Halfway Celebration!

Ok, if you follow my Instagram account, you know just how excited I’ve been lately and how often I’ve said how excited I am, so! Guys, I am sorry in advance, but I’m doing it again. Because crazy as it sounds, you really do need to celebrate little victories along the way. I’d always seen writers say things like that, and I was most of the time thinking, “Nope, I can’t celebrate until I’m completely done.” Nope. Guys, celebrate your victories and your achieved goals.

I feel like starting my blog and my Instagram account helped me. All the writers I follow motivated me to finish my writing. And as I did, I would celebrate it on and off social media. And then that gave me even more excitement and motivation to continue. I’ve probably made more progress in the past four months then I have ever since I finished my first draft around two years ago.

So what am I happily celebrating right now?

I have finished over half of my book Daisy: The Homeschool Kids! My completed chapters are 1, 2, 3, 4, 10, and 11 (I skipped around a little because I needed a refresh on my ending- how I wanted things to turn out.)

As I’ve probably mentioned before, my journey through this first book process has been a little different than maybe the norm. Which is totally fine; I guess everybody has their own way of doing things. Not to say this is the way I would’ve done it had I known what I was doing. But, I did not. And I have learned a lot since then. Here’s a little of how my process went.

Characters were already screaming in my brain back in the fall/winter of 2014. But I didn’t really put pen to paper until somewhere in February or March of 2015. Then, when I had an idea of what I wanted for a story (I didn’t do the normal planning, or outlining), I typed out the first draft on my computer. That was probably just around two years ago at this point. So I finished it. Then…I took a long, long, summer vacation. Gosh, I probably didn’t pick it up again until late September, maybe October?

Here’s how prepared I thought I was, and what I was likely thinking. “Oh, I’ve got the first draft done. Let’s just go fix some things, and then I’ll be ready to get it out there!” That seemed like a good way to go. And since I’d just heard of Kindle Direct Publishing through Amazon, I was beyond excited.

I told a friend of mine, probably around March of last year, that I would be publishing very soon. I was ready. Two drafts, it was all great. It was perfect.

Haha, here I am, over a year later, and guess what’s not published?

Well, I kind of realized pretty quickly that that was not going to happen. And I believe that summer I worked up two more drafts? Then something else happened…

Yes, I totally mentioned this in How I Stay Motivated as a Writer., but I am mentioning it again. I really started to hate my story. And like, not just parts of it. Like, the whole thing. It wasn’t even a writing issue. It was just the storyline in general. Who would want to read this? Will this mean anything to anybody? I really struggled with that. So, fall of 2016, another vacation.

I can’t say that mentality ever went away completely. There are days I wonder if anybody will enjoy reading what I have to write. But I believe this is what God has called me to, and if He wants to use it, He will use it. (I have to tell myself that a lot!)

And I also knew that if I didn’t finish this first book, what was going to make me finish my next? Or another? I knew I had to get this out there first, almost as a foundation. Like ok, you’ve published. This is legit! Haha! (And believe me, I have plans for future books!)

So. New Year, I hit it hard. And look where I am now! I’m going to say it- sorry: I am soooo excited!

I keep thinking about how crazy it is… I never would’ve seen myself as a writer, even three years ago! And I just keep thinking how incredible God is. He gives us crazy and amazing passions, desires, and hobbies that we love, and He gives us the opportunity to serve Him with those things. I love writing. And I feel like it’s pretty clear that that’s what He’s called me too. In fact, I was pretty obsessed with something else for a while. I really wanted to be an actress! [I will not go into detail with this one, but long story short, I stink at it, and I pretty well knew it wasn’t my calling.] In fact, God pretty much replaced that dream with writing. Thinking back on it now, it really was pretty clear. I can remember {writing} in my journal about how, oh, writing was ok. I liked it. But I did not want to be an author. Nope. I was going to be an {awful} actress! I think God was very clearly saying “Nope.” And seriously, it was a God thing, y’all. Because I love writing, my dream is to be an author, and I am without a doubt certain this is what God has called me too. He closed the book on my acting dream and put before my eyes one that was more amazing than anything I could imagine- and He had written it.

So. This is where I am now. Halfway through my story, more motivated than ever, with concrete goals for my story’s completion. My current word count (to be exact- and this is for all of those people who have asked and I’ve given random estimates because my laptop wasn’t open at the moment) is 19,639 words.

Here are my goals for the next month:

  • May 5 – Finish Chapter 5
  • May 12 – Finish Chapter 6
  • May 19 – Finish Chapter 7
  • May 26 – Finish Chapter 8
  • May 31 – Finish Chapter 9

So, my hope is to be done by the end of May (and feel free to comment now and then and keep me honest; that would be good for me!) After that, I have a few people who have said they’d like to read through it. So basically I’ll make sure it’s not an absolute mistake to publish! When that’s done, I might make a few last changes (again, weird process!), and then…

My hopeful release date is July 15, 2017! That’s three days before my 16th birthday, and I think that’s a pretty good goal. I feel pretty confident about it, but who knows. I very well may fall back on that hope. Anyway, that’s the plan though. Again, I am so very excited!

And what’s even better is, I can finally start on book two!!! My plan is to do four books- possibly five- and I feel like the second is going to be the best. I know the overall story for each book, so. Here’s the process I hope to follow in the future.

  1. Plan. Jot down scene ideas, new characters. Whatever. Then, hopefully use the index card method of outlining. Then, once all that is done, and not a moment before (again, that’s my hope, anyway)
  2. Write the First Draft. And guess what? It is not going to be great. I love the quote that said something like, the first draft is perfect, because all it has to do is exist. I just really like that.
  3. Revision // Second Draft. Because this is the normal writing process, and you all know that, but I for some reason need it written down. So, taking out things I don’t like, adding things I do.
  4. Editing // Third Draft. Proooooofreaaaading like crazy. And for me, it will likely entail more changes, and possibly a fourth draft (while I not hope to copy my first book’s process).
  5. Self-Publishing. Along with creating a cover, adding in page numbers, and all that other stuff that goes into it (which I wouldn’t know, because I’m not even to that yet this time around…but I greatly look forward to it!)

Again, feel completely free to ask me how my writing is going. I need people to keep me working ( the main reason I have so enjoyed starting a blog and my Instagram!) It’s great getting encouragement from other writers who have been through what you have, or are even going through the same process you are. I’ve loved it.

So. The whole reason I wrote the post: my way of celebrating!! Guys, celebrate the little things! It’ll keep you motivated! It has definitely kept me motivated. Also, don’t forget to pray to the One who gave you your passion for writing!

If you have questions, or advice to give, or just want to talk about your story (I’d love to hear about it!), please leave a comment! Happy writing, everyone!

2 thoughts on “Halfway Celebration!”

  1. omw, you got your idea in fall of 2014?!? That’s when I got the idea for the trilogy I’m writing right now! I remember how hard it was to keep going with that draft (it was so horrible… you would barely think it was the same book now!). But the first book is always the toughest I think. I’m seriously excited to get my first novel published at last sometime next year 😀

    YESSS. As writers, we’re always waiting to celebrate until we finish, but we need to celebrate right NOW, all along the way!

    I hope your writing goes really well! I’m enjoying the first few chapters 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s so cool that we started about the same time!! What’s your trilogy about? I can’t wait until your first novel is published!! It’s so exciting!
      And I know! Celebrating every finished goal really helps me along. I don’t if I’d be where I am right now otherwise.
      So glad you’re enjoying them!! Can’t wait to hear what you think!☺


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s