I’m sure some might have feared my November posting slackness was due to my recent happiness and luck in love. I know Conrad (half-jokingly) at least was concerned that I may be like many other writers who, when the source of their angst (i.e. unhappiness) has disappeared, find they have lost inspiration. And I must admit that pen, paper, a bottle of red wine and a pouch of fine rolling tobacco have made wonderful companions through angst and all things melancholy in the past.
But fear not, because November was my most productive writing month ever, and I’m finding that happiness is equally, if not more, productive compared to its sombre twin. It was the pressure and time constraints of pumping out 50,000 words in thirty days that kept me away from blogging. I spent considerable time on both familial and romantic love, to be certain, but in the time I had for writing, my first priority was always to get out my word quota for the day and edge my word count closer towards the goal.
And I got there in the end and have in my hands a 50,000 words manuscript – a complete first draft. (Actually, this is metaphorical – I haven’t actually printed it out yet. But it sounds much better to say ‘in my hands’ than ‘on my hard-drive’, right?) It’s very much a first draft too. I will most surely NOT be giving it to anyone to look at or read. I know there’s still a lot of work ahead until it is readable. But it feels pretty good to have it there to work from.
I’ve learned some pretty valuable things in the process. For starters, my general maximum per day should be between 1000-1500 words. Any more than this and style drops out like a bowling ball through cling-wrap. I’ve also proved to myself that I can do it. The process itself is also really good and I can highly recommend it; not to produce an instant best-seller, but instead to explore things like character, plot and structure, to get an idea out of the skull and into reality.
I already know what I’ll be drafting in November next year – I was tossing up between two ideas to begin with. I guess though I should use the eleven months until then to work the draft I have into something a bit more presentable. And write a few blog posts too, of course.