MY FRIENDS MADE ME DO IT

Okay, that’s not entirely true, but it’s true enough. One friend talking about it last night, another friend posting about it this morning, and then visiting the website…

Yeah. It’s the Blogging from A to Z Challenge.

You know you want to sign up, too.

So, the first friend has most of her posts ready. The other friend has hopes to get hers ready.

I have to admit – getting everything ready ahead of time is appealing.

So very appealing…

*homerdrool*

So I signed up, and my theme is “Catching Up”, because of course it is, you fool! I am behind (understatement) in my 1,000,000 word challenge. I got sick in January and then got sick again after that and I fell off the wagon, and it feels impossible to get back up and do it again. But since there was a trickle of interest sparked by friend one’s convo and friend two’s blog post, I feel like it’s important to grab on to that interest and ride it hard until the words catch up and I’m back on track.

That’s the theory, anyway.

I have the remainder of March to write 30 short stories on the theme of Catching Up and somehow incorporating the alphabet and schedule all the posts because while I managed it before (somehow) writing/posting a story a day, I’d like April to be a bit less frantic this time.

The first time I tried the A-Z challenge was 2016, I believe (nope—2012), and you can buy the book that came from that event on Amazon (affiliate link), Barnes & Noble (print only, apparently), and Smashwords. (Apparently I never posted it on Smashwords?! I’ll fix that at some point. I’m sure I have the files for it.)

Three Days Remaining

Good afternoon, friends!

There are three days left in 2019.

That means there are three days left before 2020 starts.

And my one MILLION word challenge.

I’m doing it. I’m going to do it with a friend.

In fact, in a way, I’ve already started.

I started a book in November, at the very tail end of the month, and got 50,000 words done before the end of the month. Then I finished the book.

On Christmas Eve, I published the book.

I am so fucking proud of the book. I’m so proud of the book, I dedicated it to myself. I wrote it for me. I ignored all the things that I’ve heard and “learned” are bad ideas to do in books.

I wrote whatever came to mind. I used ellipses. I modeled a lot of characters, places, and situations on things that have happened to me, places I am familiar with, and people I know.

I didn’t hire an editor.

I made my own cover.

I made mistakes, and some of them are still in the book.

And then?

I started writing the next one.

I kicked to the curb the part of me that needs to start everything “new” and “fresh”, with new starts at New Start Times (New Year’s Day, Mondays, Weekends, Tomorrow), and just started writing because I have another story to tell with characters from the first book (Hi, Nat, Fizzy, and Danielle!) and I can’t let them wait because what if they get tired and leave me because I’m not paying them enough attention?

So I’m going to write 1,000,000 words next year, and I’m going to publish as many of them as I can. I’m going to publish them short, and long, and medium. I’m going to write fast so I can avoid my Inner Editor, my Critical Voice, the Thing inside me that tells me it’s bad, it’s crap, and that no Real Author writes like that.

Sometimes Life will get in the way. I will remember that sometimes it’ll be more important to be present with my family than meet a deadline. I will remember that if I don’t write 1,000,000 words, the world will not end. No one will be disappointed if I publish three books and then circumstances force me to give my attention to something else. No one will hate me if I write three books and have to stop.

I’m so excited.

There are only three days remaining.

I was thinking…

I was thinking about trying to write more next year. I had a heck of a lot of fun (as I always do) writing this November (when I finally got around to it — when life settled down enough to let it happen) that I want to keep it up.

Of course, that feeling might wear off.

It seemed like a really good idea, though, after the Last Minute Marathon our region hosts every year for NaNoWriMo, where I wrote at least 23,000 words (maybe 25,000? I didn’t keep track as well as I’ve done in the past), and I wasn’t even writing hard all day. I had moments of writing hard, of course, but part of the day I had to be at home with the kids doing parental things.

The day was not easy – don’t get me wrong. But I’m blessed to be a relatively rapid typist, especially when I’m writing things I enjoy.

And I usually enjoy writing so much. I enjoy the stories I create, and not enough of them see the light of day, off my computer and in places where people beside me can enjoy them.

So I was thinking about writing more next year. It’s 2020 – the start of a new decade. A leap year, even. It’s a nice, “pretty” place to start a goal like this.

1,000,000 words for 2020.

2,740 words per day. And if I bumped that up to 3,000, I could take an entire month off.

I’d write with the intent to publish everything written no matter how silly, or bad, or whatever (after editing to make it the best silly, or bad, or whatever it can be, of course), and also attempt to get things created with those 1,000,000 words published before the end of the year.

I’d only count fiction words, not blog words as I’ve done in the past.

And, the most critical part in this, is that I have a partner willing to do it with me.

Because I’ve tried such things before. In 2017, I wrote nearly 300,000 words, and it was powerful. I published 10 short stories (about 45,000 words) under a pen name that year, and I still earn a steady $2+ every month or so from those stories. Imagine what it could be if I kept writing and just didn’t stop.

A partner gives me someone to cheer who is on the same path I’m on. A partner will be someone to be accountable to who is trying to do the same hard thing I am. A partner will know how hard it is and will have the same stories about squeezing in words when there doesn’t seem to be the time.

So. What’s the point, right?

I really like the stories I write quickly. They end up a little silly, and maybe a little rambling, but they’re so much more me than anything I take more time on. I’m silly, I’m rambling. I like that about myself. When I write quickly, I don’t have time to self-edit, I just get it done. Sometimes I get stuck and I take a wrong turn, but I usually find something fun along the way, and I can always edit the really bad stuff out.

So that’s the plan. Write 1,000,000 words in 2020 with a friend, counting/tracking fiction words only, with the plan to publish every story I end up with whether it’s under my name or a pen name (and it’s not required that I publish 1,000,000 words, because I have a feeling I’ll lose some to editing).

I’m so excited.