Halfway There!

We’re halfway there! A joint post from both of us today. Thanks to all of you who have stuck with us so far. If you’ve written every day for six months (or even more than you would have for six months), congratulations! Raise a glass (or four) to yourself tonight, and imagine us toasting you.



And if you’ve just joined us, it’s a great time to commit to the next six months–or whatever amount you can manage. Pick a date, follow along, and write every day! Good luck!

From Cathy:

How, in the name of all that is holy, did we arrive here?

cicadaSix months in! Six months that flew by like one of those creepy little cicadas that we were supposed to be all plagued-out by here in the east but that apparently decided that no, thank you, we’ll just stay holed up in the ground a few more years. (And with this whole Paula Deen scandal raging, who can blame them?)

Six months, and we have written our little arses off, and created fan-effing-tabulous works of literary genius, and gleaned a whole truckload of useful advice, and learned that this writing thing is a big jacked-up piece of cake with half-inch buttercream icing on top.

Haven’t we?

Well, it’s been real anyway. Real hard. Real work. Real enlightening. Real annoying. And from it, I’ve been through some real transitions. Here are some of them:

1. In January, I started the new novel. I was all like:

excited vintage woman

2. By April, I was so bogged down by the whole thing, I was all like:

Crying Kim Kardashian

3. So I started rewriting novel #1 and that perked me up and I’m still at it, but I kept feeling like a failure for giving up on novel #2. So then I went back and reread it, and guess what? Not so crappy. So I was all like:

girl thinking

Because, hmmm. Maybe I can do it after all. After I get this damned rewrite done. Which I’m not even halfway through with yet. But it feels kind of do-able now, not because I’ve figured out what was bothering me about it, but because, after six months, I’ve actually kind of gotten into the habit of producing stuff, no matter what.


And even better, it’s half over and I’m feeling like, hell yeah I can do this another six months. Because that will be gone too before you can bat a cicada away. All we need to do is hang in there, my friends.

How’s it going so far for you? Progress to report? Stories to share? Failures? Suggestions? We’d so love to hear.

From Karen:

Six months into the Write Despite challenge. Who has managed it every day? Please let us know who you are, so we may commend you.

I have written a whole lot and thought about writing a whole lot and made substantial progress. The glass is totally half-full, halfway in. And what’s more important, I’ve embraced a more refined understanding of the writing process: It’s hard, maybe harder than I realized. This is because I’m applying a new level of scrutiny to my work.rigor cup

My day job is at a very fine university, one of the finest in the world. One of the terms I hear batted around a lot here is rigor. Rigorous standards for academic performance. Rigorous curricula and an overall rigorous approach to tackling problems and producing work. There are no short cuts on the road to excellence.

That is the approach I’m now taking. I’m digging deeper and trying harder. I’m undertaking that additional edit. I’m rewriting and rewriting and taking one last look to be sure I haven’t missed anything. When you’re tapping into everything you have, drawing on all your abilities and feeling challenged to the utmost, you’re doing it right.

Share your progress reports from the last six months. How have you grown as a writer since January 1?


6 thoughts on “Halfway There!”

  1. Cheers to six months of WriteDespite! I might be your only non-novel writer, but you came along at a time I NEEDED to write … and when I needed something to give me the permission and structure to do so. What resulted was a blog … an outlet for purple prose that colored my grief, humor and everything in between; and an inlet for a rush of new friends and gracious commenters. I’ve become a disciplined pro … give me twenty minutes and I’ll paint you a moment complete with run-on sentences and way too many commas. The next day I’ll take another twenty minutes to polish it up, and perhaps steal another twenty the following morning before the boys get up for school to pluck more-better word choices from thesaurus.com before releasing the finished product into the blogosphere for permanent and public scrutiny. Thanks WriteDespite … for cheering us on.

    A thought for the next six months … invite your readers(writers) to share a particularly problematic/frustrating chapter or segment for comments or (dare I say it) critique. Maybe we can help each other …

    1. Great idea, Adrienne! We’d love to hear about the challenges and successes all of you are going through–and would especially love to see any excerpts you’d care to share from what you’ve been working on. We’ll post a call for these soon. And so glad to hear that our blog inspired Adrienne’s lovely blog, Mints in My Mother’s Purse: http://mintsinmymotherspurse.blogspot.com/. Please check it out if you haven’t already. Write well, everyone!

  2. I haven’t written every day. But I have written much more regularly. In my book, that counts….

  3. Congratulations on your six month mark! I look forward to reading all of your tips – Write Despite is a great idea!

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