“Storytelling is a part of every human culture because every human needs survival information.” – Gene Luen Yang
The number is 33,972. That’s the number of words I have written in the past 10 days outside of work and my daily life.
That is a mammoth number and one that I didn’t think possible. It is also the longest ‘story’ I’ve written to date.
Where have I found time to write? Early in the morning when everyone’s still sleeping. Late at night when everyone’s sleeping. At a café. The thinking and plotting while I’m running. The YouTube ‘how to write a novel’ sessions while I’m eating. I have woven my writing and plotting time in and around my daily life. And it doesn’t even feel like I’m doing it!
Work – my day job – is sacred time. I respect it. I respect that my team needs me 100%. So those 33,972 words were written outside the hours of 9am-6pm. That is just crazy.
What have I given up? The time I watch TV shows. The time I am on Facebook and Instagram. And, gasp, the time that I watch Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Trevor Noah (Oh! So that’s where my time went!)
One of the unintended consequence of writing a novel is that I’ve completely forgotten about Donald Trump! I feel so liberated!
Okay, so the house is a total mess but I think the dishes would have piled up even if I weren’t writing!
On my progress, I am now over the hump of my first draft. The mid-point. The bit that inspired me to write this novel. I feel like I’m turning on a new leaf as I focus my attention on fleshing out the sub-plots. Over the next couple of days, I’m also going to draft the intro and the ending. Test them out. See how they feel. See how they make sense.
My challenge right now is I’m writing across multiple genres. I am doing part historical fiction, part contemporary fiction, part family saga, part magical realism, part western and part meta.
I read somewhere (Creative Penn and her interview with Roz Kaye) that this is what novice writers do. They try to put everything in the one novel. Make a mess of it by mixing everything up.
I know that I’ve broken quite a few rules on how to write a novel.
I even wrote the dreaded prologue and thinking of writing an epilogue!
But that’s perfectly okay. I’ve accepted the fact that my novel is not going to make sense in the beginning. In the first draft.
In fact, I am quite happy if, after writing 50,000 words, or wherever I end up on Day 30, that none of what I wrote can be put to use. That I have to start again.
Because as long as I’m thinking and creating, as long as I am writing, plotting and revising, then I am getting closer and closer to my goal, which is allowing the Universe to work in my favour.
And that’s when the magic happens.