And I haven’t been. I am stuck on a scene that comes next in the story and it is pivotal so I don’t want to go around it because it will set the course of the second half of the story. Some of the second half of the story is already written, but the dynamic of the two main characters will be determined by this scene. I also don’t want to toss this manuscript aside and start on the next one that is hammering at my brain. That feels like quitting. But not writing is certainly a form of quitting.
Nancy wrote about Writing Courageously. One of the fears she talked about, fear of failure, is one thing holding me back. I got hung up on the lack of conflict between my two main characters and it shut me down. I’m still struggling with that and I’m hoping it shakes loose soon. Not writing due to the fear of failure is just another form of quitting.
Elizabeth wrote about Resolving to Write and she is committed to getting back to her story in order to have it finished by the RWA National Conference. Kat set herself a clear plan with specific goals in order to get her story written and ready for RWA, as well, which kicks off on July 23, 2014. I would love to be pitching with them and the other Ladies. So that means I. Must. Write.
Kay posted the ultimate in getting words on the page in Better Productivity through Mathematics. Going from barely a paragraph a day to 2,000 words a day seems more than a little optimistic, so getting 10,000 words a day seems impossible. And frankly, when I spend my day at work writing thousands of words (today’s thousands were 6 grant reports due on Friday), sometimes it’s hard to come home and write thousands more.
Then Elizabeth posted something (somewhere else and I stole it from her) that I could wrap my brain around and I feel like this will be a good way for me to get back in the swing. The post (paraphrased) How to Push Past the BS and Write that GD Novel, is on Chuck Wendig’s blog. (Warning: post is laced with foul language so if you are sensitive to it, beware.) He says, among other things (expletives deleted), write 5 days a week, 350 words a day, 260 days/year and give yourself permission to suck. I thought, “I can do that.” But if I can do it, why aren’t I? And what can I do to make myself actually write those 350 words?
I sit in an office and stare at a computer screen all day. Sometimes when I get home, sitting in my home office and doing the same thing for anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour or more would have me falling on my quill (not a sword – I’m nonviolent and I can’t stand the smell of blood). So I went to our one local Brick and Mortar Bookstore and found a blank, lined notebook with a Jane Austin cover (pictured). I write contemporary but I love Jane Austen and if she could do it with a quill, why can’t I do it with gel ink? My favorite style of pen fits in the spiral binding (green ink – an archetypal symbol of hope). And voila, I don’t have to sit at a computer screen. I wrote in it on Saturday while I was waiting in the school parking lot for the bus to bring my son back from his indoor track meet. I wrote again on Monday while I was waiting for my son while he got his hair cut. And I’ve managed a few other snippets of time in various places in between varying tasks. I typed it into a Word doc and it turns out that about 3 pages equals 350 words. So in just a couple of days, part of the scene is written and because I’m doing it in fits and spurts, the rhythm of the scene is actually coming through. I like what I’ve got down on paper. For now, this new trick of writing it down the old-fashioned way is working.
How many ways do you have to trick yourself into writing?