Almost 100 days ago, I set the goal of finishing and publishing a new novella by the end of this year (I also set a goal of finishing my interior design certification ).
And 100 days later, I’m not landing where I thought I would. In a really, really good way.
It seemed like the easiest story to choose since I had the screenplay to use as an outline. All I had to do was write the novella version, revise and edit it, and then publish it. I’ve done it before.
Only problem was, I couldn’t get myself excited about the story.
Since it was already a screenplay, I had written and rewritten, and revised it several times prior. I was a little bored.
So I decided to take a week off to get re-inspired.
I decided to read a fiction series I’d had on my Amazon “To Read” list for a while. The series sucked me in. I read all five books in one week, staying up til 2 a.m. and even later because I literally could not put the books down.
I then watched all of the movies that were made from the books. A couple of times in a row.
It reminded me why I’m a storyteller and fiction writer. I felt reinvigorated around writing my novella.
During that time, I also had a few convos with a creative writer friend of mine who reminded me that the whole point of writing fiction is to write it. No matter what the end result ends up being.
From all of that, I was inspired to write a different story than the one I originally planned. I was just feeling it.
And as I spent some time putting together my notes and ideas for that story, something kinda crazy happened–a blip of a story idea I’d had a couple of years ago showed back up and smacked me in the face.
The idea came back with a vengeance. Not only that, but the story structure and all of the scenes presented themselves to me, like a vision on the movie screen of my mind.
It took me a few days to write out my notes and scene list, but very quickly, I had the story. There were still some minor things I needed to resolve, but overall, the story was ready to be written.
And over the past 90 days, I’ve written that story. I’ve put more than 50,000 words down on the page (which is crazy—my novellas are usually half that many words).
The words just spilled out with so much ease.
Now, obviously, I didn’t hit my original goal of finishing and publishing a novella. Starting a story from scratch, revising and also publishing it (and doing a good job) in 100 days is very hard to pull off.
But I’ve got the draft of a story that, as of right now, is the best I’ve ever written.
It’s a subgenre of my usual genre that I’ve never written in before. Totally out of my comfort zone and I couldn’t be happier with the result.
This story was meant to be written. I want to give it the due diligence not to rush to publication, but actually do a real book launch and take the time needed for revision (not too much, just enough).
I’m so excited about this story! It’s my favorite that I’ve ever written (so far). It’s me at my storytelling best.
And none of that would’ve happened if I hadn’t decided to pick up the “bat” back in September with a goal of finishing then publishing a novella by the end of December.
The journey getting to the destination is never the straight path you think it will be. But if you just keep swinging the bat, you may surprise yourself with how it turns out.