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Pushing on Ahead

Updated: Dec 20, 2021

When I started rewriting The Criminal, the first in the Once Upon a Tome series, I was writing at the pace of about 200-300 words per day. I was doing 15-minute writing sprints that were really more like 15-minute writing jogs.

Don't get me wrong, I would get there at 300 words a day. But it would be slow progress and there is nothing that is as non-motivational for me as slow progress.

So I developed a plan.

It is a well-thought-out plan.

It is a misshapen plan.

It is a hurriedly built, standing on sand, pieced together with whatever puzzle pieces I found laying around plan.

But whatever works right?

It starts with the Saturdays.

Right now, I am not working. I have been quarantined for 10-11 months and have lost my job and don't have the ability to volunteer at the church anymore (mostly at least). So my only real requirement (aside from taking care of myself and my dog and doing a few household chores) is homework. Which, if I am honest, I get done by 11 or 12 every day (if not earlier) and If I work hard in the week (which means working to 11 or 12) then I can get it all done by Saturday and have Saturday completely free to do whatever I wish.

Now I could spend that day reading. Lazing around watching television. Or even playing with my cute mini goldendoodle.

Or I could write like the wind.

I choose the latter.

I had my first "writing day" last Saturday. I planned all week for it. I had a meeting in the morning and in the afternoon and my sister had planned dinner for the family in the evening so I was not writing for 12 hours straight but that was not the goal. The goal was to "write like the wind" right?

I started off by making poffertjes. Dutch pancakes. Between both sisters and myself, we labeled them "poff pancakes" because they are super fluffy and because they start with "poff." The food was already something I planned to use in my book. The term "poff pancakes" made it in as well.

I finished off three chapter I had started during the week, wrote the entire chapter which included the "poff pancakes" and finished with a total word count for the day of well over 3,000. I was comfortable with that. Again, I started out writing at about 300 words per day.

So what else am I doing?

Well, I am researching.

I won't explain all the research to you, that is a topic for another post but I am researching query letters and their contents, researching agents, researching #pitmad, researching books that agents represent and that agents want books similar to. I am beginning to read books with excellent swordplay, with new twists for me to learn from, with connection points to agents that I can use, and more. I don't stop learning every day despite not being a creative writing major.

What else?

I have increased my daily word count.

While before I aimed only to have my book polished in time to start to send it off by the beginning of November so that I could start to write The Beauty during NaNoWriMo 2021, I now have new goals. I am working towards finishing before #pitmad in June so that I can begin to gain the attention of the agents that I will be looking to query. That means more than doubling my daily word count from less than 300 to 600+. Though my Saturday "writing days" which I intend to make a weekly occurrence should also help with this goal. It also means getting on top of editing and having people read through chapters ASAP.

I am also seeking out Write-Ins and Writing Sprints with authors and friends like Marissa Meyer (who is hosting a Writing Sprint next Tuesday) and my friends. These are great tools to encourage me to push forward. An outside cheerleader is a great tool when you begin to lose momentum.

Ultimately it is up to me though.

Can I do it? You better believe I can.

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