It was one year ago today that I started writing TheNovel (“Alina’s Gambit” as my wife and I have started to call it in recent months). In that year my wife and I have written over 80,000 words, which by our reckoning puts us past the 2/3 point in the story.
It has definitely been an extremely busy, fast year – not just for TheNovel, but life in general: I started a new job, my wife completed her first year of teaching math (she had been teaching English for the previous nine years), our daughter completed her kindergarten year, and I took on greater responsibility at our church. The rest of 2008 promises more of the same, and I have another project starting in early 2009 which will consume much of my “free” time. As a result there is some urgency now to get TheNovel finished and revised (at least once).
Probably the most pleasant surprise in the last year has been my attitude toward the writing. For the first few months, I really wanted to see progress on TheNovel, and forced myself to sit down and write. I was interested in the writing, but only so far as it could be used to generate progress.
In the last couple of months, however, I’ve found myself just wanting to write, and TheNovel has provided a convenient outlet. When it’s my time in the evenings (after the chores are done and my daughter is in bed), I usually have half a dozen or more things that I need to do. These last couple of months I’ve found myself pushing all of those things off until I have my pages done for the day. I’ve found that if I don’t get started on this before 9pm, the pages just don’t get done. If I can start writing about 8:30 or so, I can usually get my pages done by 10pm, and that leaves some time for the other things.
TheNovel has become a priority and one that isn’t a chore anymore. I think of everything I’ve learned in the last year about writing, that has been my biggest accomplishment.