Writing a Novel in 10 Weeks: A Noveling Log, End Week 1

Because I am a glutton for punishment, I have decided I intend to knock out 40,000 words (the minimum word count of novels) by the end of February. While I ultimately expect the final product to be approaching 70k, having a draft of 40k will give me the bones necessary to build the rest of the novel on.

In order to accomplish this, I need to write approximately 570 words a day for ten weeks (on top of my blog writing and short story edits in-progress. And, of course, my full-time job). Today marks the end of week one- and I have until the end of the day to write another 1,500 words if I’m going to stay on track. Ack!

So far, the reactions to my declaration that by February 23rd I will have written 40k words have ranged from incredulity (Are you sure you will actually do that?) and declarations that this goal is masochistic (Why would you do this to yourself?!) to a sort of cheerleading clamor urging me on to the finish line (thanks, mom) and a reassuring confidence—which I lack most of the time—that is quietly and unfailingly certain of my success (the hubby’s patience with his kooky wife’s endeavors is truly astonishing).

All told, I am feeling pressured, but good about my progress (behind though I am already). By setting this goal and a maintaining my other writing obligations and projects, I am reminding myself that writing is much more than just dabbling when inspiration strikes. I have to force myself to write no matter where my muses are, and sometimes they simply refuse to present themselves until I have dragged out a jackhammer and other implements of destruction to blast my way through writer’s block.

And sometimes they decide that inspiring me at midnight on a work night is the best damn idea ever.

Thanks, muses. Thanks.

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