Monthly Archives: June 2020

Novel Writing Update #1: First 24 Days of Drafting

I’m working on a novel! First the first few weeks of drafting, I kept a log of my progress. You’ll see it becomes inconsistent, which I hope to rectify for the next chunk of drafting. I hope you enjoy seeing my process/struggle/victories in drafting!

May 31st, 11:33pm/ Word count: 0

I’m starting it tomorrow. I have an outline and I am ready to make something happen. Did I do all my character bios like I wanted to? Nope. Am I going to push back my start date because of that? Nope. Is this first draft gonna suck? Probably. 

I decided to keep a daily log of what’s going on with this writing process to be a companion to my weekly video updates. Let’s see what happens. 

I should probably sleep before this all happens. 

June 1st, 11:13pm/Word count: 2076

Woof I’m only one day in and I almost let myself go to bed on the first day without hitting my word count goal. AND THEN I SMASHED IT. And, get this, I DIDN’T volunteer to work tomorrow morning which means I shouldn’t be tired all day and will maybe actually get more writing done. 

I was able to write about 900ish words on my lunch break today and finished the other words after Ben went back to Leavenworth. I look forward to seeing what can get done on a day my soul doesn’t belong to Walmart. 

June 2nd, 10:54am/Word count: 2076

The motivation to start today eludes me. Avery is coming over at 2pm to hang out/work on wedding stuff and I have a list of other responsibilities to get done as well. BUT this project is a responsibility to myself. I’m gonna go wash my face and start scene 2. 

9:04pm/Word count: 3194

I’m so good at finding things to be productive with that aren’t the thing that I actually need to get done. Wrote an article for the yearbook, pulled three pages worth of photos for said yearbook, and fixed my wedding registry. *Sigh* 600ish to go until the daily word count goal is met. 

Oh, also introduced a character that I already love and I think came up with a way for more tension to be created. YAY. 

11:11pm/Word count: 5333

WOOOOOOO WE SMASHED THAT GOAL TODAY. I was having such rough time throughout the day but BOOM six and a half Google Doc pages later I did almost DOUBLE what my daily goal is. *Pats self on back before falling into bed*

June 5th, 10:39pm/Word Count: 8345

We are a little bit behind and haven’t hit word count goals every day, and that’s okay. Right now, I don’t want to write in order, so I’m looking for a song to listen to on repeat as I try to get out 1,500 more words before bed. 

Update: found the song for scene 16. “Call It Off” by NateWantsToBattle. 

11:45pm/Word Count 9755

We didn’t hit the actual word count goal today but got close. Nothing else is gonna come out tonight. 

June 9th, 11:21pm/Word Count: 12,113

At some point I wrote another fifty or so words a few days ago, but today was the first day I was actually able to get more than 200 words out, let alone hit my word count. I was frustrated and sad. I’m sleeping a lot more right now because I think I’m dealing with a wave of depression. Motivation eludes me. However, tonight I smashed my word count goal after Ben went home from work. I can do this. 

June 12th, 9:52am/Word Count: 12,416

I’m not even gonna do the math to figure out where I’m supposed to be at word count wise. It’s okay. Instead of saying, “Wow, you should be way further along,” I am going to celebrate what I have done. Printing out twenty pages of words yesterday was inspiring. The words are not great, but they are mine. Let’s add more now 🙂 

10:57pm/Word count: 14,147

I almost didn’t do it. I wrote 500 words before work, 400ish during my lunch break and came home to my diploma on the kitchen table and my body being very very tired from work. I watched two episodes of “Dead to Me” with Mom and almost decided to say, “Ah, I don’t need to write more today. It’s okay, I did enough.” But that wouldn’t be keeping a promise to myself. I sat down, I did the work, and I finished scene 5. 1731 words today. I’m really proud of myself. 

June 13th, 10:42am/Word Count: 14,591

444 words before another eight hour shift! I have told Ben that he must keep me accountable to my writing today. We shall see where my other 1300 words for the day come from later. 

11:17pm/Word Count: 15,873

God bless my sweet future husband for sitting at the kitchen table with me while I wrote out 1,282 more words after work today. We had watched two episodes of “Star Wars: Rebels,” which was a big mistake in keeping us somewhat awake after work. However, the 15 minutes I was going to work at the table turned into about 40 minutes of somewhat good progress. We’re getting to the middle of Act 1; I am going to have to cut out so much crap from this XD 

*few days without updating this log*

June 16th, 4:33pm/Word Count: 19,138

I am so close to 20,000 words. I’ve already hit my word goal today, but I’ll most likely start a new scene later tonight. It took a while to get myself motivated to finish scene 9, which I was starting to get traction on last night before hitting a wall. However, this afternoon I really got into a rhythm and knocked out 1807 words. I have learned throughout this process that I work so much better when the sun is up and I start to shut down once the night time hits. I’m quite proud of where I’m at right now in this process, even if I’m not as far as I would have liked to be word count wise. #ProgressIsProgress

June 24th, 2:26pm/Word Count: 21,801

It’s fair enough to say I fell off the wagon. And that’s okay. I’m giving myself grace because I have been dealing with work, wedding planning and various meetings that will determine my future. I refuse to beat myself up or do the math to see where I should be. This is a stage of life where it is very difficult to be doing such a massive project like this. However, I feel that after going through this month that I can set myself up for better success going into July. I plan to use the NaNoWriMo website for Camp NaNoWriMo, where my goal for the month will be 30,000 instead of 50,000. That goal is much more attainable in the season of life than 50,000. I’ll be going on a road trip during that time, which alway provides time for writing. It is so easy to want to be discouraged, but instead, I am very proud of myself. 

Let’s keep doing hard things.

Until Next Time,

Abby

I Will Never Understand

A week ago I started a draft for this post, which originally was going to be about how social media is killing friendships. In light of all that happened during the last weekend of May 2020 though, I deleted that draft. While it’s something I believe in, I need to be honest as I have been wrestling with various thoughts over the past seven days. 

I will never understand. 

I will never understand why the lines in the sand have been drawn because of different skin colors. 

I will never understand the fear of being shot if I get pulled over by a police officer. 

I will never understand what it’s like to be labeled as a “thug” before even opening my mouth.

I will never understand the fear of waiting to see if my husband will come home after hearing that a black man has been killed on the news. 

I will never understand the struggle. 

I will never understand the hurt fully. 

But I hurt. 

On Sunday, I cried when I talked to Ben about one of the men who is going to be a groomsman in our wedding. His name is Adarius and he is one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met. He’s kind, caring, loving and very talented. You will never meet a more gentle soul, and despite the fact that he is an amazing human, he has lived in fear because he is black. He and his girlfriend, Jules, have experienced hatred because they don’t have the same skin color. Some will say, “Well, this has been going on for years; some people are just racist.” That doesn’t cut it anymore. The people are done. The camel’s back has broken. 

I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know who is going about this the “right” way or the “wrong” way. What I do know is this: Jesus loves everyone, but He made a point to emphasize people groups. He loved children. He loved poor people. He loved tax collectors. He loved prostitutes. He loved Jews. He loved Gentiles. He loved people who did not look or think like Him, and He called out the leaders who were oppressing people groups.  In Ephesians 2:14-16, Paul talks about the Jews and the Gentiles coming together and making amends. If we wanna talk about lines in the sand being drawn, the division between the Jews and Gentiles was extremely hostile. But look what Paul writes here: “For he himself [Jesus] is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.” Regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus, the idea of Him breaking down walls is what we need so desperately now in our world. Erase the lines in the sand. Listen to those who are hurting. Admit when you don’t understand. Ask questions humbly. Be a safe place. 

I am grateful I got to share the stage of Adarius. I’m grateful for his light in my life. I’m grateful that he has been a sounding board for me and Ben and so many other people. I’m grateful for the many WWE nights with him and the boys. I’m grateful for his transparency. I’m grateful for his voice.I’m grateful to know him, and I’m grateful that I know so many other strong, resilient, and passionate black men and women. 

I will never understand, but I will do my best every day to learn. 

#BlackLivesMatter

Until Next Time, 

Abby