The Finish Line: March Edition

A bar graph comparing word counts and goalsAs evidenced by the finely-constructed bar graph here, I am proud to announce that I have successfully cracked my 31,000 word goal for the month of March. Specifically, you may note, my final total was 31,034 words in 31 days for my tentatively-titled novel The Children of Nemesh-Ka.

I’m fucking stoked, you guys. I feel like I just finished running a marathon. Sort of. If the marathon consisted primarily of sitting and drinking a lot of water and eating a lot of tacos and consuming a lot of caffeine and finding weird little nooks and crannies in the day in which to run five or six feet at a time while still maintaining the pretense of something resembling a human existence.

So not like I just finished running a marathon at all, really. Especially since I’m psyched for the next leg of the trip, which is 30,000 words for Camp NaNoWriMo here in April. And I’m pretty sure, having just finished a marathon, I would not be immediate game for another one.

I think the most important realization that I got out of this month… Well, there are two realizations. Epiphanies, if you will.

The first and more minor of the two was the realization that I actually had a lot of time to hand over to writing once I really dug for it. There are almost always a couple of hours in the evening that I used to, by habit, hand over to my Xbox in some fashion, whether it was Netflix or YouTube or good old-fashioned video games. None of which are bad, mind you. I still enjoy all of the above on the reg. But I’ve discovered that I can have my video game cake and eat my writing, too.

Or something.

Basically, there’s still a big chunk of the evening that I can give over to the shenanigans that recharge my brain’s creative impulses. I’ve just found a good place to extract time for writing, too.

And lunch. Hell, lunch is prime time for writing. Cram just enough food into your face that you don’t fall over for the latter half of the day, pop that laptop open, and get to work.

Basically, there’s time in all kinds of weird spots during the day for writing to happen. In the waiting room at the doctor’s office, or while you’re having your car worked on, or that sweet span at the brothel between letting the front desk know you’re there and the time they get all the ladies to line up for you. Not to mention the time spent at said brothel, bouncing ideas off the puzzled lady of negotiable affection while you hammer away at your keyboard.

Like I said. Lots of time. But it does take some practice to have the get-up-‘n-go to take advantage of those little moments. Once you find it though, momentum takes over. It starts to feel weird to not write during those times when you’re able to. The keyboard sings a vaguely mournful siren song if you ignore it, so you try not to.

The second realization that this victory over March has offered me is that I might just actually be able to pull off this whole writer thing.

I’m a Leo, and a Slytherin, and also a Tiger, so I tend to be fairly confident that, after suitable flaying, spindling, and restructuring, the stories I produce are halfway decent. But there’s always been the question of productivity. I’ve never felt like I’ve been particularly effluent in terms of my writing. A short story here, a scrap of a novel there, but nothing that happens with any kind of dependability. Always in fits and starts, rarely ever maintained, prolonged effort.

If I were to equate the regularity of my writing before this past month with the that of bowel movements, a proctologist would have been excavating my metaphorical colon with a goddamned jackhammer on February 28th. Canaries would’ve gone in first. Accidents would have happened, and men would have died.

But since then? I feel like I’ve done pretty good. Writingwise, specifically, though my colon is also in decent condition. I mean, I’ve got a full-time job, two cats, a weekly D&D game, a blog, and the fleshy vessel that supports my brain to attend to, but I still managed a thousand words a day for a solid month. And not a half-assed month like February. A full, honest-to-God, 31-day month.

That sounds kinda like someone who could get away with writing for a living, if they wanted to.

It’s a boost to morale, is what I’m saying. I feel somewhat less like a dilettante and more like a real writer, if one even believes in such things as “real writers.” I’m pretty sure we’re all stumbling around in the dark, hoping that nobody accidentally realizes we’re just children on stilts wearing oversized coats, pretending at being adults and writers and productive members of society.

Anyway. Here’s to you, March. You gave me hope.

And April? Now it’s your turn.

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