I want to start by saying congratulations to my friend Stereo*, the beautiful mind behind Uncletypewriter for nailing the crap out of her 50,000 words in 17 days. That’s an amazing accomplishment that not many people pull off. If any of you out there have also hit your 50k already, you should feel proud. I mean, like, peacock proud. Buy a steak dinner and dance a silly jig, because you are awesome.
I have not hit 50k yet. I’m still running ahead of the curve with over 35,000 words, and that is good for me. I did manage to stave off the third week blues by forcing myself through them. At one point I was convinced that everything I had written was crap, but I also decided that the best way to handle that would be to just keep writing. I figured if the first 25,000 words were crap, then I’d just have to write an extra 25,000 words to make up for it, so why waist time worrying about it now, right?
I have gone into this project doing things a little differently, and it has caused a huge change in not only how I write but how I think about writing. Primarily being that I have started writing just about everything by hand, then type it into a google docs word processor document to get my official word count. I can’t stop myself from doing edits as I go, but this way at least I’m not obsessing over them as I write. By doing it all by hand, I let my mind just finish telling the story it’s working on and then do those pesky, “I can’t live with it this way,” edits as I type it in.
That has left me with over fifty hand written pages. Now, that doesn’t include the entire 35,000 words I’ve written so far. I didn’t start writing anything by hand full time until after I had already written about 10,000 words on the document, but it is still a lot oftime spent cramming my tiny handwriting into a little notebook. I am starting to develop a pretty toned forearm from it.
The system I’m using has been around for a long time, and I can see why so many writers like it. I only write on the right hand side of the notebook. It might seem like a waste of paper, but it makes it easier to go back and insert ideas into earlier parts of the work, because I have the entire left page blank to work on. Anyone familiar with keeping a lab journal knows how that works out for you.
Next week, I’ll try and do a little bit of talking about the different notebooks and pens I’ve used this month. There have been quite a few of them so far, and I think I’m getting closer to finding the notebook that will be my signature notebook.
One More Thing – Postmarks
I also got something a little special in the mail last night. My friend and fellow writer mark Stratton created a small run chapbook of some of his poetry, and I received mycopy. Postmarks is a nice little book with some fun poems. Getting it, with an autograph from mark, just put me in a good mood. As far as I know, it is a very limited run, so you guys should get your hands on it while supplies last!
If you miss out on Postmarks, you can still get your hands on some of his poetry by picking up his first book, Tender Mercies. In fact, I’m going to order a new copy pretty soon because my first copy got stolen, his poems are just that good.