That end of the year thing

The end of this year has been so much better than the start.

I was horrifically sick on New Year’s — I’d caught my dad’s stomach flu, and I ended up missing a New Year’s bash (luckily I was able to sell my ticket.) I was also sick for much of the first part of the year, and I started having to take a lot of medication to get my symptoms under control, as well as completely change my diet and my lifestyle.

But at the end of March I finally admitted I was having a real problem writing (though some of it was related to the health issues) and so I started doing writing prompts. It was probably one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I went back and I read a lot of those beginning entries today. It amazes me when I think about where I was in terms of being able to write and where I am now. But a lot of it, I also realize now, reading back through those entries, is that I was will to change my process and try different things in order to enable myself to write again. It sounds funny, I know — but it’s a huge thing. And not only did I do it — I’m willing to do it again if I need to in order to keep writing.

Speaking of such — here’s the final typed word count for the novel for the end of the year:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
67,733 / 100,000
(67.7%)

In addition, I’ve probably done another 3000 words handwritten, so I’m just going to call it 70K in three and a half months. I’m still amazed at how much I’ve done in such a short amount of time. I figure it’ll only take me another 5 weeks for me to finish the novel (I’ve been averaging a chapter a week.) Then I’ll rewrite. My goal is to have this novel to my agent by the end of May (i.e., before I go to WisCon.) During the rewrite I’m going to be sending chapters as I finish them to my reviewers — yet another change in my process.

I hope that ya’ll are having a lovely holiday season, and I wish each and every one of you the best in the coming year!

Comments (24)

  1. I’m so impressed! I hope your new year is much better than last, and that the words continue to flow. Wish I could be at Wiscon . . . Maybe one of these days.

    Di

    • I also hope that this year is better than last, for both of us! May the words continue to flow for you as well. And WisCon — it’s a wonderful con. Hopefully you will be able to make it there someday as well. It was good to see you this year though at WFC.

  2. hhw

    I picked up a copy of A Writer’s Book of Days a few weeks ago, after reading your entries about it. I’m going to spend the first week of January trying different times of day and lengths of session to see what works best for me. I’ve never had a regular writing habit, so this is not so much a change of process for me as, I hope, the start of one.

    • Best of luck! Figuring out when you’re most likely to create hopefully will help you create more. And good luck with the prompts as well — I’m interested in how they work for you. Feel free to ping me with questions about process — I like process, and continue to marvel at the changes that I’ve made with mine.

      • hhw

        Thanks! So far, I’m three for three. I’m still procrastinating, waiting until the very end of the day. Not an ideal long-term strategy, but for now it’s OK. At the moment my goal is ridiculously small: a single tiny notebook page (3.5 x 5.5 Moleskine), and I’ve gone over that each time. I’ve had no trouble at all writing from the first three prompts; it’s been fun.

        At some point, not sure when, I want to get to the page earlier in the day and stay there longer. Maybe in February.

  3. Happy New Year, Leah! Great work on the writing and getting through some tough times. Maybe I’ll run into you some day! I wish you all the success with this novel-in-progress!

    • Happy new year to you too! Hopefully the really tough times are over, at least for a while. I wish you the best of luck in everything as well.

  4. I’m so impressed! I hope your new year is much better than last, and that the words continue to flow. Wish I could be at Wiscon . . . Maybe one of these days.

    Di

    • I also hope that this year is better than last, for both of us! May the words continue to flow for you as well. And WisCon — it’s a wonderful con. Hopefully you will be able to make it there someday as well. It was good to see you this year though at WFC.

  5. hhw

    I picked up a copy of A Writer’s Book of Days a few weeks ago, after reading your entries about it. I’m going to spend the first week of January trying different times of day and lengths of session to see what works best for me. I’ve never had a regular writing habit, so this is not so much a change of process for me as, I hope, the start of one.

    • Best of luck! Figuring out when you’re most likely to create hopefully will help you create more. And good luck with the prompts as well — I’m interested in how they work for you. Feel free to ping me with questions about process — I like process, and continue to marvel at the changes that I’ve made with mine.

      • hhw

        Thanks! So far, I’m three for three. I’m still procrastinating, waiting until the very end of the day. Not an ideal long-term strategy, but for now it’s OK. At the moment my goal is ridiculously small: a single tiny notebook page (3.5 x 5.5 Moleskine), and I’ve gone over that each time. I’ve had no trouble at all writing from the first three prompts; it’s been fun.

        At some point, not sure when, I want to get to the page earlier in the day and stay there longer. Maybe in February.

  6. Happy New Year, Leah! Great work on the writing and getting through some tough times. Maybe I’ll run into you some day! I wish you all the success with this novel-in-progress!

    • Happy new year to you too! Hopefully the really tough times are over, at least for a while. I wish you the best of luck in everything as well.

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