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!