Completion goal by end of 2011: 75,000 words
Number of words actually written: 61,677 words
As you can see, I did not meet my goal. I suppose I should send a $50 check to the Westboro Baptist Church now, but I'm pretty sure blog posts are not legally binding documents, so I'm not going to.
Overall, though, this experiment helped me make quite a bit of progress. I finally figured out how to go about writing the second half of my novel. I was really unhappy with a lot of the newer scenes, and it wasn't until I went through an older draft, discovered a scene that I absolutely could not cut, and figured out a way to work it into the story. This means I will be depending a lot more on the previous draft than to write that part of the story, but that's okay, because I finally have an outline I'm happy with. I also made headway on some of Part Two's Takira scenes, something that I put off during the earlier draft.
What did this experience teach me? That I cannot binge write. The scene I'm working on now is a lot of fun, and I really enjoy writing it, but when I reach a point where I exhaust my focus, I can't keep plowing through. It's always better to come back to it the next day and write from a fresh perspective.
Although I spent last year desperately hunting for a job, I had been hoping to take advantage of my jobless state to get more writing done. And while it worked, I also learned that some of my most successful writing days are days where I only have two or three hours to write. Less time to write means less time to waste.
Of course, all of the above is an example of why it's taking me so long to write a book. No matter what the publishing industry demands, I'll never be one of those writers who churns out a new book every year.
There are a lot more challenges up ahead. I need to re-write scenes, and go back to scenes that were giving me trouble, and write flashback scenes, and you know, finish the damn book. But I'm happy with my progress, and we'll see where it goes.