Friday, November 7, 2008

How Not To Write A Novel

Well we are at the end of week 1. Is everyone on track? Are the words coming thick and fast, or are they being pulled kicking and screaming? Are you on track? Or are your target and actual word counts now poles apart?

I am the latter. My first week goal was to reach 5 figures ... and instead I have just scraped in 4 :o( However amongst this disappointment I have managed to see some positives:
  • I have learnt a trick to overcome my internal editor;
  • I am getting into a routine that lets me find a few minutes each day to write; and
  • I have overcome the anxiety of 'failing' to reach the magic 50k, instead I am going to use this as a starting block and if I don't make the goal will just extend the goalpost for myself.

But to try and make those of you who have also struggled to reach your goal feel better, or those who could just use a giggle, I thought I would fill you in on some of the tragedies of my first week.....

I started slowly (only a few hundred the first day), but then discovered the best way for me to write quickly was to do it with my eyes closed. So day 2 meant that I steamed ahead and broke the 1000 word mark. I kept on going but, in a horror moment, my computer crashed.... and it had been over 200 words since my last save. Too late to want to deal with it I left it until the morning. Fingers crossed for autorecover.

The next morning booted up and autorecover did its thing (only missing about 50 words, no biggy). Leaving the computer in a hurry to deal with the toileting needs of my 2yr old, I came back to find my wonderful 4yr old had decided to 'help' my writing along. And it was gone!!! In only the way that Murphy could manage, he had somehow discovered the save button and saved his helpful deletion of my writing. Now, thinking I had been clever I had emailed my document to hotmail just before this. Feeling quite pleased with myself I opened hotmail - and no document (and it is still out there in cyberspace somewhere).

Now, it has since been pointed out to me that what I should have done was gone to my sent folder and retrieved it from there, but in my state of panic and fury that wee bit of common sense just didn't filter through (point to note, there is a copy there but too late now).

So Tuesday saw me starting again. I have rewritten my first few pages and am at 1365. Been a hard week to fit in writing (actually really bad month for writing, major stuff happening here with renos and every free moment is spent painting not writing). But tonight I am going to go hard and hope to make up some of my lost time.

So just remember, it doesn't matter what happens, just keep going. You will get there in the end. As I read on a blog today by Christina Philips (quoting Galaxy Quest):

Never Give Up!! Never Surrender!!



Diane said...

Anita, even if you just reset your goal slightly and endeavour to write every day, you will have more at the end of the month than if you didn't participate.

Good luck tonight.

And your post is a timely reminder for us to all back up our work, not just save it!

Sandie Hudson said...

Hum, Anita I remember losing files not a pleasant thing to go through. I now have my flas stick thingy and I try to remember to save each night.

Just take your time, do the odd sprint and you'll be surprised how many words you have by the end of the week.