Milwordy: Week 1 Thoughts


Average Daily Wordcount: 3,075 (roughly)

Week Total Wordcount: 21,522 (2,077 over my goal!)

Words to go:

Month: 61,812

Year: 978,478

Okay, so what have I learned this week?

Welp. I’ve learned that no matter how much pre-planning I do, when I actually get to drafting things will change. Sometimes big things. Sometimes things that change the entire plot. I can choose to see this is a big pain in my ass, or as an exciting surprise that keeps me on my toes. Or both. Mostly both.

I’ve learned that morning is by far the best time for me to write, and if I don’t get it done before work, I’m going to hate myself in the evening. I write slower at night, which makes Milwordy take up an even bigger chunk of my day. No matter when I write, Milwordy is eating up a lot of time (an estimated 22 hours in the first week! Yikes!) Writing at night also makes this challenge feel more like a chore and less like an adventure and that’s not going to carry me through a year of this. So…mornings it is!

I’ve also learned that you really rack up a lot of words in a week during this challenge, and they aren’t all winners.

I knew that—of course—I would be left with a lot of less-than-stellar sentences each day. That’s what happens when you write fast with no thought of revision. I am a seasoned NaNoWriMo participant. I get how this works. But the thing is, it’s very different to know that than to experience it when you’re writing around 3k words a day and you’re planning on doing it for a year instead of a month.

So, what am I going to do about this? I had resigned myself to having a lot of revision work to do next year, and not worrying about drafting anything new for a while after that. That was…dumb. I was being dumb. I’m not saying there aren’t people out there for whom this strategy would work, but I have been both blessed and cursed with an overactive imagination that likes to come up with new stories as often as it can manage. In fact, the more I draft, the more ideas I tend to get. That means, I’m not going to be able to simply put drafting on hold at the end of this crazy experiment so that I can revise all the crap I wrote this year. And that means, I am going to have to edit as I go.

I sort of…kind of…maybe…had it in my head that at some point during this year I would do a little bit of editing, but if I’m being really honest about it, what I was really hoping for was to draft right through. Since that’s clearly not going to happen, I actually have to come up with a game plan for how this whole editing thing will go.

I’ve already tried writing in the morning and editing at night and frankly that’s not a time commitment I can make every day. It’s just not. So, what am I going to do instead? As I see it, I have two options:

  1. I can draft for a while, until I need a break, whether that takes days, or weeks, or months, and then spend some serious time editing. This, in many ways seems saner—more like how I would normally work. The downside is that I know my word count will be much higher during drafting than during revision. I will have times where I’m getting a lot of words in and times where I’m not. Sounds chaotic and likely to lead me to playing catch up. That, in my experience, is how challenges are abandoned. Or…
  2. I can structure this a little more and not wait until I get tired of drafting to take a break. My first thought is to do what Kate Cavanaugh is doing and write more words everyday (3,831!) and then take a break from it on the weekends. Only, unlike Kate, I will not actually be breaking for weekends. I will be editing (that’s a kind of break….right?). This is…intense. Writing that many words may be unreachable for every work day. I’m not sure until I try it. I will be adding some words during editing, of course. I’m just not sure how many until I actually test it out for a while. If I do it and find that, hey! I’m adding a ton of words during editing, then I could potentially lower my workday daily word counts just a bit. But I can’t know that right now and I don’t want to fall behind before the first month is up.

So those are my options as I see them. I’m not sure yet which way to go, but I am totally open to suggestions.

Seriously. No suggestion is unwanted.

Published by Robin J

I’m an aspiring novelist who hasn’t quite figured out this whole writing thing. I’ve been scribbling down stories since I was a little kid, but only dared to dream that I could write something worth reading as I became an adult. At 33, I still feel like I have a lot of progress to make before I’m ready to try publishing, but I’m getting better every day. Typically I write Fantasy (of both the Adult and YA varieties), but I have dipped my toe in Romance and Sci-Fi. When coming up with a story to write, all I care about is that the plot grabs my attention and the characters tug at my heartstrings. The genre is an afterthought. I tend to set myself lofty goals. Mostly I fail, but occasionally I surprise myself and succeed. Either way, I enjoy being pushed beyond the limits of what I thought I could do. That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish with the Milwordy challenge. I may or may not reach the full million words, but I know I’m going to learn a lot along the way. I hope you will, too!

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