About two years ago, I embarked on a journey to keep developing as a writer, and to become the best that I can be. My slogan for this journey has been be so good they can’t say no. To me, this means that it’s not okay to stop at my best. It’s not okay to stop at adequate, good, or even great. I’m working hard, I’m seeking out critique, and I’m not stopping until my work sparkles. Because ultimately, I want to be a huge success story in publishing and the only way to do that is to wow people consistently and thoroughly, both in my professional interactions and in the quality of my work.
I think all of the work I have been doing is paying off, because a lot of my old patterns are falling away. For a long time, I have written very clean drafts that went straight into working with an editor, and no matter where I thought they were going to land word count-wise, they always seemed to end perfectly at around 90k words.
Not so with my new, whale-sized fantasy manuscript. Not only did it require a full rewrite with a completely different ending, the new draft is also topping out at around 120k. I know this isn’t unheard-of for fantasy, but it’s nearly unheard-of for me. I am also planning at least one more draft before seeking out an editor.
Some might see these changes as a struggle, but I am invigorated by the fact that I can see new opportunities in my work where before I would have seen ‘the best I can do’. I am leveling up, taking chances and challenging myself.
July has also been a good month for word count, and although I haven’t always hit my aspirational count of 1000+ words per day, I’ve been getting my butt in the seat every day and there have only been 4-5 days where I’ve been running on empty and had to take a break. After the creative wasteland that was February through May, I am grateful to have freed up some brainpower to devote to my writing.
Unfortunately, my little COVID-19 detour means that I will probably not finish three manuscripts this year, but I will most likely finish two and a bit. I really wanted to put my Alien-style rogue AI thriller up first on the docket, but given the timing of everything now it looks like I will be finishing the third and final instalment of the Distant Early Warning series first. That’s okay though, because I am very blessed to have far more ideas that I love than I can write in five years with three manuscripts a year. I’m like a tree that won’t stop dropping apples.
I just want to close by sending out love and encouragement to all of the precious and unique human beings that are out there in this difficult time, still making their art and striving to inspire others, shed light on the human condition, and give people burdened with stress some peace and fun. You are beautiful, you are valued, and you’re making a difference! ❤