Where has the time gone? I feel like November was but a blink. How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was joyful, praise God. I had the full week off from work, so I considered it a staycation of sorts. During the week, I spent time with my parents and sister, saw three movies in theaters (including my favorite Christmas movie of all time; be sure to come back for next month’s Movie Wrap-Up, because I’ll be talking about that film, and other movies too, in that article), met several new reader friends (with whom I shared bookmarks), and on Thanksgiving day itself, I ate lots of good food, visited with a friend who came over for a while, and had a movie marathon with my family. All in all, it was a great holiday.
Honestly, y’all, I’ve been struggling with writing new shorties. If you think about it, would you please pray that God would help me get back to writing them? I’m sure it’s just a temporal struggle, but it’s still frustrating. Thank you so much for your prayers. I appreciate them (and you) very much.
WIF Camp Progress
Friends, Write In Faith Camp has been a struggle for me this time. The words have not come easily. It’s been a battle with intense ADD (complicated very much by the post-Wuhan Virus symptoms I’m still dealing with nearly two years after they originally came on in March 2021) as well as a lack of passion at times. Praying my way through it has been the only way I’ve come anywhere close to feeling accomplished this month.
Since story words weren’t coming along very well on a consistent basis, I decided fairly early on that I would count any and all words I wrote, no matter which project they were for. So blog articles and book reviews totally got counted toward my goal. Every day, I pulled up my main story to chip away at the chapter I was on at the time. When paragraphs stacked up, I kept going with that document. When even finishing a sentence felt impossible, I switched to a different document. Sometimes this was another story, but most of the time it ended up being catching up on book reviews (I’m still behind) or working on ideas for blog articles.
My goal for the month was 50,000 words, and I honestly didn’t care much how I got to that number. The most important thing was to prove to myself that I still had the ability to reach that number in a single month. Usually, it isn’t difficult for me. It takes most of the month, but it’s easily doable for me. This year — the last couple of years — it’s been very, very hard. It’s been a battle. One that felt very spiritual as well as mental. Yet, I kept fighting back against the symptoms driving my brain bats, and God has encouraged me at exactly the right time every single time I felt incredibly discouraged in the journey. Thanking Him seems so inadequate, but I do time and time again, and I praise Him too. He’s been so amazingly generous to me in how He’s helped me in my extended recovery from the post-WuVi symptoms. It’s a joy to show up to work on stories each day this month, knowing He’s going to help me find the words or deal with the lack of words. He’s done both many times over the past nearly thirty days.
This article is likely finishing out my 50,000 words, so I’m sure I’ll be able to report next month that this current one was a success. Official or not, it already feels like a success story.
(I checked after drafting and editing this article, and sure enough, the words on this page you’re reading tipped the scales and helped me surpass my goal. More details on final numbers to come, as the month is not yet over and I will continue writing in these final few days of November.)
I have some pretty exciting opportunities coming up. They are not sure things yet, and I’m not even certain if I can give many details, so this section may not end up being very informative.
However, I’m terribly excited and cannot refrain from sharing that with you.
A couple of writer friends have invited me to submit a story to each of their latest publishing ventures. One is a short story (due in mid-January), and the other feels more like a novella (submissions to open early next year ).
The first draft of the short story is already written. It came together so fast my head practically spun! This was the only shorty I’ve been able to focus on lately. I’m so blessed and grateful that the inspiration for this story fell into place enough to research, brainstorm, outline, and draft it. I still need to revise it and send it to a couple of beta readers, then edit it again, but I should be able to easily submit it prior to the deadline.
The novella is outlined already. I love a chapter-by-chapter outline right now (article soon to come on my process, as per a reader request — I read those comments y’all leave for me, wink, wink), and that’s what I used for both of these projects, actually. For the novella, I also went ahead and created a book proposal with a plethora of information about myself, my book-industry history, comparable titles for my story, and my hopes and dreams for the future of my writing career. I’m terribly excited about this story but must wait to tell you more, dear friends.
I hope you’ll visit again soon, because I’ll be bringing you all the news on both submissions, both stories, right here on Writing to Inspire as I’m permitted to say more.
One Epic Day
One of my goals in writing has, for years, been to write 10,000 words in a single day. The most I’ve ever done is a smidge over 8k maybe a handful of times — none this month…
Until a very particular day came around.
As I already mentioned, this month has been hard when it’s come to focusing and writing. Yet, I’ve stuck with it and tried even harder because of the struggles.
Earlier last week, I had a 4,000 word day, and that felt pretty great. It still didn’t feel like I’d be able to get close to my personal one-day record, but at least I’d gotten halfway to the mark.
Then, last Saturday, I got a later start on writing than I’d expected. I didn’t begin chasing words until 11:58 a.m. (Central). My days hardly ever end until 2:00 a.m. during this chapter of my life, so I had plenty of time. But I didn’t know how the words would come — in a swift flow or a drab dribble.
I got started for the day and tried to finish a word crawl I’d been working on the day before. On WIF Camp’s “sprint” thread, I had a friend or two doing word sprints with me off and on all day. That was incredibly helpful. There is something very special about writing with friends, who are also trying hard to get words on the page.
After just a few hours, I’d already finished the crawl and begun another one. I’d finished the last chapter or two of the first of three marriage of convenience novellas for a collection I’m going to try publishing myself (hopefully in 2023, but we’ll see how things progress before I actually commit to that). Reaching my one-day record wasn’t really on my radar at that point, but reaching 5,000 words was.
I took a small break after finishing that draft so that I could shift gears to the next novella in the collection. When I got back to work, I refreshed my memory (which is terribly undependable these days) on the characters, problems, and goals for the second novella. Then I read my outline segment for chapter one and got busy writing it.
Before I knew it, I’d gotten through a couple of chapters and passed my one-day record of 8,000-something words. It felt completely fantastic to have written so many words in a single day — and I still had plenty of time and energy and inspiration to keep plugging along.
Back when I was outlining these three stories, I had a feeling that story two would practically write itself. Mostly, that was due to the leading man, who felt like such a charmer and protector. Let me tell you, I’m already fully in love with the fictional guy. In the first chapter, he showed up full of compassion for a character who was having a very tragic time, and that won me over so fast that my heart didn’t stand a chance at resisting the guy. Yep, I’m loving spending time with him, even if he’s only real in my head and on the page.
Have I ever told you that writers are a strange breed? Hehe. Well, we are. And very proud of it.
At that point, having reached 8,500 or so words, I paused to celebrate with the friend who was on the WIF Camp thread at the time. She asked if I was going to try for 9k. My response?
I’m aiming for 10.
Yup, I was feeling quite confident and excited at that point, and there would be no sleeping until I at least attempted to hit that magical number: 10,000. Oh, a smidgeon of doubt tried to wriggle its way into my head, but I stamped it out with the thrilling sense surging within me and my fingers tap-tap-tapping away at the keyboard before me. I knew this was my time.
So I plunged forward.
Before I knew it, all the goals I’d jotted down earlier in the day (word count totals to reach certain numbers, such as 2,500; 6,200; and 9,000) were crossed off the list. Every single one.
Including that very elusive and utterly spectacular 10,000.
I’d done it!
I’d reached the wonderful 10k I’d long ago dreamed of.
My celebration began, and my friends were so excited for and with me. I simply couldn’t believe it! The day’s work honestly hadn’t even felt that difficult. I merely sat down and wrote words. I took a few breaks to gather my thoughts or grab some food or give my legs a stretch. But every time, I found my way back to my well-worn, black recliner and pulled my laptop back on my lap and chipped away at the next scene… and the next… and the next.
By the time I’d finished, it was only 12:28 a.m. — well before the anticipated 2:00 a.m.! It only took me about twelve and a half hours to pound out the 10k words. That felt like such a good pace for me too. It’s one I’m satisfied with.
I couldn’t have been happier with this incredible writing day, really.
My celebration continued on Sunday, when I told my family of my accomplishment. They were, naturally, excited for me. I’m so grateful to have such supportive parents and sister. Y’all, they really do believe in my writing and cheer me on when I share new ideas and accomplishments and struggles and such with them. You have no idea how that swells my heart and spurs me on.
The same could be said of you, dear readers. When you share your thoughts on my articles, when someone I mention my stories to gets excited about them… I feel invigorated with new passion for what I do, penning stories that hopefully will find their way into your hands someday.
My official word count for this completely, totally, phantasmagorically epic day was 10,380 words written. All of them were in the new stories; none of them were attributed to blog articles or book reviews. Since I can’t remember if I was in the middle of chapter nine or the end of chapter eight of the first novella when I began that day, I don’t know my official chapter count. It’s either five and a half or six full chapters written that day. I’ve never written that many chapters in a single day before, whichever way it fell.
It was so funny that I wrote so many chapters in a single day too, because a writing buddy and I had discussed earlier in the month how we’d love to get to where we could write 1-2 chapters in a day. Well, Kelly (my friend I had the discussion with), I blew right past that number.
Pretty sure I won’t be able to write 5-6 chapters every day, but it was amazing to reach one of those numbers (not sure which!) that day. Perhaps I can do it again someday soon.
Bonus: New Writing Goals
Now that I’ve reached my dream goal of writing 10k words in a single day (I can hardly believe this!), I feel it’s appropriate to set a new writing goal or two.
There’s no telling when these goals will be reached. It took years for me to reach this one-day goal.
The first goal that came to mind mere moments after I’d struck gold on Saturday (meaning, seconds after I’d realized I’d passed 10k) was to someday reach 100,000 words in a single month. I want all 100,000 words to be toward a story (or more than one story if I finish the first one) — so no blog articles or book reviews, etc., would count for that total.
Another goal that I think would be amazing would be to do a week (six days and then take Sunday off) straight of 10k days. That would definitely have to be accomplished when I have time off from editing and tutoring, because I would collapse of exhaustion if I tried all three during the same week.
A third goal is to break my new one-day total of 10,380 words.
Additionally, I’d like to do a one-day 20k day sometime. That will be a very intense day, I think, but it will be mega epic.
Clearly, I have Big Plans for writing. I just hope and pray I can reach these goals sooner rather than later.
What goals are you aiming for these days?
They don’t have to be writing goals, by the way.
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