WIP update: 10,500 words! I’ve crossed a threshold! I’m really doing this! I can totally write this book!
Granted, I might have gotten a little farther if it weren’t for the Oscars last night… but whatever.
What I’ve noticed is that 500 words (my Mon-Thurs quota) has become easy for me. 1000 words (my Fri-Sun quota) isn’t easy, but it isn’t hard anymore either. Even on the nights when I start my writing at 11 p.m. — which unfortunately is fairly often — I can usually expect to collapse into bed around midnight or 1 a.m. I think my average is 500 words an hour. IF I’m focused.
(Which is why even though technically I can write at work, I never really get that many words down. There are just too many interruptions.)
Given that, I may up my daily quotas to 750 and 1250, respectively. Maybe in, like, a week? I don’t want to rush it, because the key is to set myself up for success. I want to make sure I set goals I can realistically achieve. Or else I could fall into that negative cycle of failing, beating myself up for failing, going into the next day/goal with a pessimistic outlook, and thus failing, beating myself up for failing, and so on and so forth…
Hey, can we go back to the Oscars for a moment? (Why, yes we can! Because this is my blog and I say so.) Besides all the glam and glitz, I enjoy Hollywood because it’s all about the same thing that I’m all about: stories.
Whether comedy, drama, thriller, or what have you, movies (like books) are about good stories. And I’ve learned a lot, both from movies and TV shows, about good storytelling. The compelling nature of friendship, from Sex and the City. The shades of grey that characters can (and really should) live in, from Battlestar Galactica. The simple power of real life highs and lows, from Life Unexpected. The list goes on.
(Obviously you can learn a lot about what not to do from bad movies and TV shows, too. But I like to focus on the positives.)
So last night (the Oscars) for me was a celebration of good stories, and the people who make them successful. And I have to admit, I was really happy when Sandra Bullock won for Best Actress. Because hers has been a long and varied career, from Speed to a Time to Kill, Practical Magic to Crash. And that’s what I want: variety. I’m terrified of being pigeonholed. Literary, Young Adult, New Adult, fantasy, mystery, chick lit… Truth be told, I’d like to try my hand at all of them. But nowadays, in the world of “author brands,” I worry about how much flexibility I’ll really have.
(Of course, Andy’s (extremely practical) advice is to just get a book published first, then I can worry about the next ones. But it’s so much easier to worry now!)
I know it’s a different industry, but still, Sandra Bullock gives me hope. That I too can experiment with different styles and roles. That I too can flop a few times and still come back strong. That I too don’t have to bend to my brand; I can make my brand grow to fit me. That I too can find success while staying true to myself.