A journey to 200 pages
Oh hi, I think we’ve met before.
Did I announce a large milestone and then disappear for a while? Yes. Was it because I was busy setting up some structure in my life that would enable me to work through my goals? Also yes.
Let’s check in on how that’s going shall we?
Back in January I knew that I wanted to write a book. I had some plans, some structure, plot ideas, and a few rough chapters. But all of that combined still meant that my draft was starting from ground zero. When I started writing, I was also working away at improving my digital art and illustration. I realized in early March that by splitting my attention between two challenging and very different goals, I was actually using illustration as a distraction from writing instead of pushing through the anxiety and really allowing myself to write strictly each day. In order to get a handle on my trepidation, I decided to pull back on my blogs and digital illustration in order to set up my novel writing process.
Queue several months of radio silence.
All in all, I believe taking that time to focus was a wise decision. Back in January I set a milestone goal that I wanted to reach 200 pages of my first draft. I told myself that if I did, I would then allow myself to upgrade my illustration workflow and buy an iPad. At that point I would know that I had a handle on my writing process, and felt that I could handle multiple projects at once. Now in late July, I can confirm that I REACHED 200 PAGES OF MY FANTASY NOVEL DRAFT!
That milestone is huge for me. It’s by far the most I’ve ever written for a single project, and I’m really happy with how the story is coming along. I turned twenty six last week, and knowing that I’ve already hit that milestone and am well on my way towards my goal of writing a book makes the aging process a lot less scary.
True to my promise to myself, I’ve ordered an iPad as a reward. I am so excited to start working with procreate and other illustration and creation tools. Now that I’m opening myself up to working on multiple projects at once again, the plan is for you to start to see more blogs, more Instagram posts, some tweets and hey even some tiktoks that showcase some more of my creative journey.
Now that I’ve gone through a few necessary updates, let’s talk about the book writing process a bit shall we?
My draft right now is sitting around seventy five thousand words. Are those words perfectly structured prose? No, but that’s okay. This is my first draft, and a first draft is allowed to be a bit messy. One of the hardest things to learn during this process was to be forgiving of myself, and to learn to trust the process. One of the things that I struggle with the most is an intense fear of failure. Writing a novel has been something I’ve wanted to do for so long that the idea of actually sitting down and trying to write a creative masterpiece was really daunting. My first reaction is to find ways to procrastinate, but I’m trying to get better at facing my fears head on.
Taking a deep breath, writing down some loose ideas, and then just typing them out to see how they play is how I’m slowly learning to overcome this fear. Writer's block to me feels less like getting stuck on an idea, but rather having too many ideas and not knowing what direction to take the story. The best thing for me to remember in those moments is that a book is just text. Any text that I write, I can erase. And then rewrite even better.
The process of drafting has become really fun for me. Remembering that nothing is final, and everything is sort of an experiment is really refreshing. I’ve found a lot of encouragement in Authortube, and I enjoy watching YouTube videos from people like Alexa Donne, Kate Cavanaugh, iWriterly and Abbie Emmons. If you’re an aspiring writer as well, I strongly encourage you to watch some of their videos. Writing along with someone during word sprints, or checking in on where different people are in their career and learning about what helped them get there is really inspiring for me.
I would say I’m a little more than halfway done my draft. Eventually, all these words will turn into a fantastical novel full of whimsical creatures and steamy romance. I’ll be thrilled when that happens, but for now I’m enjoying the creative journey.
My next writing goal is to reach 100,000 words. When I reach it, I’m going to buy myself a fancy crown like all the cool people are doing on Authortok. I’m talking sparkles and glitz. I want this thing to shine!
If you’re like me and you’re working away at your goals for 2021, let me know in the comments! If you’re interested in seeing more of my art, or following more of my day to day, make sure to follow me on my socials.
Until next time,