ROW80 Check-In #9 – January 30, 2019


I’ve had a really crappy day today, so apologies if that taints this post at all.

While I have managed to be productive for the most part since the last Check-In, I’ve been dealing with a bit of “Imposter Syndrome” lately, which has got me down some.

Part of me is worried that I’m really not cut out for this writing thing. The length of my first draft is getting to me, and it’s starting to feel like it will never be done, and that the writing must be too verbose and meandering. I think I set myself up for that by thinking months ago that the first draft would be done by now, and that I’d be on to editing it by February.

I keep trying to remind myself that this is really my first attempt at writing a novel, so it’s bound to be a rough go, as I’m learning as I go. I intentionally picked a story that I wasn’t really attached to so that I wouldn’t be too disappointed with the end result when I finished it and had no real intention to work to get it published.

As I said before, this is supposed to be my practice run, where I build the skills I’ll need when I make a more serious attempt at writing a novel. I guess I just didn’t figure that it would be as difficult as it has sometimes been.

I keep reminding myself that this is when I’m supposed to make all of the mistakes I’m making, but it’s still weighing on me. I took a quick look at the detailed outline for this novel that I wrote up back in October, and I’ve realized just how many details I’ve missed including in the first draft. There are subplots listed in the outline that have pretty much disappeared in the draft, and I’ve spent too much time (and too many words) on characters that aren’t integral to the story. I know that I can get it all back on track during editing, but it’s starting to seem like I’ve spent too much effort on details that don’t really matter.

I’ve tried to stay productive on other fronts as well, though the frigid weather we’ve been having is messing with that. The finish isn’t working well on the cabinet doors I’ve been building, so this set is also taking much longer than anticipated. That could be adding to my frustration as well.

This weekend, we’re off to Ohio for a couple of days, so I likely won’t get much writing done and may have to skip the next Check-In depending on when we get back on Sunday. I’m hoping the weekend away will give me enough of a change of pace to come back with a fresh perspective on everything.

The draft is now more than 126,000 words, which is what I had anticipated it would be when finished. Needless to say, there’s still a ways to go in the story, and at this point, I have no idea what the finished word count will end up being.

I’m hoping that, now that I’m starting to approach what is supposed to be the climax of the story, it will start to move forward more quickly.

So, here’s the Check-In Goals breakdown…

Goal #1 – Finish my First Draft

I’ve written another 4000 words since the last check-in, keeping up with my 1000 words per day goal. Output isn’t the problem, quality and relevance are.

At this point, I don’t have any guesses as to when this goal will finally be reached.

Since this Round began, I’ve written about 34,500 words.

Goal #2 – Write At Least Three Articles/Essays

Still haven’t gotten around to this one yet, because I’m saving this one for when I’m done the first draft and want to take a break from it. Though I am considering taking some time off from the first draft to work on at least one small writing project, just for a change of pace.

Goal #3 – Start Editing

I still haven’t started on this one, either. I won’t edit until the draft is done. I’m a horrible self-editor, so I’m really trying to not go back and edit while I write. I’m saving all of the editing for when the draft is done.

Goal #4 – Read at least Two Books

I can actually say that I’ve met this goal, after a fashion.

I finished reading Forever And A Day, by Anthony Horowitz. Though I was a little disappointed with the ending, I do have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed the book. Horowitz does a great job in mimicking Fleming’s voice, and as I said before, it truly felt like I was reading an original novel that I hadn’t yet discovered.

The second book on my list was John Scalzi’s The Ghost Brigades. I had started reading it before I began prepping for NaNo back in September, and I didn’t realize how far into it I had already gotten. I was already about three-quarters of the way through it when I put it aside, so finishing it went quicker than I expected. I really enjoyed it, and think it was a great sequel to Old Man’s War, but I don’t think I can really count it as a book read this Round because it took so little effort to finish it.

I’ve started reading another Horowitz novel, The House of Silk. It’s a Sherlock Holmes story, and much like his Bond novel, Horowitz does a great job in mimicking the original author’s voice. It does feel like a Doyle novel, and the story is compelling enough that it’s keeping me hooked. I really think I’ll enjoy this one as well, as I am a bit of a Holmes fan (I’ve even been to 221B Baker Street on our trip to London, UK, two summers ago).

Well, there’s my update for the week. I’m still plugging away at it, trying to dig myself out of this “Imposter Syndrome” hole.

Hope all is well with you.


3 thoughts on “ROW80 Check-In #9 – January 30, 2019

  1. Have you ever considered writing a story you’re not attached too might be what makes it so challenging? I love my first novel-to-be and so I accept it needs more development when I originally thought I would be publishing now… Maybe you need more passion as a drive and so your second novel might be the one.


  2. I have considered it, but the problem is that I’ve become attached to it despite myself. I’m now invested in what were supposed to be simple, two dimensional characters, ones that were originally supposed to be caricatures, really, that have grown and taken on a life of their own. It’s as if they’re fighting for relevance, just to spite me 😉 I guess that when you create a universe, you have to be prepared for that universe to effect you in ways you didn’t plan for 😛 The second novel is going to be the bomb, though 😉


  3. Learning the skills is super tough and takes a long time. Reminds me of last year when I took on the challenge of really editing a novel for the first time. I too choose a novel that I wasn’t too emotionally connected to, I thought it would make it easier for learning the skills. (Particularly since I can be a perfectionist with things that I love.) In the end I changed it a ton and it still didn’t work right, throwing me into a slump for a while.

    Looking back at it now, with hindsight 20/20, I realize that I learned SO much about editing with that novel. About flowing the ideas through a story and really growing the character arcs and properly incorporating the descriptions. At the time I was focused on the goal that I wasn’t achieving, but it was the learning goal that I was achieving that was the real prize from that time. I wish I had been kinder to myself then, I hope you’re kinder to yourself through this process now too.


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