As it turns out, publishing a book is a lot of work.
You may have noticed I’ve been a little absent lately. On April 11th, I started this crazy challenge to publish a book in only 100 Days, and I spent the weeks leading up to that date working on a detailed plan for each day.
It’s kind of taken over my life at this point, and while I’m having fun, it’s also been a big disruption to many things, not the least of which is my little ol’ blog!
Today, though, I get to work on both, and I wanted to share an update for this project!
As you may have guessed from the title, last week was the end of week five, so I have officially hit the 25% mark and boy, oh boy, it has been quite a ride so far.
The First 25%
The first week was for brainstorming and outlining, and I ended the week with what I thought was something solid. Drafting began in week two, but by the end of that week, I realized it just wasn’t working. The draft was too long, the outline too detailed, and I just wasn’t resonating with the characters. By the end of the second week, I had abandoned my original outline and went back to the drawing board.
In week three I stripped my story back to the basics and started drafting in week four with a much simpler outline. When I wrote outlines in the past, I’ve made them really detailed, because I would waste a lot of time wondering what would happen otherwise. And this has worked well for me, at least when writing a novel.
But I’m not writing a full-length novel. I’m writing 25% of a novel, and adding all that detail is just going to send my word count through the roof.
So I leaned into my inner discovery writer and managed to finish writing on May 7th. I had to borrow a day from week five to keep the momentum going, but the first draft was finished at eleven chapters and 26,300 words!
Ironic, since I call myself a writer, but words can’t explain how relieved I was to finish the draft. After the disaster that was week two, I was certain I wouldn’t be able to finish this project. That it wasn’t possible for me, as the writer I am now, to write and publish a book in only 100 days. But somehow, I managed to do it and I’m back on track (for the most part!).
Week five was a well-earned rest week, and I slept in, did a ton of reading, and tried very hard not to think about my book. This was met with moderate success. Spending four weeks sleeping, eating and breathing your story makes it really hard to disengage from it, but I did my best.
The Journey Ahead
It has only been five weeks, but it has already been a roller coaster, and now we get into the scary stuff – this is the stuff I’ve never done before. I’ve outlined and written drafts several times, but I’ve never taken a draft farther than that. We’re in new territory, so who knows what will happen next.
It’s scary, but also kind of exciting.
Not only has it been a mentally and creatively exhausting journey so far, but I’ve also had to contend with some intense self-doubt these past few weeks. If I’m being honest, I still don’t know if I’m going to be able to publish a book in these 100 days. I’ve made my peace with that, as it has already pushed me further outside my comfort zone than I expected it to. I’m going to try regardless, and I’m ready to learn whatever it takes to get me there.
If this sounds like something you’d like to try, I encourage you to give it a shot! Especially if, like me, you tend to procrastinate or get caught up in trying to make your writing perfect.
I’ve made my Notion template available for duplication, so you can also use it to follow along, or let it inspire your own journey if you’d rather not commit to 100 days.
If you do decide to give it a go, let me know in the comments!