Wednesday, November 19, 2008

9000 words

That's my word count so far this November, and I'm absolutely amazed - in a good way! Ok, it's small change compared to what other writers are able to pump out, but for me it's a freakin' avalanche of words. And it's got me wondering ... what's up? How is this possible?

Well, there are many answers to these questions. A few jump to mind immediately:- 

- I've been writing for a good two years now, and all that practice is starting to pay off. The words come easier than they did during the hair-pulling extravaganzas of my early writing days. 

- My youngest child is off at kindergarten several hours each week now, which means more writing time for mum. 

- And after employing the trusty index card method (and thanks to Claire for that!), plus re-doing my rough-as-guts synopsis a couple of months back, I've finally got the bones of this story worked out. Which, for this firmly linear writer, makes all the difference. I know where I'm going with this tale, and it stops me veering off into the wilderness (but this doesn't mean that I don't have many surprise detours and developments - I do, with each and every scene I write, which I absolutely love.)

So, ok. Some good reasons for my productivity increase. But I think it goes deeper than that. 

In fact, I know it does. 

See, about three months ago, when my youngest turned 4, it hit me that I had one year left before she started school, after which my days between 9am and 3pm would become child-free. Mine, to do with as I pleased. As much as the thought of sitting on my arse reading all day has its appeal, I knew I'd go bonkers staying home doing nothing more productive than emptying the dishwasher and vacuuming the cat. I knew that come August 2009, I'd need to find me some bona fide employment; to keep me sane, to feel like I was contributing to the world in some small way. 

This scared the living daylights out of me. I've been home with the kids for ten years now - it'll be eleven by the time Child # 3 starts school. What to do? I'm so out of the loop of the law that if I went back to that, I'd be sued for malpractice within a week. And other options are thin on the ground; with DH's job taking him away from the home front on a very regular basis, I need something that fits in school hours and allows me to be home for the kids.

So I took a deep breath and thought - time to get serious about this writing.

 Do you want to be a writer, a real, proper, earn-your-bread-through-your-words, writer? Well, do ya, punk? (g)

I said yes. And that's when I decided to start treating my writing like a job.

I vowed to write every day (I'm sticking to this mostly, bar DH's 40th birthday celebrations -I'm no Stephen King, cannot write with a hangover.)

I vowed to set myself a daily word count to meet, as opposed to just blithely saying "Oh, I'll write for a hour or so ..." (thanks to the brilliant Ms Vicki Pettersson for that piece of advice; and thanks to the wonderful M:A gals for keeping me to that particular goal this month.)

I vowed to let alone my opening chapters and avert my eyes from them until revisions (and boy, was that hard but so bloody liberating!)

And I want to ... no, WILL have this SFD done by then end of April 2009. 

I'm still scared. But at least these days, when I head to the study, I tell my DH I'm "off to write", rather than "I'll be doing some typing now", as I used to say. (g) This is serious business, after all.

So, there it is. 

Wish me luck.

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