May 1, 2013

letter from camp - 5/1/13

I didn't quite get the s'more finished, but I
at least got the marshmallow in the flame.

Dear friends,

Up until last weekend, I was ahead of my daily writing goal of about 1,300 words, which would ultimately have resulted in me reaching my overall goal of 40,000 words.

I knew this goal was ambitious when I set it. I realized I had plenty of other distractions going on in April. Spring Game one weekend. Three-day trip to Colorado another. The museum's biennial conference for another series of days.

But I set my goals high regardless, and I fell short. As of midnight, I was at 35,486 words between my two writing projects -- a novel and novelette.

It was inevitable. My writing groove had to hit a bump in the road.

Though I managed some of the distractions well enough, by the time I reached the four days of conference activities, I was mentally and emotionally spent. I should have realized how difficult it would be to generate some word count while working 12-hour days for several in a row.

I'm not making excuses -- I should have planned better -- but I am glad to know that, based on my daily averages, I probably would've reached 40,000 words if I'd kept working through those days. And I'm even prouder that I came back to write about 4,000 words in the few days after my five-day writing hiatus last week/weekend. Usually, I give up. But I kept plugging away.

So what's next for my writing?

I need to keep going. That's for sure. I didn't do as much reading this month, which helped me keep my focus on my stories, and that's something I may need to keep in mind going forward. I also need to finish writing each of these projects. The novelette has 2,000-4,000 more words to go, while the novel probably has 60,000 more. That sounds like a lot, but it's a heck of a lot less than saying 10,000-12,000 or 85,000-90,000 words to write.

But I should also prioritize.

My first focus will be to finish the novelette in May. I'll also do line edits on Book No. 1, and a series of content edits on Book No. 2. If time permits, I'll continue work on Book No. 3, but I won't fall to pieces of that doesn't happen.

I'd like to do another big push on writing this book in June with hopes of starting another story during Camp NaNoWriMo session two in July. But, I'll gladly keep working on the end of this story at that time if I must. Because if I've learned anything this month, it's that consistency pays off, and flexibility is crucial. I've known both of those facts before, but I came to truly understand it this month.

Thanks for following this journey with me. And now that it's May, how about we get back to some of our regularly scheduled events.


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