Today, after 40 days, my novel reached its first major milestone — 15K. I was both blithesome and disappointed with this number. On one hand, 15K is one-quarter of the intended word count. On the other hand, it took me 40 days to get here — do I need 120 more days to finish the 3 other quarters?

I’m trying not to look at the negative aspect of things. After all, I am juggling my university studies, trying to write other short pieces, and battling with the day-to-day distractions — i.e suicidal bombings in Lebanon, nothing major. However, I do realize that I need to put more time and effort into things.

I’m proud that I found the courage to begin a novel, in the first place. I have had two failed attempts at writing a novel before — one of which I gave up on after chapter 10. This time, however, I’m packed with experience and confidence. I believe this time is going to be different.

Here’s an inspiring photo to kick off the weekend. How’s your Saturday?


31 thoughts on “Progress”

  1. Margaux, unless you live in a world where the only thing you do is write, you have to accept the day-to-day distractions, even those that seem most banal. At this moment would personally love to have written 15K in 40 days; unfortunately I have some distractions at the moment which don’t permit me. Maybe I’m using that as an excuse, maybe not. I know that I write every day and that, on its own, gives me satisfaction.

    Don’t get disheartened, you are doing wonderfully.

  2. Keep at it, I have 2 SHORT STORIES and believe me, I could have finished them by my personal goal this Feb, but I chose to wait until spring break. Greatness takes time, I am patiently waiting for my success. We will get there. C U at the Top

  3. I actually think you’re doing well, given the other demands on your time. The important thing is still believing your story/characters/themes are worth exploring. One thing about writing is you do tend to come up against yourself, as it were, and therefore have to find the motivation/discipline to continue once underway … I’m a fits and starts person, myself, but wouldn’t recommend that!
    Anyway, I read your short story and felt it was a very assured piece of writing, so hope to read more.

  4. Thanks for visiting and liking my poem Margaux! I’ve always liked this MLK quote – it helps me to get going and keep on moving even though I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

  5. I know the struggle, but perseverance will win. I know, I’ve been there. I want to thank you for letting me know that you liked “Telephone Killer – Excerpt 22” on -Aloha and Thanks – pjs.

  6. Congratulations on getting this far. The journey begins with a single step, as they say, or in your case, a word. Very inspiring 🙂

  7. I’ve had many struggles getting words down. I started a blog to follow my own progress, and hopefully help other new writers see where they are going wrong. I try (and usually fail) to document all the places I’ve found help. But I do get my own thoughts and experiences down.

    Many things go into writing. Even your native language. Your creative mind runs off what is instinctual to you. From that it feeds off your knowledge and experiences. If you aren’t already, and your native language is Lebanese, try writing in that first. It ties very closely to what language you dream in.

    I’m currently getting my outlining process down, so I will blog about that tomorrow. I have found while writing that in my imagination, my minds eye, the story abruptly stops. When exploring this, I’ve found that I haven’t developed the story skeleton enough.

    That’s where my outlines come in, they help me keep the story going in my mind. I don’t rigidly outline, I just lay down sign posts, or mile markers, if you will.

    Tell yourself the story before you try to write it. As you write it will change, as the creative part of your brain will add its own bits and pieces.

    If its non fiction, let your mind explore what it knows, you might see perspectives you never considered. If its fiction, let your mind play, it will free you from structural rigidity of logic, and take you to fantastic places.

  8. As you say, you can only take the step that’s in front of you. I don’t know if this would help, but I broke my novel down into 20 chapters with a rough idea about what I wanted to write about for each one. So each chapter was a goal and felt much less daunting than looking at the book as a whole.

  9. Be proud of that word count. A lot of voices claim they want to write a book and don’t get past word number one. You have many balls to juggle.
    Be chilled hunny-bunny, you are doing well!

  10. I think the real triumph here is your commitment to finish, which is the hardest thing to do. So who cares about word count? You’re writing a book and that’s terribly exciting! Don’t be afraid to celebrate the small victories.

  11. Word count is a treacherous thing. I’ve got about 50k words of an old novel of mine sitting on my hard drive, yet I wouldn’t trade 10 words of my current writing for those 50k.

    Word count is what publishers are concerned about. You are a writer. Worry for the story. Rhyme on a dime. Write for the… light. Or something. Ahem.

  12. I wouldn’t get too hung up on how much you have left or on the word count. Write and let the story emerge until it’s finished, regardless of the word count. Celebrate what you’ve done and focus on the word yet to come….

      1. you’re welcome…i learned a long time ago that the story of whatever i’m writing is the thing. The word count is only one way to measure progress….

  13. Congratulations! I just finished a long Children’s Book at 20 000 words, that took me three months and I’m only taking part – time classes! I think you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished with your schedule! Also, maybe you could look at it like a fun date, no time limit set, just enjoy the experience.

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