Every now and then, I think about NaMoWriMo and how I got started writing fiction. I read about this project online, decided it seemed like an interesting project so I added writing fiction to my non-fiction writing career.
Well, I quickly got bogged down in a ton of “stuff” around storytelling and putting words down in a way that others would enjoy.
The quick evaluation was that I simply didn’t know what I was doing. I did not finish the project because I decided it would be a waste of my time. I took a deep breath and started taking courses and trying to “figure out” what this fiction stuff was about.
Fast forward a few years later to today.
Now, I kinda/sorta/maybe know what I’m doing but I still have a lot to learn. I need to write quite a few more words – up into the million(s) word count – and absorb/practice the things I’ve learned from the courses I’ve taken.
And don’t gulp at that million word count. That’s only about 2800 words a day for a year.
What I’ve Done In Those Years
I’ve written four fiction books in the last two years in two different genres. And, if I do say so myself ( this is my blog after all so I can say what I want), each one of those books is better than the one that came before.
I’ve also created two massive gardening websites. DougGreensGarden is currently being reorganized so all posts are available through the main pages (check out the Vegetable Gardening page for an example of what each of those pages will look like ) After that project is done, I’ll do the same for the SimpleGiftsFarm website.
But Now It’s Time To Fish or Cut Bait.
And looking at the calendar, it’s almost NaMoWriMo again. Funny how some things just keep on turning and turning to come down right isn’t it?
By this point in the post you think can hear the word “Squirrel” again can’t you.
But Before You Go There
This isn’t a new project. This is simply telling you what I have been doing and telling you the stakes are being raised to commercial writing levels.
Because I Am Raising The Stakes
I’m raising them far beyond a single month. I’m raising them to “stretch goal status”. If you set goals that are easy to reach, then what’s the point? It’s more interesting to set goals that make you stretch and focus. You only get better by going beyond your current capabilities – whether it’s writing or fitness.
So Here’s The Outrageous Goal
I’ll do a novel in November.
But I also intend to write 750,000 words in the e-publishing world. That could be 12 ebooks – one a month for the next year or it could be a half dozen but it will be 750,000 words.
For the record, before the Internet, this wasn’t an outrageous number. Remember – back then all writers had to do was write. We didn’t have to code, socialize, broadcast or interact with every reader who had an Internet connection. We simply wrote.
What’s The Process For A Single Book.
Assuming an ebook in the genres I’m working in – around 50K-ish words. If I take on a bigger project, the process is the same, but the time frame to write it stretches out.
- Week one: take the week to figure out the story, lay it out in Scrivener with a paragraph per chapter.
- Week two: dictate that story using Dragon Naturally Speaking.
- Week three: edit it and pass it along to my editor.
- Week four: do the covers, and all the details of publishing.
What If I Don’t Achieve This?
My goal is to focus on the writing rather than the myriad details of the Net.
My objective is to get back to putting words out rather than all the “other stuff” writers are supposed to do now with platform building, social media etc etc.
Screw the other stuff.
If I don’t have a goal – a serious goal – then I’m just wasting my time flitting around from hither to yon on the Net.
Words are the goal.
750,000 words in the next year. That’s the goal. The starter’s pistol goes off on November 1st.
I’ll report here on a monthly basis with word counts.
You can keep track of this over time by checking out the writing page here