NaNoWriMo Day 3! My Journey Towards Becoming a Writer Part 2

I didn’t make a post on day one and two, not because I didn’t work on my novel, I busted out a little more than 6.5k words yesterday and 1.2k on the first. Today I worked 10 hours, went to the gym and am now writing this post on my journey and what I’ve perceived in the community around me before I get cracking on today’s writing.

The somewhat naive giddiness of the numerous”Nanowrimo day 1!” made me smirk. I’m not seeing as nearly as many posters today or yesterday… I wonder how many actually worked in the past two days? I saw a great many wax eloquent about their stats and plans on the first day then probably stared at the deliciously infuriating blinking of the cursor for the next two days while telling themselves and others that their ‘writing’ was going good. I decided to put in some work.

Woah there Mr. Hypocrite! What are you doing writing the same type of post now then?

Well, I suppose it’s equal parts my desire to cattle-prod you back into word wrangling (if you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or just trying to write something… otherwise carry on) and to share this progress report of a pretentious perfectionist.

Yesterday was my day off work. Full disclosure: I obtain very little money or fulfillment working in my current day job. So, in pursuit of both money and fulfillment, I made the decision to pursue the elusive goal of lucrative authorship. Before continuing I’m going to say something here that will either enrage or inspire you.

It’s not that hard to write a book.

  • Exhibit A: Over 300k books were published in the US; Over a million worldwide in 2013.
  • Exhibit B: The average book sells less than 250 copies each.

So the key is not in simply finishing that book and hitting the publish button on Amazon. There are a great deal of other factors that determines whether a book will become a hit or a flop. This isn’t the time to tell you any of those factors and as of right now I feel that I am not the person to suggest any of these things to you. After all, I’ve yet to even publish a successful novel so my ideas are still mere conjecture. It is simply a fact that its much more difficult to write a book that will sell well as opposed to writing a book. Agents and publishers at influential organizations will preach loudly about this: they almost immediately turn down over 90% of all submissions they receive.  

I committed the sin of writing more than halfway through a story that stunk. By halfway I mean 60k words. I didn’t want to think it was so bad but as I was trying to connect the beginning with the ending I came up with more plotholes than a block of swiss cheese. So like any rational person who puts 6 months of their time into a work of shit, I scrapped everything except for the setting and took a while off from writing to think about what I wanted my life and my story to look like. The thought of this garbage manuscript used to actually make me feel nauseous but, today, I realized it was a major landmark in my journey.

Since that momentous personal decision to change direction, I’ve made the time investment to learn and practice this craft of authorship. Make no mistake, this is not something I consider a hobby. In fact, I’ve given up all hobbies in the pursuit of reading, writing and lifting weights. In the past four months I’ve read about a half-dozen books each in the following subjects: Marketing, Biographies, Writing, Self-Help, Spirituality and the top selling books in fiction, YA fiction and Sci-fi and Fantasy.

I’ve given up TV, video games and anything else that won’t help me to develop a book series that will be successful. I’ve hand-written notes, scenes and random ideas about my series on over 600 pages in the past 120 days. Within the next 27 days I’m going to finish my novel. I would love to send you a free copy in exchange for your thoughts. Sign up for my email list 

This post felt awfully pretentious and somewhat braggy but I hope it inspired some of you. I wanted to share a bit more about my process and the radical change I’ve made to support this goal.

Much love,

Rod

26 thoughts on “NaNoWriMo Day 3! My Journey Towards Becoming a Writer Part 2

  1. Holy Inspiration!!! You are exactly the person I needed to run into!! I’m amazed! I, too, have given up watching the endless nonsense on national TV, other hobbies…all except lifting weights! Gotta do something rather than sit in this chair all day an type! Keep posting, and my output will increase to match yours! Read the “about” section on my blog so you get what I’m doing! You have just lit a big FIRE UNDER MY ASS!!! THANKS!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, thank you, thank you George! Good for you also focusing on whats important. I will definitely keep posting sir and I hope to see some more from you! Your story seems interesting; the subject of A.I. is one that will be increasingly more prominent as we move closer to true A.I. I’m very glad I could help out in some small way, I’ll see you ’round Mr. F!

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    1. Great advice, I’m enjoying the process so much more than when I originally started. When I first wanted to write it was simply a means to an end but now I’ve started writing things way outside my comfort zone merely for the enjoyment of writing. Thanks for reading and your encouragement Michael.

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        1. Those experts makes a lot of sense! You have to understand whats popular in your field of business. Even to those that don’t want to ‘copy’ others (even though there are very very few new ideas in literature) one should be aware of their competition.

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  2. You need to give up all those things that are eating into your writing and reading time, that’s true. I did the same with two of my books as you did…write half way through and then trash them. And I’m almost half way through the third and still don’t see myself finishing it. Why? Because my time is occupied by people and situations that i just can’t shrug off right now. So the manuscript still waits. I wish I had more time to invest in the activities that you’ve summed up so well in your post. Every masterpiece requires hard work and sacrifices. Writing a novel is no mean feat. It requires patience, endeavour and inspiration….and above all, a drive. You’re on the right path. Keep going!

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    1. Scrapping that book was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but also one of the most rewarding. Its unfortunate that your time is occupied by that which you feel you cannot control but, hey, life happens. I hope you finish that novel so that myself and the world can read it. Thank you for your encouragement!

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  3. It’s really cool to read about your journey. This is only the beginning. While it feels like perhaps the middle, it’s only the start of glory. Way to be ambitious. I don’t read your ambition as pretension at all. And, interestingly, the post I’ve been working on for a few days (to be posted today) talks about ceasing the consumption of TV and other hobbies in favor of writing. Excellent post!

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    1. Lately it has felt like the middle so thank you for the reminder that this is still the beginning steps of a long journey. I really appreciate that you view my behavior as ambitious; your opinion means a lot J.J. I often have a self-deprecatory view of my own actions so it can be extremely difficult to review my behaviors in a rational light. I can’t wait to read that post… more people need to be aware of this mindset of pure perseverance. Thanks for reading as always.

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  4. Thanks for the cattle-prod! 😉 And no, I don’t think you’re pretentious. Being ‘real’ is what writing is all about. 🙂 Thanks for sharing! Onward NaNo!! *scurries away to squeak in another 2000 words*

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    1. You’re quite welcome! Thanks so much for saying so and your comment! I tend to be quite self-deprecatory so its a good feeling to have cool people like yourself jolt me into a good mood. Good luck with the rest of NaNo, hope to see you at the finish line 😉

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  5. daily posts about how much you’ve written, and how you feel about what you’ve written, will be the best inspiration! This is what we want from you…real emotions like this, because at least I feel this way a lot!! (Am I wasting my time here is the ultimate question!) “So like any rational person who puts 6 months of their time into a work of shit, I scrapped everything except for the setting and took a while off from writing to think about what I wanted my life and my story to look like…” Let’s get ’em Rod!!

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  6. I wish you all of the literary success in the world. Keep plugging away at creating a captivating narrative for your readers. The interesting thing is most author’s outline the structure of the story, and breakdown every chapter. I envision the beginning and end, create the story arc, life changing, events and climax in my mind. Every chapter is basically planned out before I start writing, except for the addition of the blank page adding flair and greatness, as I become captured in rapture inside a world that isn’t my own.

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    1. Thank you for the superbly informative comment. You’re own process is similar to my own although I can’t say that I have a successful product to show for it yet. The blank page is truly a wonderful place to spend ones time. Thanks again for the read and your well developed comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome. There’s definitely some similarities, but once my novels are released you will see the distinct marketing tactics that haven’t been used before by any other authors. I don’t have any products to show for it yet either, but I’m really enjoying the process. I know my books will be successful once they’re published. The blank page is definitely a therapeutic release, something I will treasure until I die.

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  7. I love this! I have started and stopped 4 novels! I am not proud of this, but with my health, brain fog, and everything else, I haven’t been in the best place to write. I know I have great concepts, but bringing it to life has eluded me. I look forward to all your great literary success!

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  8. Yay inspirational! I’m not partaking in NaNoWriMo (I’ve never had the guts… but maybe next year). Reading your post has definitely helped me to think about my general productivity. I would LOVE to be able to write as many words a day as yourself. I definitely need up the development of my authorship. My blog is fairly new, so you won’t find very much on there unfortunately haha, I seem to get bogged down in trying to reach perfection (and usually much longer and more complicated than it should be/should have been), but hopefully that will soon change. I look forward to reading your future posts. All the very best in your NaNoWriMo adventure 🙂

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