Here we go.

This is it, guys.

 

Do you see that stack of papers, seemingly innocuous, wrapped in a cord and sitting on my mess of a desk/dining room table?

That’s my first draft, and I’m untying the cord today and going to start reading. After a month of letting it sit, I’m diving in. And I am Freaking. Out.

My nerves are a trembling thing beneath my sternum, a tautly pulled thread just plucked and humming in the base of my throat. What if it’s awful, what if it makes no sense? What if it’s irreparable – or what if it is fixable, but it’s going to take months?

My draft stares back at me, waiting. You’re just a stack of papers, I won’t be scared of you.

Let’s get started.

Cue 80’s victory music.

I finished my first draft today.

Holy crap.

I did it, guys. I actually did it.

I mean, months later than I originally planned on, and the thing is an awful, disorganized, chaotic mess, but I did it.

I’m giving myself a day to breathe and fist pump the air, and then I’ll decide how to move forward. But for now?

Holy cow. First draft down!

Oh, hi.

I haven’t been here lately. I’ve been elsewhere, bouncing between countries, doing holiday stuff, and trying to ignore that I’ve been totally neglecting my novel.

Yeah. I haven’t been so productive lately, and the anxiety and guilt is finally starting to dig its claws into me physically because of it. Tiny headaches, tension in my shoulders – it’s as if I’m haunted; like every moment I’m not writing there is a tiny ghost inside of me that pokes and prods and nags and is impossible to ignore. It’s interesting how I literally have a visceral reaction to not writing.

I quit my job to do this and time is running out. I gave myself to the end of February, to the AWP – although now that I’ve really looked at it, the AWP is beginning to look like it won’t be financially feasible for me. But still, the deadline is there. And what have I done in the last month? Shrug. Not very much, writing-wise.

I did hit 100 pages, which was huge – 100 pages feels so real, like I’ve really done something. If I printed it out, that would be an impressive stack of paper. But I’m nowhere near the end, and I have no idea how much longer it will take me, or how to accomplish making it all feel cohesive, or even what’s going to happen, really. And what if it’s awful? I’m 100 pages in, and this could be an awful, ridiculous story.

I try not to focus on those things. Once I start worrying, it worms its way into me for hours and days. I immobilize myself. Sometimes I wonder if I do it on purpose, just to avoid writing.

Writing is so much more work than I realized it would be.

But I hit 100 pages. And now it’s time for me to stop kicking myself for the past few weeks I’ve wasted, and to just start typing instead.

Keep moving. Keep writing. Keep typing. Stop thinking.

So good.

OH YEAH.

 

BROKE MY DAILY WORD COUNT RECORD, AW YISSS.

Word count for the day: 2283

Two thousand, two hundred and eighty three. I thought I did the math wrong and did it like four more times over in like three different ways. AND IT WAS RIGHT.

I feel so good right now about that.

 

 

PS – there is 1.5 glasses of red wine making an appearance in this post. Broke my record, feelin’ good. Also, you are all awesome as well. Shout outs of the moment go to MBA2MFA and Katie May who offered me awesome advice and encouragement this week, thanks guys. This is starting to sound like an awards speech. I’m blaming it on the wine.

 

Yeah!

Finally broke 10,000 words!!!!

FEELS GREAT, YO!

So my daily word count for today is only 595 but shoot if I care because I broke 10k, babycakes. Boom!

Feels good.

Now I just need to do that like, what – minimum five more times?

Oh.

 

It’s okay, though! I can do this. Just keep working!

Yup. That’s right.

I BROKE MY DAILY WORD COUNT RECORD, GUYS.

Godzilla’s so happy for me!

Word count for today: 1134.

Yes, it may still not be much, but it’s more than I’ve accomplished thus far! VICTORY.

It was rough going for a while. I didn’t think I’d accomplish anything, really. I had posted here at 12:30 saying something along the lines of ‘time to get started!’ and then at 3:30 still hadn’t written anything. I had, however: A) surfed reddit, B) played Candy Crush on my phone, and C) started trying to learn how to read tarot cards. Because, you know, all that is a really productive use of my time when I’ve QUIT MY JOB TO TRY TO WRITE.

(please bear with me and all the caps locks here, by the way. I went out for drinks with the man I’m married to tonight and now I’m sitting here with a gin+perrier+grapefruit because still, no wine, and I started this blog for myself and no one else, so hah! deal with it.)

What was I saying again? That’s right. 1134 words. Every day it is getting a little easier to write a little bit more. This weekend will probably still prove a challenge to me, as it’s hard for me to stay focused when my husband is at home because I just want to hang out with him, but I done okay today.

I wasted the majority of my day on useless stuff and still managed to get some writing done. I hope I’m eventually able to be writing for most of the day and wasting only a little of it.

Also, this first draft is ROUGH, so far. I’m only 6,035 words in, but yeah, it’s rough. I’m trying not to let that hold me back, though. I need to keep moving.