Okay, so technically this post was to go live yesterday, but here I am!
About two months ago, I signed up on this Big Dreams Blog set up and hosted by the lovely authors, Beth Fred and Misha Gericke. These ladies have their own crazy impressive goals, and then there’s another 16 of us who have similar craziness goings on. But we’re all rooting for each other, and in one of those ways we update every last Friday of the month with our progress towards our goals thus far.
As you might have noticed, I didn’t really update last month. Or the month before that (FYI, I signed up on August 15th)…
Anyways, I plan to start giving myself that extra kick in the butt. The whole point of this Update Day is accountability. You’d be surprised by how many people will actually do what they say if they say it publically. I know these things, it’s all part of social psychology (trust me, I’m a psych undergrad).
So, yeah, what was my goal? I already mentioned it in my first official post, but in case you’re tl;dr, here’s the short version:
I want to write 1000000 words.
Yikes! That’s a lot of zeroes. But I think this is a great way to help me keep myself on my toes. Of course, I didn’t explain what parameters I’ve set up that will count towards this Leviathan word goal in that first post, so I’ll list them now.
1) All of the words should be towards projects I’ve either completed or I’m in the process of completing. So basically what this does is make sure I don’t find loopholes where I’m also tallying half-finished projects. Cool beans?
2) No, writing on this blog doesn’t count towards the one million. I know there are some writers who do this type of thing, say, for the upcoming NaNoWriMo, and that’s great for them! Seriously, especially as I’m still getting used to managing my own posting and whatnot. But on a personal level that’s not what I’m aiming for here.
3) Fanfictiion does count! This point directly relates to my current WIP. Yes. I am writing a fanfiction. Why? Because I think it’s a safe place for me now. But right now all that’s necessary is that I am counting both fanfiction and original works towards my one million. (I will have a separate post addressing this in the near future. I promise)
All righty—that’s what I have so far, but I might think up of more rules… I’m more surprised I didn’t outline these to start with, but hey, I did now, right? J
Now I bet you’re all wondering since I started this project back on August 15th: where is she at so far?
*insert appropriate drum roll here*
Yes, you read that correctly. Zero, nada, zilch, zippy-poop. Nothing. Actually, I did have 121K towards said fanfiction WIP; however, long story short I decided to slash my wordcount and start from near-scratch. (I’ve kept like 10K of scenes I couldn’t part with.)
Why am I not counting this 121K? It’s because it violates Rule #1 (see above, in case you’ve forgotten). Despite not using valuing this amount towards my goal of one million; nevertheless, I did learn much more than I thought I would!
For instance, I learned I’m not really an outliner or a pantser—I’m more of a, to use the word of one author, “planter”. I fall in the middle. I definitely need some sort of outline to keep my on track, remind me of what I’m heading towards story-wise, BUT that outline can’t be crazy long either and so minutely detailed. Otherwise I actually lose my focus.
I like to think of this as a parabolic relationship where at the first end of the spectrum you have easy story problem and unsatisfactory emotional payoff and at the other end, difficult problem and also unsatisfying payoff. The big yellow star is the optimal zone of average difficulty problem and highest payoff (more on this later as well).
I also learned I don’t do writing out of order. I know there are some writer tips that tell you to go ahead and jump to the scenes you’re itching to write if you’re stuck, but that doesn’t work for me. I spend so much time after trying to piece scenes together, and…ugh. Yeah. I tried it and now I know that just doesn’t work for me.
That’s all I really have now in terms of updating. Next month I’ll hopefully have a better result. (I should probably clarify that I’m not entering the NaNoWriMo. But good luck to all who try! I’ll be rooting each of you on.)