My 50000 Word July (Update)
When life gets in the way…
So, today marks just past the half way point of the month. It hasn’t been the month I was expecting it to be so far. Life has gotten in the way. A LOT. There have been more times than I can count, when I have failed to hit my word counts for the day, and there have been too many times when I’ve not written anything at all.
The truth is that no matter how much I’ve wanted to write, grief and depression has gotten in the way, and left me unable to type even one word. The novel that I’ve been painstakingly planning for more than three months has remained without a single word in the manuscript document.
That changed today. Today, following some advice from Shaunta Grimes, I gave myself permission to just write, even if it was really bad writing. Even if it was writing that, apart from a select few, would not be seen by anyone other than myself.
So, that’s what I did. I opened up my manuscript document, and I started writing. I planned the tiny goal of writing for ten minutes. Just ten; then I could stop if I wanted to, and an hour later, I found myself still writing, and 500+ words are now on the page (I know, it was a shock to me too).
The truth is, I think I was scared of starting. This story has been going round in my head for the last three years, and it’s grown and developed, and I was scared that when I tried to put it to paper, that I wouldn’t be able to do the characters (that I’ve grown to love) justice, but in reality, the only way I could not do them justice is if I don’t write their story; if I leave them trapped inside my head: caged within the confines of my mind. The truth. The real truth, is that I need to write their story.
I need to set them free, and I need to write because that’s what I am. I am a writer. It’s what I do. It’s what I live for. If I can’t write, then I don’t know what the point in anything is. I am writing and writing is me. Call me melodramatic if you like, but to me, writing is as essential as breathing, which is why I always find it so hard when my brain prevents me from doing it.
It’s that classic “Catch 22” situation. I’m depressed and lack the motivation and courage to write, which, in turn makes me more depressed, which makes it even harder to write, and it’s an ongoing cycle, until I remember the advice of “Ten minutes at a time”, and sometimes, that’s all it takes. Sounds simple doesn’t it? But in the times when there’s a big dark shadow looming above you, telling you that you’re not good enough and you never will be, sometimes it’s hard to do.
So, to anyone who is under the dark shadow, I’m going to give you a reminder: “Do the thing! Just ten minutes. That’s all! Then you can stop. You can do it!”
Getting back to the subject of this post. At the start of the month, I took on a big scary goal of writing 50000 words in July. At the half way point, my word count is 19039. That’s 36% of my goal. I have a way to go to catch up, and normally, my brain would have already given up and said that this goal was unachievable, but this time, I’m not doing that. This time, I will not give up and take the easy way out, so here’s to the second half of the month, and to not only catching up, but to reaching my goal and finishing out July in style!
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.