Seven days in, and I'm finding my pace, so to speak. Every day for the past week, I have found between one and three hours to develop a fresh story, and that feels great.
Do I have seven complete first drafts? Absolutely not. But that's not what I was shooting for. I had a sense that attempting to blast out a daily manuscript was not in the cards and I didn't want the month-long experience to become a stressful burden. But what I do like about the Marathon is that I am steadily bulking up my portfolio and experimenting with many forms, rather than poking around in the same Word doc for weeks on end. I'm taking a "slow and steady wins the race" approach and simply holding myself to working on a new story each day.
And, I'm starting to think that a Picture Book "Triathlon" might be a better approach for me. If my initial brainstorm of story ideas was the stretch and warm-up, then February will be the first leg in a 3-part journey. I dove into the cold waters of uncertainty and am pacing myself through character development, story outlining and voice experiments. After February, I'll continue on to the biking leg, where I'll put a day or two into fully drafting each story, starting back at the beginning and working my way through again. Finally, the running leg will concentrate on polishing and ultimately completing the 26 manuscripts. Works for me, anyway. I actually really like the seven stories I've started and can't wait to revisit them in March! Until then, please have a warm, dry towel and an energy bar waiting for me.