Sorry for the absence for the last few weeks. It’s been a busy end of the summer season in the hotel land and I’ve been preparing myself for the 3 International 3 day novel contest that started at 12:01am on Saturday, August 30th and ended at 11:59pm on Monday, September 1st, 2014. What an intense and amazing creative journey!
I completed a novel of 106 pages (give or take), which is roughly 23,600 words (give or take) and I’m so proud of myself for completing one project, from start to finish, what a feeling!
Day 1: The contest starts at 12:01am on August 30th. I started at 12:05am and worked on the story that I outlined (not a very long outline) about two months ago. I didn’t even think about the outline until two days before the contest and looked at it just to make sure, “Yup, still a good idea!” So I started to write, I wrote for three hours, about 4,000 words in and around 3:00am my eyes and body were tired. I had worked that day at the hotel until 10:00pm, I went home had a twenty minute nap then puttered around to get all my supplies ready (tea, chocolate, pretzels – the essentials). After the first three hours of writing I went to bed and got up around 6:45am to do some more writing but something wasn’t right, so I went to the gym for about an hour as my ego was still thinking I had to work out and go to work, but I didn’t. Then all of a sudden when I was stretchering another idea that I had sort of outlined many months ago popped into my head and that was the story I wanted to write.
I got home and after a quick shower I started to write the new idea and by 4:00pm, I was 10,000 words in! I was happy with the progress and how the story was developing. Something wasn’t clicking with the two main character’s story but I knew it would come out and I just needed to be patient.
I took a dinner break around 6:30pm – my partner made us a lovely dinner and we had some wine; I was re energized by the break and by 8:00pm I was ready to get back to the page. I wrote until around 12:30am and I was ready for bed and so where my characters, they were coming to a crossroads and we all needed a break to figure it out.
Day 2: I woke up at 6:30am and went for a 4k run to get the body moving and wake up the brain and the characters, by the time I got home my characters were ready to leap back onto the page. It was a little slow going at the start, but by 3:00pm I was about 18,000 words into the story, no turning back now…then I moved locations of where I was writing. I had been in our bedroom where there is a lot of light from the skylight, and not many distractions. I moved to the sofa in our living room and I wrote for about an hour and then I put down the laptop and said I would just lay down for a few minutes. I had about a half hour power nap and it felt like I slept for hours. By this time, my partner returned from his day at the golf course and I moved back to the bedroom and wrote until 6:00pm and stopped for a dinner break, then I head back into my writing room until around midnight, but I’m not sure what time it is anymore, I had to stop looking at the clock and just focus on the writing.
Day 3: Now time is blending together, I have around 19,500 words and my story needs a little boost. I get up at 6:00am and write my morning pages, they are a comfort for me to put down all the crap that’s going on in my head besides the novel contest. I sit on the sofa looking out our large dining room window and the sun is coming up, it’s very still and quiet, the best time for to be alone and write. I just continue where the characters stopped and write for a few more hours, I notice my partner kiss me before he leaves the house for the day, thank you honey for being such a good sport!
I cried a little when my characters were still at their crossroads and then I knew the ending and I cried for joy that I had an ending. I thought I wasn’t getting anywhere at all.
Then all of a sudden I was done. It was 4:00pm and I had around 22,560 words and I took a very brief break before I started to edit. At this point I’m feeling very tired, to the point where I wanted to walk away, but I did not. I sat back down and edited the 105 page novel that I just gave life to. I actually didn’t need a lot of editing, but I was happy that I went back to add those little things that make a character more believable, and take out the paragraph you thought would work but it really doesn’t fit when you thought it did a midnight the night before. By 8:00pm I was done! I finished a novel in 3 days and I was and still so proud of myself for starting a writing project and finishing it – what a feeling!
Now a week later, I’m still digesting it all. I’ve gone back to work and noticed a difference, I’ve noticed that I’m a little more productive with my projects and at the gym, I have more goals on what I want to accomplish in a certain amount of time. The 3 day novel contest was more than a writing competition, it was a game changer for me, I feel recharged and ready to keep writing! I’m so grateful for this amazing experience!
Until next time…keep on typing