Using a conservative estimate of 500 words per post, I calculate that we’ve shared at least half a million words here since we started blogging in September 2013. That’s enough for five full-length novels, probably double that if you include the comments. A book per Lady, and a novella to spare 😉 .
We have very different lives, pressures and obligations, but over the past two and three-quarter years, apart from the very occasional blip, we have all met our commitment of delivering an original post according to our agreed schedules, weekly or bi-weekly. If we’ve suffered from writers’ block, we’ve had to knuckle down and work through it, or turn it into material.
I can’t speak for the other Ladies, but I find that some weeks the ideas come easily; others, not so much. Sometimes I’m really happy with the final result, but often the words don’t sound half as good as they did in my head and I have to work and re-work them to get something I’m willing to put my name to. I also find it really difficult to predict which posts will be popular. Subjects I find fascinating and hope other people will too sometimes sink without trace, while others that I feel less sure about get a lovely, positive response.
Apart from the pleasure of continuing my friendship with the other Ladies, my original reason for participating in this blog was to see how I’d handle the discipline of coming up with fresh material for publication on a frequent and systematic basis, because I knew that if I wanted a career as an author I’d better get to grips with this challenge as soon as possible.
I can report that it’s do-able, though it’s as much a matter of perspiration as inspiration.
I’ve also learned that while I like to think of myself as a disciplined person, sometimes my determination not to let the other Ladies down has been the only thing that’s kept my hands on the keyboard.
I’m applying both those lessons to my WIP. No matter how empty I’m feeling, if I have to, eventually I’ll find some good words. And scheduling a regular progress update with a critique partner or one of the other Ladies gives me an added incentive to keep working as well as much-needed encouragement.
I’m not sure what the other Ladies have learned from our first thousand posts, but sharing the experience with them has given me confidence that I can achieve a workable blend of creativity and productivity and I plan to build on that in the weeks, months and years ahead.
What landmarks, big or small, have you celebrated lately or are you working towards?