Phew! Sandra and I both finished! It was an incredible process. For me it took about three 40 minute sessions per day, which was far less work than I expected, although it was nonetheless difficult some days, especially on days when I was tired and cranky and felt like I had only just barely managed it the day before. Of course, I had decided to join rather last minute and had only scraped together so much of an idea where I was going. That meant I did a lot of thinking on the fly. There are a couple of instances where I painted myself into a corner and had to figure out what the heck I was going to do next. That was tricky. I would make something happen just to have something to write about that day and make 1700 words appear, but then it would turn out to create a problem for something that needed to happen a week later. So there are definitely gaps in the plot. Sometimes I would just write, “Go back and rewrite X so that she does Y” and keep moving along in the plot.
This daily writing thing was so…daily. (Isn’t that pathetic, that this is one of my biggest take-away thoughts?)
I really enjoyed it, though, especially the discovery that it isn’t all that hard, that I just had to be stubborn. And stubbornness in the face of a personal dare is something I have learned to excel at. I found 1700 words a bit of a stretch, though, and would prefer a daily target of about 700 words – it would fit quite easily into my day. That would make it something I could do all the time rather than just a big deal for 30 days. A habit rather than a dare.
One of the things that tickled me pink was the fact that just as I was reaching 50,000 words, I was finishing up my climactic scene. I’d paced it right and was at the conclusion. I knew that this was important for me in terms of my interest in picking it back up again: to have a completed arc rather than a story left dangling. For now, I’m letting things sit. I need to get back to organizing life, the holidays, but I plan on going back and getting at my second draft in the new year.
Sandra wasn’t sure what goal to set in the Young Writers Program, and thought that 15,000 words (or 500 words per day) would be a good start. She managed 25,000 and is still writing 500 per day. I think she has learned my stubbornness… I love it.