Monday, November 25, 2013

On Finishing

Earlier I posted that November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo or NaNo). For a quick refresher, the goal is to write at least 50,000 words during the month. In years past, I've tried to start this, but I end up too buy and/or too sidetracked--I just noticed the comic on my board. It's funny. You should...oh wait, I was saying something else, wasn't I?

Anyway, I seem to have a problem finishing a lot of things in my life. It has always been easy for me to say "I give up" instead of saying "Gotta see this through." But this year, I wanted to finally complete NaNo.

I'm happy to say that I actually did it. Not only did I write 50,000 words. But I actually hit over 60,000 words in 25 days before I can honestly say my book is done from beginning to end.

You'd think I'm done, right? WRONG!!!!! (where's a buzzer?)

Sadly, there are so many people who think "I wrote it, now I can publish it right?" The likelihood of the books written during NaNo to be level with publishing standards are as high as me going to Vegas and winning and $23 million dollars.

I have this author friend, Betsy Schow who wrote this book, Finished Being Fat. It's an awesome book (that one day I'll read.) It's not exactly a weight loss book, although it is the story of how she lost a fair amount of weight. It is, however, the story of finishing. Most people get discouraged and don't finish.

Well, I've had times when I was tempted this past week to not finish through the skillful art of procrastination. There was one day when I discovered I only had about 8,000 words to go to hit 50,000. So I thought "You know what, I can do that later." Then I figuratively smacked the back of my head and said "No, I'm hitting that 50k ASAP!"

The goal isn't to write a quality, five-star book. The goal is to write a book. After I hit the 50k, I thought "Well, I'll get to say 'The End' later." Once again, I hit the back of my head, still figuratively. I reminded myself that I will not finish it 'later' because more than likely, I'll never finish it.

Then I got to the point where I said, I've only got 1 or 2 more chapters to go. I can just let it wait until I do other things. (You can guess what I did to myself...figuratively.) So I'm pleased to say my book is done. It's over 60,000 words, which I was afraid I'd barely hit 50k. So I'm really pleased with myself there.

Is it quality? No. It is a quality story in my mind. One that will be worth trying to publish once I revise. But the goal wasn't quality. Now I have to force myself to take a break before I become burned out and/or obsessive. But I have a date as to when I will get back to it in mind, if not sooner so I can start revising and adjusting so I can feel like I'm submitting my best work to agents and not some junk.

So yeah, I finished the one goal. Now it's time to look at the other one seriously. I couldn't before now because I wasn't ready yet. I want to finish revisions, but I can't do them all at once. I will do that one at a time and over time. When I'm done, it's submitting time and gearing up for rejection! I mean, acceptance! (But there will be rejection and it's okay.)

Anyway, that's all for now.

Alien abductions are involuntary, but probings are scheduled.

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