The Long Haul

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As you know, I’ve been busy writing of late. It’s a long, slow, solitary practice, with little that I’m willing to share with others at this stage. That will come later.

My other creative endeavours have been left by the wayside for the moment but, like my lovely followers, they are never far from my mind. After all, my writing is all about them. (Hmm, wouldn’t it be lovely to have double the available time to do both?)

I had this wonderfully ambitious notion that I’d have my first, rough, 40,000 minimum word version of Minima’s Story completed by 9th December. With a tidied version ready for my adult children to read by Christmas. I’m not knocking what my inner creative child has accomplished, almost 26,000 words to date, but the nagging voice in my head wants to have achieved more by now.

Whilst I’ve been writing, my daughter has been hard at work in her final year at university, writing her dissertation. Like me, writing doesn’t come naturally to her. She’s dyslexic, so it’s been a hard slog.
Last night she joyously told me that she’d hit the magical minimum word count. Plus she has a solid plan of action to complete and print the final document for submission on 11th December.

This morning I’ve been reflecting on my reaction to her news. Isn’t it interesting how a few typed words in messenger can convey so much hidden meaning? I can’t begin to express how much relief, how much delight and pride those few short words meant to me.

So back to my own writing. Will I miss my own self-imposed deadline? Possibly.

The creative process of writing is so different from how I imagined. It’s incredibly messy. I have my characters and story outline all mapped out, but it’s all in a constant state of flux. The chapters are kind of writing themselves, but not in any logical order. The logical me sits down to write one thing and my inner creative child takes over and takes me in a different direction. I still marvel at her ability to do that.

Initially, she would write just 200 words or so a day. Like a muscle that needs exercising, beginning with a few repetitions each day. Every day we sit down to write. We turn up for our dreams.

I give her a minimum word target for each days writing session, that has been steadily increasing. At present it’s set at 650. She’s managed over a thousand words a couple of days this week, smashing her target, but other days she’s struggled, so it’s too soon to raise the bar again just yet.

This morning I’ve come to realise that, like my daughters message, it’s not the number of words that are important any longer, but the message they convey. After all what’s the point of writing 40,000+ words if they are rubbish? So I’m in this process for the long haul.

Like my daughter, I have a plan of action set out to complete my rough draft. I’m no longer certain how long it will take. The logical me estimates that, assuming a 40,000 word draft, at 650 words a day it will take 22 days. However, my inner creative child may have other ideas.

So perhaps I’ll make my Christmas deadline after all?
We’ll just have to wait and see 😊

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