Tag: accomplishments

Ahem.

I finished it. I finished the first draft of my book.

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !

I sat down this morning with the beginning of Chapter 21 blank and waiting, and about 45 minutes ago, after 4,600 words, I wrote THE END. And it really is THE END for a lot of things, for me. It’s the end of wondering if I could ever write a book. It’s the end of seven months of near-constant work, either at the computer or in my brain, to get to this day. And it’s the end of the first part of my journey with these people who have set up residence in my head.

It’s also a lot of firsts and starts. The start of the next step – revision. The first time I’ll offer up a copy to anyone I know in exchange for some critiques. And maybe even the start of planning out the next installment in the series, which I already can’t wait to jump into.

When I wrote the last sentence, after making sure that I really did want to write it, I stared it for a long time. And I had a whole bunch of conflicting emotions. First and foremost, I’m proud of myself. The first time someone told me that I should be an author was, I think, around the time I was ten years old. So this has been a long road. Secondly, I’m really, really happy to be done and moving on. It’s been a huge undertaking and a lot of times I wondered if I would end up giving up. Third, I’m bittersweet. I’ve been doing this since February and now it’s just over? In that respect, I’m glad there are still two more books to go in the series, because that means I don’t really have to say goodbye for a long time. Still, I had a bit of a cry. And fourth, I’m tired as hell. I stayed up late and wrote like crazy because I thought I could get it done, and I was right.

So that’s that. Onward and upward, as they say. Today’s a pretty big deal.

The Final Tally

I went away for one week. Seven days of rest, relaxation, amazing weather, a view to inspire and extra help with the kids. And as I’ve rejoiced in a previous post, I spent it writing my damn face off. Every day, from 3ish to 5:30ish I sat on a chaise longue (and I have to stop here for a moment and point out that it’s NOT pronounced shayz lownje, it’s shayz long. It’s French for long chair, not lounge chair. End rant) and wrote. And wrote. And wrote. 2,000 word minimum, sometimes over 3,000. And then sometimes I’d do a little bit more before bed too. All told, I banged out around 17,500 words, an average of 2,500 a day. Four whole chapters.

This makes me realize how much of an effect my environment has on my productivity. Yes, it definitely helps that I don’t have to spend the time in the afternoon that the kids are napping with cleaning or cooking or working at my day job, but there was so much around me to stimulate my mind and keep me motivated to write – I looked forward to sitting outside in the sun every day. I certainly don’t spend my days at home eagerly awaiting the time when I can go sit in my cold, dark basement.

Anyway, I’m beyond pleased with how much I accomplished, although I did notice that when I write quickly like that (quickly for me, anyway) I tend to leave out some details or neglect to describe things in sufficient detail in my haste to get all the words out. Nothing a night-time review session with a glass of wine can’t fix, right? Right.

So, the tally:

You may notice the slight increase in the word count goal. There’s no way in hell this story is wrapping up in 13,000 words. I’m even skeptical 43,000 will be enough… 150,000 may end up being my final count. I haven’t been attached to a particular number from the start – it’ll end when it ends, and I imagine after editing that will come down significantly anyway, since I recall reading somewhere that the goal of editing a first draft is to reduce the manuscript by 10%. Crazy to imagine finding so much to cut, but I’m sure it’s there.

After a seven-hour drive today my brain is little more than mush, so there won’t be any writing tonight, but I’m curious to find out as the week begins if I can stick to even a part of my lakeside routine. Writing outside maybe? Saying to hell with the housework (and supper prep) and writing in the afternoon? Or should I be grateful for the break and everything I managed to do, and slip back into my home routine, with fond memories of the time when I felt like I could write forever?