Attempting to Finish My First Novel

Drafting in a coffeeshop pre-COVID

No, I don’t mean reading. If you’ve followed me on any platform (including this one), then you know I am an avid reader. Another hobby of mine is writing. I’ve written countless short stories and articles that have never been seen by any eyes other than my own. They’re scattered on random pages in notebooks and loose-leaf sheets of paper in desk drawers.

75% of my time outside of work is some form of content creation. Whether it be this blog, Instagram, or YouTube, I am finding ways to verbalize the thoughts in my head and get them out. I figured it was time for a first (?) writing update to update you on my endeavors and to hold myself accountable.

Notebook for brainstorming

In June 2019, I decided to start writing a novel. I made some good progress on it before starting a second writing project, a YA fiction targeting transracial adoptees. With both, I made it about halfway through before getting inspired by other ideas.

So, it’s June 2020. Where am I at now? I stopped work on both projects for a solid 4 months. I know. A terrible mistake. I look at both and want to finish both, but with my full-time PhD program it seemed nearly impossible. Until recently.

I’ve started scheduling out writing time and setting daily word count goals. While this isn’t exactly traditional fast-drafting (finishing as quickly as possible, no edits, just write and get it all on the page), it’s fast-drafting for me. I started at the beginning of this month and have written more in 20 days than I had any previous month. I don’t edit, and I already know I will need to change a lot before I distribute some copies for beta-reading.

I have to write out my word count goals in my planner to hold myself accountable

Will I finish? I certainly hope so considering I have an ever-growing list of book ideas and too little time to draft more than one project at a time. For now, I have two half finished books on my computer with completed outlines waiting to be drafted. Maybe the next time I update, I’ll finally be able to say I completed one 🙂

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