It’s April 10, so the results are in for the writing challenge I joined, 100 k in 100 days.
They’re a shocker!
The good news- in 100 days I wrote 198, 183 countable words.
The bad news – my story word count was only 41,837.
The rules were:
What you CAN count towards your 100k
- Short stories
- Creative non-fiction (i.e. self-help books, humour, histories, biographies etc)
- Notes for any creative piece you write, or exercises from creative writing courses.
- Writing related or creative blog posts. But they must be of the creative variety (i.e. writing related or related to some other interest, incl. pets, children, flowers, photography or your life as an ex-pat) and not just what you had for breakfast that morning. Unless you’re Jamie Oliver and what you had for breakfast is very interesting (so recipe blogs are fine to include).
What you CANNOT count towards your 100k
- Twitter status updates
- Facebook status updates
- letters to the editor
- notes to the milkman
- letters in general
- memos or reports at work though I will allow contributions to in-house magazines or newsletters.
I stuck carefully to the guidelines, made sure I only counted permitted words. So considering things were insane at the Day Job for the first six weeks, plus I had my mother-in-law ill and was busy there too, the total word count is pretty darned good.
But the worrying thing is the story word count. Less than a quarter of the total. Sure, I was editing a story and needed to write loads of notes for that. Sure, I’m now planning another story and it’s a historical needing loads of research and working out so I have over 40 k of research and planning notes. Sure I set up a new website for a little sideline business (Vegan Water Kefir) and wrote around 10 k there, and in some related articles.
Even taking all that into account, for every story word I wrote I wrote three or four times as many other words! I’m obviously a lot better at writing about writing than I am at actually writing! That’s scary and makes me wonder if it’s another procrastination method. The answer is a big loud “YES!”
So, I’m doing Camp Nanowrimo now, with a total story word count of 60,000. Guess how many words I have now?
Zero. Zilch. Nought. Nothing. A big steaming pile of non-existence.
Okay, I have 1752 words, if I want to count the false start, which I’m not. I started writing the story on April Fools day, and looks like I was the fool! I had a load of research and absolutely no planning, and ended up the day with a fab start to a completely different story.
Which is a good and useful thing, because I recognised straight away the story I aimed to write had headed in the wrong direction, and I love the other story that emerged. I’ll have fun writing that next month. But it wasn’t hugely helpful for my April target and the story I want at least first drafted before I pitch it to an editor for my target line on May 8! It did tell me I needed to plan. So planning’s what I’ve done for the last week. I still don’t feel “finished”, but I have enough.
Tomorrow, I start writing again. It’s my 10th wedding anniversary, so it feels like a nicely symbolic day to make another new start.
We’re off to Paris (where we spent our honeymoon) for the day. A looooooong day. We leave home at six am and won’t get home until well after midnight. I still have no idea what to wear, and whatever I wear will be wrong anyway, seeing it will be -1 c when we leave home, about 18 c in the afternoon, and -1 again when we come home. Layers, but which ones? And which shoes for all the walking we’ll do? And which bag to carry around all the discarded layers until I need to put them on again? Decisions!
Anyway, that’s another story.
But surely somewhere in the seven hours travel time, I’ll be able to pull out my PDA and get Kezia and William butting heads and arguing about whether he should allow her to travel to Australia on his ship. I have a lot of catching up to do to get this story finished in time!