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01 February 2017 @ 09:00 am
January 50k Writing Challenge Wrap-Up  
All right folks. Here it is. The moment you have all been waiting for with, no-doubt, bated breath. Drum roll please. And Grace's final January word count is......

51,737 words


*collapses into an exhausted heap*

Projects worked on over the course of the month:
• claimed and wrote fic for hp_kinkfest (fic currently in final edits)
• claimed and wrote fic for hp_goldenage (fic currently with beta)
• claimed and wrote fic for dracotops_harry (fic currently in edits before being sent to alpha)
• started and finished gift!fic #1 (fic currently in final edits)
• started and finished gift!fic #2 (fic currently in edits before being sent to alpha)
• added some details to Next Gen fic outline (potential gift!fic. may or may not see the light of day)
• wrote 12.5 chapters of Auror Training Fic (only 21.5 more to go...)


So, 50k in one month. WOW, was that a challenge! For me, it was achievable (hence, the achievement) but only just. It's definitely not a sustainable writing pace for me. I found myself thinking of writing almost in terms of a business: Where could I get the most words for my time? It's why I ended up working on a gift!fic for somebody's birthday that is over 6 months away, because it was a two-scene fic that I had fleshed out in my head and that I could write relatively quickly to rack up those words. It's why half those fics up there are in an "edits" stage, because I didn't want to take valuable writing time combing through what I'd already written only to get a handful of words--or maybe even negative words. I don't really like writing like that. I see the appeal, but it was uncomfortable to the point of making me lose a bit of joy in the process.

I don't do a *ton* of editing as I write, but for the few longer fics I've written, I generally treat each chapter almost like its own fic. As I finish, I read through, edit, try to ensure that it's aligned with the earlier stuff, etc. I wasn't able to do this with my Auror Training Fic, which actually caused me a good bit of anxiety and has me still feeling like it's crap, which I don't usually feel this early in the process. I'm hoping to spend the next month primarily going over what I wrote in January, and starting to flesh out some of the dialogue scenes, and weave in some of the background info that I made a note of as a wrote, but didn't have time to go back and actually add in.

But I don't want it to sound all dreary and negative. This is the most words I've ever written in a single month by nearly 20k, which is no small thing. Additionally, I actually signed up for two fests that I was on the fence about, due to time, inspiration, and a few other factors. Knowing I had some serious words to write encourage me to sign-up, and the fact that I was not only able to sign up for three fests, but also start and finish those three fics is pretty great. I've never dropped from a fest, and I really hope to maintain that, so I'm always a little relieved when I finish a fest fic, like THANK GOD, I definitely won't have to drop this one.

Anyway, I'm really glad I pushed myself to try for 50k in one month, but I'm not sure it's something I feel the need to do again. I can definitely see how it might be different/more exciting with a ton of people doing it during the actual NaNoWriMo, but that is such a terribly busy month for me, both IRL and in fandom, that I can't imagine ever having the bandwidth to take part.

Thanks to everybody who wrote along with me, joined me for sprints in the srsbzns chatzy room, and generally encouraged me along the way. I definitely think my daily accountability posts, and knowing that y'all were out there to keep me honest, really helped me hit my target. HUGS FOR ALL!
 
 
 
Avid Supporter of the Booty Floo: harry flying by broomstickslq_traintracks on February 1st, 2017 05:10 pm (UTC)
YOU MADE IT!!!!! AHHHHHH I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!

*so many balloons*!!!!
wicked smut goddess: Balloonsgracerene on February 1st, 2017 06:22 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm really quite excited about it. :D
cunning as a weevilfirethesound on February 1st, 2017 05:47 pm (UTC)
I'm so excited for you!!! <3 <3 <3
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 1st, 2017 06:25 pm (UTC)
<3
(Deleted comment)
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 1st, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much! I'm really happy I was able to reach goal, but I'm very glad it's over... :D
Fire Juggler: fire-podficcerfire_juggler on February 1st, 2017 06:07 pm (UTC)
Congratulations! That's amazing!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 1st, 2017 06:25 pm (UTC)
Thank you!
nia_kantorkania_kantorka on February 1st, 2017 06:26 pm (UTC)
Congratulations, hon!

I didn't comment on the posts because it sounded very stressful right after the first week to me (and that wouldn't have helped you at all). It still sounds like an experience you can be proud of, but not something one has to make by all means.

At least now you can edit all the written things. :D
*hugs*
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 1st, 2017 06:28 pm (UTC)
Thanks, lovely. It actually wasn't too stressful, though definitely not the way I'd prefer to work.

Haha, yes, I am planning on doing a lot of editing in February! :D
candamiracandamira on February 1st, 2017 07:10 pm (UTC)

Impressive achievement! I was a bit worried whether you weren't hanging the grapes too high after the stressful December, but you seem happy about having  powered through, so double-yay for ambitious goals! Have fun editing the results of your hard work. Go Grace! :-)

wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)
Thanks, hon! I actually debated pushing off my 50k goal until March, but I think January was a good month to do it. My fandom feels were a little depleted, but that meant that writing instead of doing a ton of reading worked out quite nicely. :D
Jaeenchanted_jae on February 1st, 2017 07:39 pm (UTC)
lola
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 02:36 am (UTC)
<3
The Light Of Dayelightofdaye on February 1st, 2017 07:53 pm (UTC)
I have been following via old LJ's new entries feature. Congratulations!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 02:38 am (UTC)
Thank you!!!
Bring forth the tale of dicks: curlewbirdsofshore on February 1st, 2017 10:13 pm (UTC)
Wow, grace, what a ton of words and I love hearing your thoughts about the process of it!

Well done for achieving your goal.
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 02:44 am (UTC)
Thank you so much! It was definitely ~a process~ but I'm glad I push myself to do it. :)
call me trystryslora on February 2nd, 2017 03:18 am (UTC)
CONGRATULATIONS!!!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 03:47 am (UTC)
THANKS!! ♥
starfishstarstarfishstar on February 2nd, 2017 03:54 am (UTC)
Congratulations to you!!! What an excellent, awesome achievement. Well done!

I totally hear you on all your reflections about the writing process of this. I very much get the point of a NaNoWriMo-style "just get the words down, doesn't matter if they're rough, just get a draft out" meet-a-word-count type challenge, I think it's a brilliant idea, but I can also see where the idea breaks down, and it's exactly what you said: sometimes it's great to have that motivation to just write more words no matter what, but sometimes what you need is actually the opposite, the space to step back a bit and do other things (background research, filling in backstory, editing/tweaking material you've already written to better align with where you've suddenly realized the story's going to need to go (but there was no way to know that until you were already partway into writing it) and so on and on and on) and you don't get to allow yourself that if you have to meet a word target! Even with my super-mini not-really-at-all-NaNo this past month, I sometimes found myself doing what you're describing, going "okay, where can I most productively write the most words RIGHT NOW??" rather than "what does this story *actually* need most?"

So...I don't know! Clearly there's a place for word-target challenges, and I do truly want to do NaNoWriMo someday, but you're reminding me of the limitations (and struggle!) of the challenge, too. :-)

Congratulations on pushing through all that discomfort and challenge and making it to your goal!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

And yes, you're absolutely right! I can totally see the benefit of just getting the words out, with the idea that you can come back and do all that editing later, but I don't think that way of working works for me all that much. sometimes what the story and I need is time to research or think about how to weave a plot point in earlier in the story etc. and I found not being able to do that a little stressful, actually.

I think, for me, the key is to have a word target goal, but to keep it something more achievable. Something like 15-20k is still within reach for my writing pace, while still giving me the flexibility pause and look around when I need to.

But yeah, I'm super glad I tried the challenge. I think I learned more about how I write and how I prefer to write by pushing outside my comfort zone. :)
Nephilacreole_toile on February 2nd, 2017 05:13 am (UTC)
holy ravioli! way to be accomplished! i haven't even claimed anything for kinkfest yet bc when i read the prompts, my mind tries to go in six different directions.

congrats!
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much!

Ooo, I hope you end up claiming something for kinkfest! I'm all about more kinky art! :D
welcome to villa cariño!: yayayayayay! (rana rene)capitu on February 2nd, 2017 01:16 pm (UTC)
This is amazing, Grace!

happy crazy dance happy crazy dance happy crazy dance
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 10:08 pm (UTC)
Thanks, hon! <3
carpemermaid: Default Dancarpemermaid on February 2nd, 2017 03:08 pm (UTC)
Yay!!! Thanks so much for doing the challenge, it was fun to try! And look at all of that amazing work you got done! I think the most I'd ever written in a month was somewhere in the 25-30k range, so it's neat to know that I'm capable of pushing for 50k. I'm totally in the same boat, though, definitely won't be aiming for that again hahaha.
wicked smut goddessgracerene on February 2nd, 2017 10:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks again for playing along! Yeah, I'm thinking we probably have fairly similar writing outputs on a normal basis, because it seems like it was pretty much a similar stretch for us both. :)