December 12, 2010

The Winnah!

Thank you! Thank you! Please, hold the applause!

Oh yeah, you bet I'm going to milk this for all it's worth. :) I'm pretty freaking proud and don't mind a bit saying so.

Now, granted, I didn't complete NaNoWriMo from Nov. 1 to Nov. 30. But I did do it from Nov. 11 to Dec. 10. 30 days. 50,000 words. 50,088 words, actually. So it still counts, even though I had to shift my 30 days late.

I haven't written any sizable fiction project since college. I have to say, it did feel good to finally feel like I was putting that creative writing degree to use. :)

SoldierMan was wonderfully supportive, especially since I reverted back to my college habits and did my most productive writing at night. Actually, I think my creative juices just don't get flowing until after dark. Either way, it meant a sacrifice for him - for both of us - because he was in Airborne school while this was going on and wouldn't get home until after 7:00 at night and then would have to go to bed at 8:30 to get up at 2:00. And so our schedules were pretty much opposite for a couple of weeks. He was super-awesome and understanding about it, and encouraged me daily. He is just what I need. :)

"The way you can tell the professional writers from the amateur ones
is that the amateurs only write when they feel like it."
~Jerry Van Cook

I sure felt like a "professional writer" at many points over the last few weeks! There were definitely some tricky parts. That first week was killer. Getting in the habit of sitting and writing a minimum of 1667 not-totally-crappy-original-fiction words a day was challenging. Three years of blogging (not just on this blog) put me in the habit of trying to get thoughts completed in as few words as possible. I had to relearn how to un-condense a scene, a conversation, a feeling. It was almost like trying to remember how to walk, like I had to teach a part of my brain to start working again.

There were a few days where I couldn't write at all. And some days when the words just flowed and I got several thousand knocked out in a few hours. And some days where I thought if I heard the words "Just write" one more time, I was going to explode.

"Only amateurs say that they write for their own amusement. Writing is not an amusing occupation. It is a combination of ditch-digging, mountain-climbing, treadmill and childbirth. Writing may be interesting, absorbing, exhilarating, racking, relieving. But amusing? Never!"
~ Edna Ferber

I found that quote in college. It never made more sense to me or felt more true than it did the last few weeks. And I'm not going to lie. There were definitely a few moments where I had serious panic attacks that I wasn't going to make it - mostly last week as I got closer and closer to the end of the story and thought, where on earth will those extra words come from? What's a girl to do?

Pull a JK Rowling and tack on a crappy and unnecessary epilogue.

But, I did it. I have a crappy rough draft, as they called them in college (actually, they called them something else, but I like to keep my blog as PG as possible). And I fully intend to polish it to submittable status. Because it is crappy, and rough.

Now, I know how this goes, because I've done this before. As soon as you tell someone you're working on a book, their first inclination is to say, "Really? What's it about?" I hate that question, not because I think it's nosy, but because it's impeding. Once you've told someone your story (at least in my case), the drive to tell the story has been sated, and it takes that much longer to get back to your draft. So, as tempting as it is, please don't ask what it's about, or at least understand when I don't answer. It's not because I'm paranoid or I think you're being rude. It's for the sake of seeing this through to fruition. And if that happens, God-willing, you'll all be among the first to know, I promise! Seriously, I don't even have a title, but that's not unusual. I rarely titled things in college, or else they had the very creative titles of "Analysis of Stephen Greenblatt's Critique of The Tempest." So I can't even tell you that much.

All that to say, I'm ready to get back into the blogosphere! It will take a while, though, because we are PCSing, vacationing, and Christmas-ing all at once over the next few weeks. So it may take until the middle or end of January for me to get totally back into posting and commenting.

But either way, this part of my journey is completed. Can't wait to see what 2011 will bring.


  1. Yay, congratulations!! WHAT'S IT ABOUT?!

    ..KIDDING!!! Haha I'm so excited for you girl :)

  2. Congratulations! I'm thoroughly impressed… what an accomplishment! Enjoy your move and the holidays, we'll see you when you return. Can't wait to hear more about your journey over the last month!!

  3. Sooo exciting!!! When you are published can I get a signed copy??!!?

  4. congrats Jaci!!
    that is SO impressive!
    really proud and inspired:O)

  5. Congrats! I am seriously impressed!

  6. That's really an impressive accomplishment! Congrats!

  7. I'm so excited to read this post!!! A big fat CONGRATULATIONS to you!!! I'm so happy for you that you finished it, and you inspire me to do the same. I've always said I wanted to do it, and I'd like to say I'll do it next year, but I know with my teaching job, it ain't gonna happen. But I plan to work on my novel this summer when I'm on break. So maybe I can make my own little summer 30 days of writing. You're my inspiration girl!

  8. I so wish we had gone for that cup of coffee when you were here. Do you know that I have a professional writing degree from OU? It's kind of like the journalism version of English's Creative Writing degree. Had to write 180 pages of a novel as my capstone. I haven't touched it since. It's amazing the respect you start to have for these author's who can tell story after story. Great job! I am so impressed! One last thing, since we seem to be kindred spirits, I really think you would love the book Pretense, by Lori Wick. It's a Christian fiction book about an Army wife and a writer. (sorry, I haven't mastered the art of condensing)


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