myself that will happen. I believe that one of my stories will go viral, or at least get the attention of a subset of people that will make it so writing can become my final career. That is the dream, but I think that it is possible. I know there are many writers out there who have the same dream. What do I think makes me different? I’ve asked myself that question time and time again, and the best answer I can come up with is that I don’t know if I’m any different, but I do know that I won’t stop writing, even if I never do have a story become a best seller. I don’t write for that at the base level. I write because I enjoy writing. I enjoy having the stories that I see in my head get put down on paper and become something concrete. I think other people will like the stories and I want to share them. That’s the real reason I write. I absolutely would love being able to write full time. But, if that doesn’t happen I won’t stop writing. I’ve set no hard deadlines on it. I’ll continue writing, because I love the writing. I don’t have to write to make ends meet. But, I’d love the chance to make a living at it.

That seems quite the circular argument. It is a bit rambling. Sorry about that. Writing has become a part of me, or maybe I’ve become part of my writing. That is a philosophical problem I’m not ready to tackle. I do know that I am better at it now that I was at the beginning of the year. I have learned a discipline of getting up early and working at it every day, even when I don’t want to. There have been days I have not wanted to even face the computer. But, those days have become fewer and the 1000 words comes much easier now than it did last January. If for nothing else that is a blessing.  I’ve gotten to the pace where this 1100 words has taken less than 35 minutes. My pace has improved and for that alone this year has been a success. I hope next year is as much of one.

JRH.

 

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