I’ve officially been at this for about six months now, although the blog has mainly been my opinions about the craft and mechanics of writing rather than updates about my actual novel. It seems like a good time for a progress report.
I took a huge break from working on my novel, basically from mid-February until the end of April. Between losing someone who meant a lot to me, and then this whole COVID-19 thing, I just couldn’t focus. I spent some time volunteering and trying to just find a new normal, but I made it a point to keep up with the blog. I didn’t want to completely stop writing because I knew it would make it that much harder to get started again when I was ready.
I’m up to just over 43,000 words, so officially I have reached a novel-length word count. My goal is somewhere between 80,000 and 100,000 words, though, and I think I’m on track to reach that by the time everything is said and done. So that’s exciting.
As far as plot goes, I’m about halfway through and I know where I’m going even though I’m not sure about some of the finer points of getting there. I’m a little behind where I wanted to be by this point, but I’m not going to be hard on myself about it. The world is changing so fast that it’s hard to keep up with everything. The publishing industry is probably going through some big changes too. It seems like more and more writers are self-publishing and, while that’s definitely a viable option, I really want to go the traditional route with this one if I can.
For now, I’m just going to take my time, make sure I get my story the way I want it, and not stress myself out about anything else. I’d still like to have my novel’s final draft finished by the end of the year, but I’m not going to lose my mind if it doesn’t happen. Traditional publishing is a long game anyway. Assuming that I get the novel finished, the first agent I contact accepts it (highly unlikely), sells it right away (even less likely), and I get a contract, it’s still probably going to be two or three years before the book comes out in print. A more realistic timeline would add six months to a year to that, and that’s still best case scenario. So…Yeah. A few extra weeks in development is nothing to worry about at this point.
As far as the website goes, I’m just plugging away at it. I’m working on building up my archive of drafted blog posts and exercises for now, so I’ll have things I can schedule if I get busy and don’t have time to write a post every week. I’m playing with the idea of moving from Weebly to a different hosting platform, but I think this is good enough for the time being. I don’t seem to have a lot of followers, although the numbers are slowly growing as far as I can tell (my access to analytics is limited because I’m using a free account), and I feel like I don’t have enough material here that it would be worth starting a big marketing campaign right now. There’s just not enough to offer people yet. I do have some loose ideas for the future, like maybe creating an ebook of writing exercises and prompts and maybe retooling and self-publishing some of my old fanfiction, but I don’t have any concrete plans at this time. I’m really trying to concentrate on finishing my novel, and then I’ll probably have a year or two between it (fingers crossed) being accepted and being published that I can use to build an audience while I write my next novel.
So….Yeah. I have a lot on my mind right now, and I know this is going to snowball if I keep up with it like I should, but at the moment I’m just taking it all one thing at a time and slowly trying to work up to more. If you have any thoughts, or any questions, I’d love to hear them. Just drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you. I have an exercise for Friday, of course, so I hope you’ll come back and check that out.