Exactly one year ago today, I wrote in this blog:
I didn't just tinker yesterday - I wrote over 1,000 words. I haven't written that much fiction at once in a long time. And I've added about another 500 words today, so far.
I've battled writers block for nearly 30 years. As a result, I haven't really submitted very much, and focused on writing at work (which generally went fine) and Web writing (which has generally come pretty easily to me).
The "tinkering" I was talking about was on a novel I now call IRL. I got the idea for it about five years ago when I was back in college and was lucky enough to have Chuck Kinder as my writing instructor that semester. It started off as a little scene, and, a little at a time, became a 17,000 word pieces-of-a-few-chapters-plus-outline.
When I was laid off about a year ago, I thought long and hard about working on this some more. After a few weeks, I was writing a little. In April and May, around some contracts, I wrote quite a bit. Once the summer hit, I was working more on Interaction (last year's Worldcon; a common volunteer job for the un/underemployed).
Then, I had a bad combination of illness, false finishes, writers' block, and contract jobs (usually for pay,which was better than nothing). I really didn't write much of it between late July and late January, though I did fall into tinkering with it some. At one point, I said I was done, but I was wrong.
In early February, I reexamined the beginning and the ending. I threw out the first five thousand words, and changed the ending. After writing seven thousand words of a new ending, I threw that one out too.
And then, I lost most of last week in house hunting/financial things/other stuff around buying a new house.
I knew I had to finish this week because I have to start packing!
With this deadline in mind, I've written very steadily lately and completely redid the ending.
I don't know if this book will ever sell or not. It may be, like many first novels, something that I'll look back on as a learning experience. Or maybe it'll sell a few copies. Who knows. I only know I have a letter to an agent that hasn't been bounced back to me (yet).
And I finished my novel! Maybe not in time for "Write Your Novel" month, but what-the-hell...