Thursday, 21 July 2011

Writing In The Trenches of Humility

Veni. Vidi. Scripsi. That’s Latin for: I came. I saw. I wrote. Yes, that’s the name of my blog, and it’s also the slogan for the Muskoka Novel Marathon. Usually, I post Mondays, but since the marathon was wrapping up July 18th, I thought I deserved a break (so did my fingers and back!).

All went well! One writer got to 250 pages! Yes, she was rather sleep deprived, and yes, maybe a little giddy, but the girl did it. Other writers got to 200 pages, still others surpassed 100 pages. And how did I do you ask? What kind of milestone did I accomplish? Are you ready? Sitting on the each of your seats? Drum role please … I wrote an astounding 23 pages! Yup, you read that correctly – and it amounts to just over 10,000 words. Mind you, I used a smaller type and didn't space my pages.

Stop laughing, no really, it’s true. I didn’t fart around either. Yes, I took breaks, ate with the other writers (we were fed like royalty), networked, learnt new things, stayed late, arrived fairly early and pushed my imagination to the brink. I even had a detailed outline and prepared character tracking sheets. So what went wrong? Why couldn’t have I kept up with the other furiously banging fingers? Why couldn’t I have at least broke over 50 pages, as I had done in previous years? I mean, weren’t my sponsors counting on me? I did manage to raise $425. In fact, the fundraising event collected over $8000 in pledges – the most ever! Yay, writers!

I guess the real reason for my low page count is this was the first time I’ve written fresh stuff in over two years. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been writing – actually rewriting, editing, polishing, sending out queries to agents, getting rejections, doing more rewriting, more editing … you get the picture. I’ve also been learning about ebook publishing, and trust me, there’s a lot to learn! Writing is a process for me, so I find myself going over and over my chapter until I feel comfortable with it. This has helped me with structure immensely, as well as cut down on my editing. However, it hasn’t helped me too much in the speed department! Shrug.

Still, I shouldn’t compare myself to other writers. We are all at different stages of the game. That’s what makes us unique. It’s about our own experiences and no one else’s. Writing is about finding your special voice, and sharing it with others, one word at a time.

I mean, just because I didn’t write 250 pages, doesn’t mean they’re not there.

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