As winter wraps us in a snowy, chilly blanket, I can’t believe we’re already saying goodbye to January. It’s been an interesting start to the year, and maybe it wasn’t entirely the best month for me, but it was in a lot of ways a really good one.
I ended up getting sick halfway through January, and then my son got sick too. Neither of those things made for prime writing time, and I ended up taking about ten days off writing and blogging, but I felt so refreshed afterward. So, I wanted to share my biggest writing accomplishment this month.
I finished writing my book!!
I started January off at 78K words. I knew it would take about 12,000 more words to finish which ideally was only 12 days of writing. That isn’t quite what happened, but the best laid plans often aren’t. In the end, it took 17,693 more words to get to the end, and it did take the whole month. But I don’t care that it took longer than it did. It’s done. I’ve finished it, and I’m really proud of it, no matter how much of a mess it might be. Writing a book is hard, but it’s done one word at a time and repeating that over and over until you finish. It’s easier said than done, but it’s incredibly worth it. The journey is marvelous.
My final word count for this draft is 95,693 words. Most of my focus this month was working on my book. I wrote one flash fiction piece and a thousand word start of a short story that I had shared to my blog. In some ways, I feel like I was light on progress this month because I typically like to write more short fiction and poetry, but that is me being very hard on myself because I did what I set out to do about seven months ago. I wrote a book.
If you’ve kept up with my blog, you’ll know this isn’t my first book. I’ve written three before this, all at various stages of messiness, and I have several more started yet unfinished at this time. Writing is a balancing act of projects. I have so many things I want to work on next. But first, I am going to take a two week break from my novel before I start editing it. During this time, I’m going to really dive into some short fiction and poetry. After that break is over, I’m going to start editing. I’m hoping to edit four chapters a week while I continue to write short fiction and poetry.
That being said, I’m also going to be starting the first draft of my next novel while I do this. It’s a contemporary romance, and I’m really excited to give romance a try. It’s not something I’ve ever written, but I absolutely love reading romance, and I have an entire outline of a story done! I’m not usually a plotter, but this story came to me almost a year ago. I jotted down the entire outline and put it to rest. I had attempted to start it a few times, but it wasn’t flowing. I couldn’t get it right, and I made the decision to hold off because I didn’t want to force it. I’m really excited to give it another go, and I’m aiming for 50K words on the first draft. In an ideal world, that could be done in 50 days, but I take breaks, life happens, and I’m not going to put a deadline on myself yet. Maybe with my next book as I get more practice and continue to get better at writing.
I also just want to take a moment to reflect on last January. I didn’t write last January. The fact that I wrote this January is really amazing to me. It’s always hard to come back to writing after the holiday season. January is cold, dreary, and it’s perfect to spend nights snuggled under a blanket, reading books, and watching tv. I’m really proud of myself for sticking with a writing routine for so long, and I’m glad that it feels so natural now. Writing had become such a chore for me, for such a long time, but now it’s a part of the day I look forward to and eagerly await (even on the days where I’m hitting walls of writer’s block and have no idea how to get the words out of me).
I hope everyone had a great writing month in January. I am hoping to get a lot accomplished in February and see where the words take me next!
Congratulations on finishing your book!! Such a wild ride for you but so incredible that you achieved this goal. Have fun jumping into editing world now!
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Love that Ursula Le Guin quote! What a wonderful accomplishment. I’m so happy for you! I’ve been busy taking a writing class, working on editing one book, jotting down ideas for another, and I’ve published a few short stories and poems. I feel like I’m on the verge of a breakthrough in my writing and it’s exciting and terrifying! Sending you all the happy energy as you start the editing process.
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Awww that is so exciting! Your writing is so wonderful, I am glad you are on the verge of a breakthrough. I think I’m getting closer all the time. I have had a few poems published but really want to break into the short story market!
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You got this!