Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Work in Progress Wednesday #001

And now for something completely different, exciting, and new... I hope.

Recently, I discovered the phenomenon of weekly blog events, wherein one blog hosts a topic or question on a weekly basis. My previous "Monday Musings" post is an example of one that I participate in through the Just One More Page blog.

I've really enjoyed participating in the Monday Musings and have found some other similar weekly blog events that I look forward to taking part in. What I especially enjoy is having a chance to explore and leave comments on different blogs that I might never have found otherwise.

However, while I found many of these events centered around books and reading, there weren't many that specifically dealt with the actual writing of a book and the process of trying to get it published. Since this is something that is such a big part of my life (and blog) I decided it would be fun to host my own weekly event.

I'm calling it Work In Progress Wednesdays. Here is how it works: Every Wednesday I'll post here on my blog giving an update of where I am with my own WIP. Then anyone who is interested can come by and either:

1.) Write a post on your own blog about the status of your WIP, and then leave a link in the comments of the current weeks Work in Progress Wednesday (It's cool if you don't post on Wednesday too, you can have a WIP any day of the week you choose, it just won't be a cool alliteration.) to your own blog posting for that week. Feel free to grab the WIP Wednesday logo for your post as well!

2.) If you don't have a blog feel free to just type your Work in Progress Wednesday directly into the comments for that weeks post.

As for what exactly counts as a Work in Progress, I am giving that a broad definition. Whether you are on your first draft or twentieth, in the process of querying agents, or are just between projects trying to decide what direction you want to go in next - feel free to share.

So, for my #001 (Pronounced double-oh-one, if you don't mind. Yes, I could have simply gone with plain old 1, but I asked myself what would James Bond do? And here we are.) WIP Wednesday I am going to start with a good old-fashioned word count meter.

77743 / 85000 words. 91% done!

Look at all the blue on that bar and then the teeny-tiny smidge of white. Then look at the pretty little numbers stating that I am 91 percent done! Which means that I have less than ten percent left to write.

It is the freaking home stretch and way back when in the year 2008, when I was at a mere 20k and having to drag each word out of myself and slap it on the page, I thought that when I hit this almost finished point all I would have to do was sit down in front of the computer and let the words roll right out of me.

"Ha!" That's what I say to my past self. "Also, past self? Your intuitional abilities suck."

If writing is like running a marathon then my second wind should be kicking in right about now just in time to run past the crowd of cheering spectators and then bust through the whooo, you finished the race ribbon.

But if this was a race - I'm not running. I'm not even crawling. No, right now I'm belly down on the asphalt dragging myself forward by my fingernails.

Coincidentally, if I ever did try and run a marathon (and this is one of my goals, although when I first announced this to my family a few years back they laughed at me and then asked me if I knew how long a marathon was. To be fair their laughter was not totally uncalled for. One, because they were right, I really didn't have any idea how long a marathon was and Two, for many years I had loudly voiced my belief that the only good reason to run was if someone was chasing you. However, I changed my thinking in college when a friend passed along a bit of wisdom that she had read somewhere saying that the activity of running is like cutting your fat away with a knife. Maybe I'm just a sucker for an evocative image, but that hit home. Now, instead of being a person who has no interest in running, and has no desire to be convinced otherwise, I'm a person who has no interest in running, and would very much like to be convinced otherwise. It's a subtle, but important shift.) I would almost certainly finish in a similar fashion.

All the marathon analogy crap aside, my goal is to finish by the end of February. This goal has already been shifted multiple times, from wanting to finish by last fall, to the end of 2008 and now February. I'm sick of moving my freaking goal posts (I'm also getting sick of the sports analogies.), so I am determined to pull myself forward by whatever means necessary until I can finally write: "the end" at the end of this current month.

And then after that - rewrites. Sigh. But that's a subject for another WIP Wednesday.

Anybody else at the end of a first draft and have the same so close, yet so far away feeling? Or is anyone in rewrite limbo and wish they could go back to those carefree days of only having to think about finishing a first draft? I look forward to reading some other responses!


  1. WIP Wednesday! I love it.

    I just finished official revision No. 2, and have a couple of people reading it.

    (But I'm always looking for more crit partners if anyone is interested. A-hem.)

    I like what you said about dragging each word out of you and slapping it on the page.

    That is the perfect description of how I have felt this past year.

    Great #001 post!

  2. this is great. you always make me laugh.

    It's true about the running, btw. It's the only way to actually lose the fat. I hate running... like I hate the devil. Therefore, I'm still a comfortable 152. I have been that for almost 2 years. I walk, I do sit ups occasionally, and sometimes I lift things [like children], but I do not lose the weight. :D I wish someone would chase me.

  3. revision revision revision. I'm right there with you.

    WIP Wednesday sounds good. I wish there were more blogs dedicated to technique and craft of writing.

  4. haha WIP Wednesday is a GREAT idea!

    LOVE it!

  5. Oooh...I love seeing all that pretty blue in the bar there. I'd like to see a little more color in my writing world. *sigh*

  6. Great idea! I'll post something on my blog tonight and link to yours.

  7. You I love. In the middle of my IT class and I am trying not to guffaw. Congrats on nearly being done with the first draft. I'm proud of you friend. That said I am 0% done with my big written projects, which consitute the only writing I'll be doing for the next 18 months. However, as all my essays/articles will be of a scholarly pursuit I will be able to submit them to highly nerdly journals dedicated to the further education of us High Nerds.

  8. This is a great idea! I am currently polishing up my novel with just the last two chapters to write. Not how I normally go about it all, but this whole novel has been one huge roller coaster ride!

    You know, I'm thinking I might do this WIP Wednesday. I try to focus most of my posts on writing, so this would work great. No promises, but it's a good possibility! If not, I will at least keep you updated here in the comments. :)

    Great idea!!!

  9. I would love to join your blog chain, as I just started a new writing blog, and this kind of weekly update should keep me posting.
    I'm going to post now (even though it's not Wednesday anymore).

  10. Sandra and Annie - thanks for participating - hopefully we can make it a weekly appointment;)

    Lady Glamis - I know what you mean about the roller coaster ride - I think I am on a similar one! Hope you join WIP Weds. next week - would love to hear more about your progress.

    Crimogenic - thanks for stopping by my blog!

    Melissa - High Nerds. HA!

  11. I love love to join in on WIP Wednesdays. I've been thinking of doing something like this. I wrote a wonderful comment last night, but guess I forgot to push enter. HAH!
    This is a great idea and look forward to the push, hopefully, this will give me to sit my butt down in the chair and write (without email or internet distraction. Thanks

  12. What a great idea!

    I posted mine here

    BTW - I love your progress bar. :)

  13. Kate, I love the idea of WIP Wednesday! Because revision is so hard for me, while I do that yucky part, I normally start outlining a new WIP! lol

  14. Nadia - Thanks for joining in!

    Val - That is a good idea to start working on another project while rewriting another - it also makes sure you always have something new to work on next!

  15. Just a quick note to say that I have linked to this page in my most recent post. I do not really participate in WIP but I think it is a GREAT idea and I admire those who play along.