In the world of writers, wannabes, novices, part-timers, full-timers, professionals and life-timers I probably fall into the category of part-time novice with an emphasis on practicing. I say that, because until now, I wrote when the mood hit. I concentrated all my energy on everything else in life and wrote in the between times. However, in the last two years I have been writing nearly every day.
I used to hear professional, full-time writers say things like, “Got my daily word count of 5,000 in,” or “To get your 50,000 words writing during NaNoWriMo, you need to write 1,666.66666 words a day.” And, being the busy, homeschool mama that I am, I would shake my head and sigh. I did well to get 500 words a day; not much hope for 50,000 in a month.
So, early in 2016, I began keeping a journal. I wrote in it nearly every day. Sometimes I told happenings around my home, but more often I expressed my feelings or thoughts about the current story I was writing. By the time the year was over, I was writing on my stories more often, and in November, AKA NaNoWriMo, I wrote about 15,000 words on my manuscript. Un heard of for me. When January, 2017 popped around the corner, I started a new journal and took some advice from an author who is a full-time professional. The advice went something like this: Take 20 minutes out of your day, a few times a day and use that time to write. You only get 500 words during that 20 minutes? That’s ok, because 3 sets of 20 minutes means 60 minutes, and 3 times 500 is 1500.
Crazy thing is, that really works for me. I finished a manuscript I had been working on for 4 years, and yes, I’m talking about “His Yankee Wife” set to release on Nov. 1, 2017. But, something else amazing has happened in this journey of writing that surprises me. I am not running out of ideas or words. Sure, I have days when I don’t feel well or I’m too busy to write very much, but when I got into the habit of writing everyday, it stuck.
Last spring I decided to try Randy Ingermanson’s Ten Steps of Design found on his website, www.advancedfictionwriting.com. I blogged about it and did a series called, “Pondering A Story”. All spring I worked on that idea, but no matter how hard I tried, the story wouldn’t come together. So, I went back to working on other projects. Then, last Thursday night, Oct. 12, I wondered, what if I reversed my hero and heroine’s roles? I went to bed and dreamed about the characters. Early Friday morning, I had 3/4 of a storyline. I sat down and wrote 2500 words before 9 AM. After shopping all day, I got home and wrote a few hundred more. By 11 PM, I had written 5,292 words. Late last night, which was Monday, I topped over 10,000 words, and I told my husband, “I have it all, beginning to end.”
Nothing like this has happened to me before. Most of what I have is conversation that wouldn’t make sense to anyone else, but it’s all there. I know how hero and heroine meet, what draws them together, what keeps them together, what pain each is dealing with, the mystery behind the heroine’s crazy behavior, what pulls them apart, what draws them closer, what they are wrestling with God about and how the story ends. The bones are there, and aLl I gotta do is add the details. Wow. Reckon practice does lead to experience. Now, I am one of those authors who says, “Got my 5,000 words in today.” 🙂
BTW, the first post I wrote about this story is found on one of my old blogs. You can read it at https://sjwellsauthor.blogspot.com/2017/03/pondering-story.html
Here’s praying you have a blessed day.