Sometimes you don’t have a good writing week. And by that I mean sometimes you have a really bad writing week where you don’t get anywhere close to your writing goals.
Or at least that’s what happened to me.
To recap, I’m trying to write a full draft of my first novel in twelve weeks. I already have an idea about the story since it’s based on my duet D&D game that I play with my husband, Jonathan.
The average fantasy or sci-fi novel is between 100,000 and 115,000 words, which breaks down to 8,333 words per week.
The first week went great in terms of meeting the word count I was aiming for! I wrote six of the seven days, and finished out the week with 8,374 words.
Week two, however, was not so good. I wrote on two days, which is already a bad sign, and only made it to 11,517 words, over 5,000 short of my goal of 16,667.
I don’t usually write to a particular word count, so that aspect of this process is already a bit strange for me.
But I’ve also found sitting down to write a novel, so far at least, to be really scary. I keep imagining what people will think reading it, and of course I’m imagining a hyper-critical audience.
A lot of the fear, I know, is coming from doing something new, which is never comfortable, and this is something very new that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time, which is going to bring in extra doubt and insecurity.
So that’s where the word counts came in, hoping that if I had a manageable amount of things to write in a day, I could make progress and gradually set the fear aside as the novel comes together.
One of the recommendations for new writers (or new novel writers at least) is to not edit anything till you hit the halfway point, somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 words. In that case, my job for six weeks is only to draft. It doesn’t matter if some parts are too slow or I don’t feel confident in the character development. More of the novel will have to be there before I can begin to see it clearly and critique it.
I’ll need to average almost 2000 words/day in week three to catch back up, and I’m not sure how possible that will be, but I’m going to give it my best shot.
If you’re working on writing something, and you’ve gotten stuck at whatever point, know that you’re not alone. We’ll set our feelings of frustration or inadequacy (or whatever form your insecurity takes—I think it plagues all writers) aside and keep plodding forward.
Thank you for joining me and for working to tell your story!