Day 182 – Six month milestone!

Day one hundred eighty-two of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words for Days 180, 181 and 182: 1,900

Well, folks. Good news. I have reached the halfway point of my 365 Day Writing Project. Consider my mind blown. This is my biggest milestone yet, and I’m mystified…elated…inspired…satisfied…proud. When I started this Project last July, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it. Write every day. Blog often. Finish writing a book. All with the goal to eventually publish my first book.

With full-time jobs as a lawyer and mom to three young kids, I knew it was going to be a huge challenge. So far, I have been doing it. I have made time to write and have been writing every day. I have been blogging often. I’m about to finish the first draft of my manuscript. I am working toward my goals one step at a time. But the purpose of this Project goes far beyond writing every day. It is about forming a strong foundation of habits and practices to become a successful writer. It is about the daily practice of self-discipline, commitment and consistent, hard work. Having accomplished this much in six months’ time, I have zero doubt that I will do everything I set out to do.

Over the last six months I have made some meaningful contacts here in the WordPress community and beyond, and I am grateful for all of them. Many of you have given me words of encouragement and support, and have welcomed me into a kind of communal knowledge base that is invaluable. You are all helping me become a better writer. I can’t thank you enough.

I will continue for another six months, and more. I hope you stick around with me. I may be halfway through the Project, but really, this is just the beginning.

Day 71 – Cutting out and adding characters can be risky business

Day seventy-one of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

It was a slow weekend of writing for me. I wrote a total of only 400 words between Saturday and Sunday. Not stellar, but at least I kept things moving forward. I encountered a problem which halted my writing flow to a snail’s pace. The problem was my decision to add an unplanned character.

As I write this I realize how ridiculous that sounds, that adding a character could cause a problem with my writing process. But it did. I think it was not so much the addition of this person as it was the timing of it. I introduced him at a point in the story that in hindsight, was maybe not a good time. I am now trying to tamp down the urge to go back and re-write it. But I will not. I will wait, I will wait, I will wait. Write now, edit later. Write NOW, edit LATER. (Yes, you’ve heard me chant this before because I literally need to remind my obsessive-compulsive, hyper-editing self over and over and over. And yes, it works.)

Now that I have added this new character, who has a small role to fill, I will need to later decide whether to cut him out completely or change the timing of his introduction. I foresee another slowing of progress because of this, but I suppose that is okay. It’s all part of the creative process and I must embrace the bad with the good. And who knows, maybe later when I read it I’ll think the character’s introduction is brilliant in timing. Or not. And if THAT flip-flopping chain of thought isn’t incentive enough to wait to edit later, I don’t know what is.

Day 59 – Keeping the faith when the odds are against you

Day fifty-nine of my 365 Day Writing Project.

Words: 500

I have been doing quite a bit of reading around the WordPress community lately, checking out some pretty fabulous and interesting blogs by fellow writers. While I embrace the fact that I’m a newbie in this role of writer/blogger, I am amazed at how talented many of these writers are. They make me strive to do better.

The best thing about being part of an interesting community like this is that there is so much encouragement and inspiration to be shared. Seriously, you can’t beat it. Every single day I get a shot of adrenaline here. The worst part is that I am gravely aware of how much I lack compared to so many others. I’m not published (at least not on the scale I want to be). My blog is basic and needs a major makeover. I’m not networked enough. I’m lousy at marketing myself. And the most difficult: I don’t have enough time to put a decent amount of effort into any of those things.

I tell myself that it doesn’t matter; I should compare myself to no one. I should only be concerned with my own strides and accomplishments, that when mashed all together illustrate my journey to reach my dream of becoming a professional writer. I’m in the depths of this journey with millions of miles to go, but because of this blog and my 365 Day Writing Project, I’m realizing gains ten-fold compared to what I was doing a year ago. I am writing every day. And I have no intention of stopping until I realize my dream.

The odds are against me. Just like they are against so many of my fellow writers out there. But we must keep at it anyway. We must look beyond the odds to focus on our personal goals and what the future has in store for us. While I continue to work on doing that, I just want to say: Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for the inspiration. And thanks for making me strive to do better.