January 3, 2014

A Thousand Words


A few years back, I barreled my way through Lilian Jackson Braun's "The Cat Who..." series (the only way to read, in my opinion).  Her main character, Jim Qwilleran, once recalled having to write a thousand words a day for a creative writing class in school.  The idea nestled into my brain and constantly nudged my conscious mind.

At first, I ignored it.  Years ago, after a bad experience with my first completed manuscript, I put aside my dream of becoming an author for "more practical" options - real estate agent, cashier for a craft store, homemade jewelry, waitress, etc.  The challenge of each new pursuit intrigued me, but after the initial excitement wore off, I found myself dissatisfied and unfulfilled.  I needed more.

Five years ago, on a whim, I signed up for a children's writing course.  My instructor, a published author, praised my work and bolstered my confidence in my writing.  It took four more years for me to embrace my dream and become serious about my work.  But writing a thousand words a day still seemed out of reach.

After participating and winning NaNoWriMo in November 2012, I realized I could do it.  (If you're not familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), the goal is to write 50,000 words in 30 days - an average of 1667 words a day.)  After junking my lackluster attempt at a novel, I went to work outlining and reworking the story until it was ready and in September 2013, I began the first draft of "Broken Dreams".  Seven and a half weeks and 72,000 words later, I finished - averaging 10,000 words a week.

While "Broken Dreams" has a long way to go to be publishable, I have no doubt it will happen.  After all, for a writer, dreams come true a thousand words at a time.

~ Lysandra James ~

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