I had every intention of making this blog my writing journal, but that’s not how it worked out.

Here’s what happened instead: In my iCal, I added “appointments” to the 6:00 am hour, where I would (hopefully) never have meetings or phone calls, to keep track of my progress. I made these appointments orange so they’d stand out. Every time I work on my book, I add a new entry, giving me an at-a-glance view of how many days I’ve worked on the book, and how many new words I wrote on each of those days. It’s so easy to include notes about what I am feeling that day, or how the writing is going.

So I’ve got entries like:

July 29: 2000 words. All over the place. Section 4, Section 5. Moving things around. Juggling, tweaking, plotting, planning.

August 23: 1000 words. HOLY SHIT. Brand new perspective. Trying this out, stripped out the entire Britt storyline. HOLY SHIT.

August 26: 800 words. Slow going, lots of scratching out and writing over, trying to think about how this plays out. I think it works. Does it work? Hope so.

September 30: 2200 words. A piece that feels important, but still rough. MOST IMPORTANT today was lots of cleanup work and blending sections, making decisions about moving some pieces around, etc. Goal is to start stitching sections up so that it doesn’t feel like so much is outstanding.

October 14: 1800 words. Zeke, the next bit, plus some of Madeline and Alice. Little pieces everywhere. Pulling together the next chunk. Progress!

You get the picture.

I’ve been very, very busy. This hasn’t felt like a “social” activity, and I haven’t wanted to blog about it much. There’s so much uncertainty and self-doubt along the way. It is far from being ready to show the world.

BUT.

I’m a numbers girl, so check these digits out.

Back in August, when I decided to rip out a huge portion of the book, I lost about 30,000 words. I shed a few tears, but it was absolutely the right decision.

Today, my word count is at 93,000, and I’m in the home stretch. I’m thinking – 8-ish more weeks until the first draft is finished. I printed out the outline for the last section and taped it to the wall next to my computer. Every time I complete some part of the outline, I cross it off with a blue pen.

There will still be SO MUCH WORK to do when the outline is covered in blue slash marks. But at least I’ll have an entire draft, beginning to end, a lump of a thing I can start hacking away on.

Yes: this counts as joy.