Word Count Goals and Revisions

One of the stories I am working I have been working on in the back of my mind for the last ten years.  They are two very separate ideas that converged about five years ago.

That being said, it was not until I placed my butt firmly on a chair in front of a keyboard and computer that anything really began taking shape in story form.  There had always existed about a dozen free-writes in different files on my computer or in my notebooks, but never a story from start to end.

So roughly a year ago, a friend of mine (who already knew I have some writing projects of my own) asked if I wanted to join a writing group.  I said yes, initiating my first kick in the rear to get working on it.  Working with the group helped set in motion more scenes and world-building, laying down the preparation for the first draft.

The second jump-start was NaNoWriMo.  The word count goal placed upon me every day was extremely liberating and also ignited my competitive side.  As much as I would like to say I can do things without direction, I have always been more productive when given structure and faced with deadlines.

By December I had added 50,000 words to the 16,000 already existing.  And then by February I had hit approximately 118,000 total.

However, I have noticed myself struggling since I wrote the words “The End.”  It’s not that I haven’t been working on it, but revisions for me are much less measurable in creating goals.  The combination with my day job growing busier with the nearing summer season and lack of visible progress on the novel, I am growing frustrated.

I have to constantly remind myself this project is not paying the bills right now, in fact it may never pay the bills so it is ok my focus is on my day job at the moment.  The self talk tends to go on like this: “Ease up a bit on yourself, you’ve completed a read-through, you’re progressing on detailed notes and edits, and you have some very serious rewriting to do but you’re already working on the plan for those scenes.”

Judging from the blogs and articles I’ve read, I take small comfort in knowing I’m not the only one who has problems like these.

I already knew writing was going to be hard work but I had no idea how hard editing and revisions were going to be. Whatever tricks I learn I will be sharing here, because no one should go writing alone.


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