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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Menkhaus

So, I've stopped writing...

On August 1, I made the hard decision to stop writing. My goal this year was to write 400,000 words, starting at 1000 words per weekday and ramping up over the year to 2000 words per weekday. On August 1, my daily goal was up to 1700 words per weekday.

As of August 1, I have 188,383 words drafted. That is 99% of my goal, which was 190,150. I completed NaNoWriMo Camps in May and July, meeting my goal each time.

The problem is, I am a one man operation. I have a full time job that sucks up a lot of my time and energy. I also have a family that I would rather spend time with than sitting at the computer, drafting.

I had lofty goals this year of being able to draft, edit, format, release, and market all at the same time. The reality was, I was drained of creative energy for the day after meeting my word count.

That has left me with over a quarter million words sitting in first drafts. I have 2 novels, 2 novellas, and 4 novelettes in the virtual drawer with no forward progress.

I also haven't plotted out my next novel yet, and it's definitely something I don't want to free write.

So, the new goal is to get as many of these books out into the market by the end of the year. That will mean editing at a level, I have never edited before. Lots of listening to my Kindle reading the drafts back to me as I sit with a printed copy, looking for errors in grammar or continuity.

It means getting eight covers and formatting eight books. It means marketing them, at least a little bit, too.

If all goes well, by the end of the year, I'll have 16 books in print instead of 8, which total over half a million words.

I'll also have completed my Relictown series (the one about the cats), and have the first half of my MILAB Files (secret school on the moon) books released. I'll also be 2/3 of the way through my first set of novels that I described in my "First Steps to Creating a Universe" blog post.

I don't know if I'll be able to do this, and I'm falling farther and farther behind my 8 year, 22 novel grand plan.

I also don't have any beta readers, or many people to give me feedback before I publish these books. So, if you would like to be a beta reader for me, please let me know.

What's a beta reader? Someone who can read my work as it is going through the editing process, and give me feedback on it. Not hard, but time is valuable, so this probably won't be for everybody. However, if you want to read early drafts of my stories, and receive free published ebook versions, again, please let me know.

That's it. Today is the first day I haven't had to worry about drafting all year. It's a relief and it's scary. It was kind of nice to have the drafting crutch to keep me from moving forward on editing. No more, though.

On to editing...

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