Why 14 months? Because numbers are arbitrary, and there’s a better beginning, middle, and end this way.
The primary drawback of my choice of writing as an avocation is that on top of a sedentary, computer-centric work day of 8-10 hours, I throw on a few more hours of the same. There’s a serious risk of turning into the marshmallow man, and certain aspects of my family history make that particularly dangerous.
So it was in October 2009, when I skipped NaNoWriMo to instead work on a fitness goal: I’d move my body through at least one mile every day in November. I failed at the short term goal when I took sick, but accomplished the long term goal. I lost 20+ pounds since then and now regularly run 5k before breakfast (and perhaps more amazingly, enjoy it).
When the call for Viable Paradise first went out in late 2009, I heard the clarion call. (OK, pun intended–don’t hurt me). I took the first 8k words of my WIP and polished, rewrote, and polished some more. I got third party opinions, then made more changes. Away the manuscript flew, and I must have repressed the memory of the intervening weeks, because it seems like an answer came almost immediately. I was in.
The experience was amazing, and all the things people have said about Viable Paradise are true. It was gratifying in a strange way to have my eyes opened to how seriously flawed my WIP was, and yet still be selected into this group of 24 amazing people. Possibly there is some hope for me yet.
In the last 14 months I focused on the novel-length WIP but still had:
- 3 short pieces submitted a total of 5 times. (2 rejections, 3 still pending)
- No idea how people estimate number of words written per year, but roughly 100k
Pathetic, I realize. The next fourteen months will be better. I just finished the draft WIP, and now need to let it stew for at least a month, while I can return focus to the short form. The next fourteen months are when I sell my first piece at pro rates.