My 50000 Word July
At the start of this month, I challenged myself to write 50000 words in July. As the weeks went on, life got in the way. The perfect storm of grief, depression and anxiety (among other things) combined to knock me completely off track.
Once that happened, I started feeling as if I was running around like a cat chasing it’s tail. I had a big setback, in that, I was now on the proverbial back foot, with no idea of how to catch up (seeing as writing for 24 hours a day is not actually possible).
I found myself making excuses not to write and coming up with one technique after another to avoid putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard). Yesterday I came to the unfortunate conclusion as I, once again, made excuses not to write, that this goal was now actually unattainable.
I spoke to a fellow writer friend and decided not to give up on my goal entirely, but to change it. Although I will not end up writing 50000 words this month, I have still written over 38000 words, which I am proud of. I am proud of myself for pushing through those times when it would have been so much easier to give up, and I am proud of myself for acknowledging that my original goal was not reachable, bearing in mind my circumstances.
So, what do I do now? I reassess. 50000 words this month is just not possible, but perhaps I could re title the project, “My 100,000 Word Summer”
Yes, I know, if I couldn’t do 50000 in 31 days, how do I expect to not only hit that, but with some extra on top in a bit over a month of time? Why am I setting what some might consider another unattainable goal?
The truth is that this goal is attainable, and I can do it, as long as I focus.
I have now finished the best part of plotting my next novel (the first book in a YA fantasy series), and so, I am ready to get writing. I am so excited to dive into the world of this story, which has been bouncing around inside my head for a little over two years. I hope that I have gained my character’s trust and that they will spend the next few months opening up to me even more.
On top of this, I have started writing both ‘Morning Pages’ and ‘Evening Pages’, which are basically a mixture of free writing and journalling. Basically, following Shaunta Grimes’ ten minute rule, I open up a blank document and type for ten minutes, minimum. Some days I do more, but I always make sure that I hit ten minutes.
I type every word and random thought combination that comes into my head, even if it would make absolutely no sense to anyone else. I know. It sounds crazy. It sounds like a complete waste of time, but since I’ve been doing it, I have found that the process of doing this has actually helped me to ‘empty’ my mind of all the stupid thoughts that get in the way of my writing. These words will be counted in my 100000 word summer project, because without them, my novel would not get any air time at all because my brain would be too full.
I am also determined to write at least one post on here each day (I’d like to build up to two posts a day, but… baby steps). As I said in an earlier post, I’ve started many blogs, but never stuck at it before, largely because it meant my committing to one specific topic, and that just simply doesn’t work for me. This platform, however, has given me the freedom to be able to write on any innumerable number of topics. So, the words I write on here will be counted, too.
I guess the purpose of writing this post is accountability, but also the chance to accept that although I haven’t succeeded in my monthly goal, I have paved the way to reach an entirely new goal.
I’ll be updating on a weekly basis, posting about my successes and my failures (of which I am sure there will be many, but I’m okay with that). Truth is, life very rarely runs smoothly and it really boils down to how you respond to the rough parts.
In the past, I have fallen- fallen hard. I have cried, screamed, stamped my feet, but at the end of it all, I have had to pick myself up and keep going, because what other alternative is there?
If you’re reading this, and you want to join me, drop a note in the comments, and we’ll do this together. In the next 57 days, we can write our 100000 words, and who knows, maybe some of them will even be readable. 🙂
Li Carter is a writer, artist and crafter. She lives in South Wales, UK, with her family, and five rescue dogs. She’s on Twitter @rbcreativeli , Facebook: Rainbow Butterfly Creative, and Instagram @rainbowbutterflycreative and is the author of My Only True Friend: The Beginning. She is currently working on a new series titled The QuickSilver Chronicles. She is the original Rainbow Butterfly, and wants to fill an ever darkening world with a little bit of beauty and creativity.