I’ve wanted to write a story/book/novel since I was 14, and I’ve decided to finally get around to it.
I decided last night and have written 924 terrible words so far, but if reading about authors for MORE THAN A DECADE has taught me anything – that’s the entire point of a first draft.
I’m writing a story about a group of kids that get drugged tf up and discover that certian “elements” of their personality have been enhanced. It’s a trashy idea for a trashi first young-adult sci-fi-ish novel. And that’s okay because my main goal here is to do it so that I can say that I’ve done it and so that I can disover whether I like it AND (if I do) so that I can make the next one actually okay based on what I’ve learned from this experience.

So, with that said:
My word count is 75k words.
My daily word count is 700 words.
I should be done with my first draft in 107 days + 20% margin for error = 130 days = January 20, 2023.


Writing Log

2022-09-13

I’m at 1400 words (AKA “on track”), but the words I added today are far from good.
At this point I’m (already) writing crap just to move the story along.
I know I’m making life harder for myself later, when I have to (do I have to?) edit this thing, but at this point I can’t stop to tweak and perfect things now.
That’s how progress stops.

2022-09-12

So, technically I started writing yesterday and wrote 500 words (which means that I only wrote 400 today).
But immediatelly after starting I felt kinda good. I went to bed at a “reasonable” time, and instead of an endless array of anxious thoughts about the war or work or what I’m going to have for lunch tomorrow I ended up thinking of this new imaginary world I’m building, the characters in it, their names, etc. etc. etc.
It’s still not a great way to fall asleep, but it sure beats anxiety!
I woke up in a good mood, too, because I knew I had this creative thing that I’m working on and I can direct my attention towards that when I feel “meh” instead of just killing time and numbing out playing games or going on an endless YouTube/Instagram/TikTok/Twitter routine for anywhere between 30 minutes to several hours.
So, all in all, first impressions on starting to write a novel are overwhelmingly positive.
But, obviously, I do have a few concerns:

  1. Giving up when the going gets tough
    I’m not getting paid for this, there’s no pressure to ever get this done, and I can only ride the wave of enthusiasm for a couple of weeks (at most) before something else (shiny and new) distracts me from the fact that I’ve already started doing this
  2. My writing is truly terrible
    Even though I know all the “rules” for what I like/dislike in writing, I’m clearly doing something that clearly looks like somebody’s first attempt at writing a story.
    I don’t know what it is about writing, but everyone makes the same exact mistakes with their first story.
    I’m hoping I’m smart enough to either a) never show this to the world or b) do a really good job with editing if/when the time comes to show it to the world.
  3. It’s really hard not to go into ‘research mode’ to see how others do it
    I’ve been reading about how other writers write for decades, and even though I’ve already read what seems to be like all the writing advice out there, I still feel this “pull” towards opening a Neil Gaiman interview to get some writing tips from him.
    Even though I know they won’t help, because the only way to actually learn how to do this thing is to do it and learn from my own mistakes.
  4. I’ll always be tempted to “pivot” this to a different project
    I’ve been sitting on this story idea for a few years, now, and I’ve already pictured ways in which it can be a short story, a novel, a screenplay, or a choose-your-own-adventure story.
    That last one is the most tempting. I’ve had Twine installed on my computer for more than a year, and this story really lends itself to a interactive, nonlinear format.
    But I must resist and get the basics covered first. I need to learn the fundamentals of storytelling before I go and succumb to scope-creep and fool myself into thinking that more plotlines is somehow going to be easier/more interesting than a single plotline.

So, that’s where I’m at on day 1 of writing this fucking thing.
1% done!