Sunday, 21 July 2013

July 21st – Passed 600,000 today!

That’s it, I’m now officially 60% of the way through this challenge.

Today I hit 4,084 words, taking me to a grand total of 600,536 words for the year, more than 47k words (and 17 days) ahead of schedule. Given that only 6 weeks ago, I was only four and a quarter days ahead of schedule, I’m really pleased to have made up so much ground, and in fact for those 6 weeks I’m averaging over 3,580 words a day, and have never dropped below 3,050 words in any single day. In total, I’ve now completed 9 books am three quarters of the way through a tenth, with two  10-20k starts of other books, and a myriad of 2-3k starts on other stories.

In fact my fund of incomplete stories is larger than it was before I started, so I guess it’s unlikely I’m going to run out of steam any time soon.

There have been times during the challenge when it’s started to wear a little, especially during the last week when the heat had become unrelenting and unbearable – I don’t understand how people work in climates where it’s like that for months on end without air conditioning. The heat, or more specifically the lack of sleep due to the hot nights have made it more difficult to sit down and just write. The weather broke, a little, yesterday, and even more today with some welcome rain, although only a light drizzle, meaning I would hope to get some sleep tonight. Next week though is going to be hot with frequent thunderstorms, so we’ll have humidity to deal with as well as the heat.

I think the thing that keeps me going, apart from the constant fear of humiliation by a very public failure, has been the old adage – write every day. For me, that has proven itself one of those peculiar pieces of advice given to every novice writer that actually works. I write every day, witness the numbers above, and I write before I do anything else major for the company, apart from answering e-mails or checking sales.

One of my contacts on Facebook, a fellow author, asked a pertinent question yesterday – what am I doing with these? The answer is quite simple – I aim to get the published, but I know, just as I hope most of you know, writing the first draft does not produce the necessary quality to make it a publishable manuscript. Back of them is going to have to spend time being edited, both by me and by others, before they get close to seeing the light of day.

I guess, if 2013 is going to be the year in which I managed to write 1,000,000 words, then 2014 is going to be the year I edit most of them. There again, I’m also earmarking 2014 as a research year for several of my historical projects, so the first opportunity to attempt to repeat this feat looks likely to be 2015… or is that 2016…

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