A to Z Challenge 2013

Friday, May 8, 2009

What Have I Done?

The year is already one quarter of the way gone. In honor of that realization, I'd like to recap what I've accomplished so far this year. For those who didn't know, I have been involved in a writing challenge. The goal I had initially set was to write 500 words per day. For the first week, I exceeded that goal every day. I then decided to up the amount, setting a goal of 1000 words per day. I probably should have just been happy with my meager 500 words per day, but I was excited and determined. Looking back, I was able to successfully write over 1000 words on 24 out of 30 days. I am unsure of the exact total (due to editing while writing), but its somewhere in the neighborhood of 24K or so words. Thats not too bad, all things considered.

Along the way however, I ran into two huge stumbling blocks. The first stumbling block was when I realized that my storyline really wasn't adequate; I was ignoring a HUGE problem that my MC needed to deal with. So I began draft 2, rewriting the entire first chapter of the book and melding that with what I had already created. The second stumbling block happened yesterday, when I realized (through research) just how far off of reality I am with what else this MC will need to deal with. Luckily I don't have to start over again, but I do need to make massive changes in where things will go from here. Editing has become the bane of my existence, and I understand now why some people hate it so much. Editing other's works is so much easier for me than editing my own.

During this first quarter of the year, I have also educated myself greatly about the literary industry. There are countless bloggers, agents, and editors that provide so much information for a prospective writer. Some of it is daunting (like when I think about writing my first blurb and query), but I see hope and light at the end of the tunnel. For the most part, the decent agents and editors are professional and interested in the same thing we all are - to get good writing published. There are lots of sob stories out there to be read, about how the process broke down for another potential author. But I think (after having read so much) it boils down to your own optimism and drive to succeed. I've never before encountered an industry that demands such determination from an individual, but I still believe the reward in the end is worth the effort.

I've had the pleasure of meeting (figuratively, at least) so many wonderful people, authors striving to hone their craft as they seek publication. I've also had the pleasure of doing my first author interview, an exercise I found extremely fulfilling. I've gotten to read and review a couple books, an interesting journey that made me look at a book from an entirely different perspective. While I still read books for enjoyment, I am now noticing things I never did before.

In summary, this quarter has been a learning experience. I'm developing new habits, making new friends, and struggling to become a useful member of this industry. As always, I cannot say enough how encouraging it is to see the comments from you all. My goals going forward are to maintain at least 750 words per day (not merely 500 but not striving for 1000), learning to keep editing separate from writing, and having a finished draft before the end of this next quarter.


Anonymous said...

WOW, Eric! Great job on summing up your activities. I can barely remember what I did think morning, much less have as much insightful reflection about the past few months. I really enjoyed reading your blog this morning and the positive tone it had. Thanks!

Jamie said...

Congrats on such a productive "first quarter" to the year! I have complete faith that you'll be announcing your finished draft soon.

Your blog is inspiring - keep up the great work, and daily writing!

adrcremer said...

Yay, Eric! Thanks for the update. Now that my semester has ended I have a 500 words a day goal for the summer.

ElanaJ said...

Woot! It sounds amazing, all the things you've done. Way to go!

Lost Wanderer said...

good progress, and from here on you can only get better :)