I set the bar rather high for myself this year when it came to planning for JulNoWriMo. Last summer’s attempt spawned about a third of my chick lit romance, and that was without any prior thought or outlining. Not so this year. Not only did I already have about 15k words on the historical romance (HR) I wanted to tackle, but I sat down and wrote a whopping 15 page extended synopsis so I knew (in a general way) precisely what would happen in the story.
My goal was to complete the HR in around 80,000 words, give or take 5k or so. I felt very ready to begin. I had the kernels of the story ready to go, I had about three chapters already done – though they needed some heavy editing before moving on. I even had the confidence that I’d be able to finish early.
Joke’s on me.
I’ve been plugging along pretty steadily, but as often happens, life keeps encroaching on my writing time. I had started to panic, but decided instead to just modify my goals. After all, it’s not like the world will end if I don’t finish the whole MS by July 31st. The whole point of JulNoWriMo and other such writing challenges is to make you sit your butt in the chair and write.
Right now I’m sitting on about 34k words. Not too shabby, really. Not as impressive considering that I started with a little less than half of that. But I’ve written almost 20k in three weeks. Mostly during the week and not utilizing the weekends much at all (I do still want to have a life). I’m not going to magically pull another 46,000 words out of thin air by the end of the month unless something rather drastic happens. Which could, but I’m not counting on it.
So here’s my new plan. I’m going to do my best to get to 50k. If I surpass it, great. If not, at least I have about 2/3 of the MS done. Shabbily in places, in desperate need of revision. But on paper. Or silicon or whatever my hard drive is made of. I had originally planned to finish the HR by the end of August, so I think modifying what I do for JulNoWriMo will put me in a more than adequate position to finish by then.
I can hear some of you right now, see you shaking your fingers at me. “But you set a goal for July! You should be pulling all nighters to meet it!”
Well, I’m not in college anymore, and my energy tanks by about 9:30 at night. Nobody’s keeping score. I’m still keeping my inner editor locked in a box. And honestly, easing up on the pressure is probably better for me and the MS in the end anyway.