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Some of you might have noticed that I’ve been away from this blog for over three months. Some of you might not have noticed at all. Either one is okay. This blog is for me as much as anyone else and I haven’t been able to face the added burden of blogging in addition to the daily struggle of deciding whether I was going to write or not.

Most days in the last few months, especially in October, I’ve lost that battle, and it beat me bad. I might have put pen to paper a total of four days last month.

I have picked up my writing pace again, managing to squeak out a few hundred words in the dark hours of the night. It hasn’t been much, but it has been something. It’s better than nothing.

A change I made to when I write has made a huge difference, and that positive experience of the last few days has given me a reason to post here again. Instead of starting to write at 11 or 12 o’clock at night, I’ve begun my writing sessions much earlier, around 7.

And what a difference it has made. The first day I tried it, I squeaked out my typical-0f-late 3 or 400 words. The second day, I got 500 in before calling it quits. The last two days have both been well over a thousand words, and I’ve worked on The Novel five out of the last seven days.

Just when I’d given up hope that I would never finish this damned book, I can now see a glimmer of hope that I might finish it. I may even be finished in the next week or two if I can keep up the pace. A little over two years since I started, and after something in the neighborhood of 300,000 words, I will finish.

And I will finish.

A good sign, in my opinion, that I am not just lying to myself again is that my mind is processing rewrite and editing ideas for when I do finish. What to cut, what to leave, what to repurpose, what to discard all together. How to break this monstrosity into separate parts that will eventually become an (expected) three or four book series.

For someone that preached ‘you have to write everyday’ and ‘just write’ and ‘the thing that differentiates the dabblers from the pros is daily writing’, this has been a bitter pill to swallow.

But I’ve swallowed it, and dealt with it, and dealt with the inner turmoil that its caused me. The feelings of not being good enough. That I should just quit. That there is no point.

Something that has helped me get through this feeling of hopelessness and helplessness is the ‘I Should Be Writing’ podcast by Mur Lafferty. It can be found here: http://murverse.com/podcasts/. Lately she’s been talking about dealing with those moments of inferiority that strike some of us. In general, Mur has a firm but delicate touch when it comes to addressing the psychological issues related to writing. Her casting schedule is irregular, but there are number of previous ‘casts archived so there is plenty to listen to. I highly recommend it.

The Plan, as always, is to blog with some frequency, but I’ve revealed here that this plan in particular has not always survived contact with the enemy. Hopefully I will be back soon.

In the meantime, keep writing. If not that, do the best you can to get through today. Maybe tomorrow will be better. If not that one, maybe the next one. It happened for me. I’m sure it will happen to you.

~James

 

 

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