It might be hard to believe, but I am a writer. I write (and have written) for a number of different places and have a book coming out. But I’ve been working on my novel for a few years now and would like to get it finished. But would writing 1,000 words a day make that happen?
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Where do we begin?
Within the last month, my first book was made available for pre-order by my publisher, so I have been very excited about this. Writing a book isn’t easy (neither is running a blog) so to see my hard work available for everyone to see has been amazing. But, in the back of my mind, I know that there is a mountain of unfinished work to be done, namely my novel series.
I came up with the idea for my series a few years ago and have been slowly building the story up since then. At the beginning of the year, I had decided that I would finish one book and get it published. The war book was technically finished about 2 years ago, but I was having problems getting in touch with my publisher. Long story short, the guy who dealt with me there had retired and I had changed my email address, so nobody knew who I was when I kept emailing them. It was only after I had hacked into my old email account and discovered a mountain of emails from my new handler that I was able to get everything sorted. That was at the beginning of 2018, since then we have been back and forth with drafts and changes and now it is finally ready for the general public. The book is available for pre-order and will be officially published 31st January 2019. I suppose this counts as getting one book sorted for 2018, right?
Back to the series, I’ve been working on this back and forth for the last while. Now that the history book is finished, I wanted to focus on getting the first book of the series completed. Inbetween going back and forth with drafts of the war book, I was trying to hammer out that first book. At the beginning of October, I had about half of it written with a plan and a timeline of events for the story. I was aiming for around 60-80 thousand words for the completed book, anything less than that doesn’t look good to a publisher or an agent.
What was the plan?
The plan was a simple one, every day I was going to sit down and write 1,000 words for the book. Sounds simple, right? In theory, yes it is. I know that this is something that I am able to do. In one of my last freelancing jobs, I used to throw out anything up to 10,000 words a day on different articles, I’ve even written 10,000-word posts. Most of the posts on this site are at least 500 words. 1,000 words a day is not a difficult number to hit. The problem is with a novel, you need to feel what you are writing. I always think about the line from City of Angels, when Nicolas Cage asks Meg Ryan to describe the pear like Hemmingway. She sits and tried to describe the taste and texture of the pear in her mouth without saying “it tastes like a pear”. I want people to feel the story. Basically, I want it to be a good book, and I want to be a good writer. The word count that I had was about the 15,000 mark so I had a lot of work to do. And if I hit the word count, I was not going to self-publish, I had every intention of going through an agent and a publishing house which takes longer but it worth it in my opinion.
How did it go?
When I started this experiment, I had such high hopes and good intentions. For the first couple of days, I was hitting the word count and making real progress. Then disaster struck. Well, not so much disaster, but I got the latest draft of the war book back and had some editing to do. I had to spend a week searching the manuscript for any problems and working on the index section. This is no easy task as I had to do it by hand. My Chromebook wouldn’t support the programme needed to search the manuscript for each word (another reason to hate it and why serious writers should avoid it like the plague). So, there I was, sitting with a pile of papers and a highlighter, working my butt off. For the rest of the month, I tried to get my finger out of my backside and my mind back in the game. But now my mind was focused on the war book again. Did I do it right? Was it going to be ok? Was it ever going to get published? Not the best train of thought when you are trying to hammer out the next bestseller. Plus, I still had to make sure that I was posting on here every day and I was trying to organise content (but that is another post entirely). In the end, my word count for the book was only hitting 35,000 words, not the 60,000 I was hoping for.
Will I keep at it?
Of course! Over half of the work has been done even though the word count doesn’t reflect it. When I started the experiment, I was going over 1,000 words a day. If I had kept it up, I might have finished the book completely and this post would be very different. But, maybe another month of 1,000 words a day will get it finished and I can finish 2018 with two books completed.