I guess what I needed was a deadline, a goal. It seems to me that what I’ve been talking about for years is actually within reach.
Last night, I grabbed my little Inspiron Mini and headed to Borders to work on my novel that I’m writing for the NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m way behind (about 9,000 words) from where I should be, but I started five days late. In two days, I’m a little ahead of what the daily goal would be if this were the second day of the challenge. I think, had I worked on this instead of sleeping all day, I would be caught up. Because, in fewer than 90 minutes at Borders, I wrote more than 2,000 words.
Even if I don’t make my goal by November 30, I will not stop writing this novel. I will finish it.
And it’s not just this challenge. My friend Leslee asked me (among other people) to write a short story for her blog, Waiting for the Click. And in a short time one morning, I wrote an 800-plus word short story, completely off the cuff. She’ll publish it November 19. I’ll put up a reminder, but please check it out on that day.
My habit has been to start writing something — I have a lot of great ideas in my head — and then go back to it and re-read what I’ve written and second guess myself, deleting and rewriting entire sections, starting over completely and then finally getting frustrated and giving up. This is why I didn’t even come close to my goal of having a manuscript ready to shop to agents by my 30th birthday … almost three years ago now.
What’s really difficult right now to wrap my head around is that after all these years and all the frustration, in a month, I will have a novel. Finished. Ready to be critiqued and edited and shopped to agents. And that means there is a possibility that I could have a published novel in the next year or two.
The odds are against me in this, but I’m still going to try. And finishing one novel will teach me that I can do it. I can sit and write and actually finish something. And so, even if this is not the book that will be my big break, I will keep writing and one of the books I finish will be.
For those of you waiting for me to finish the book I previewed here, I promise, promise, promise that it will be my next project. When I finish the one I’m currently working on, I’ll pick that one up again and hammer it out.
As for this one, there will be an excerpt published here on Monday for you all to read and tell me what you think. Feedback is very important, so don’t hold back!