Monday, October 18, 2010

Blood from a stone

It's no secret that I've been finding writing a little tricky lately. I've been hovering at the 40-something thousand word mark for months and months. At times it's felt like I would never reach the magic 50k. Don't get too excited... I'm not there yet. This morning, book 2 stands at a mighty 49,000 words. This gives me hope that I might one day (maybe even today) reach the big five-o.

Towards the end of last week I got a rush of Deadline Fear. The January deadline has always seemed ridiculously far away. Now it is not. I was hoping to finish book 2 by the end of summer. Needless to say, things didn't work out exactly how I'd planned. My whole world has been turned upside-down. Writing hasn't been very high on my list of priorities. I tried to write, but it felt like I was hauling each word from the very depths of my soul*. It was exhausting and not fun in any way. Writing should be fun, shouldn't it?

So what's changed? Well, I got over myself. Writers write, right? This is my job now. I can't lounge around waiting for inspiration to strike. I have to MAKE it happen, by sitting at my laptop and staring at the screen for hours and hours. Even if I only write a couple of hundred words. It's something, and something is better than nothing.

I'm currently aiming for a first draft by the end of November. That will give me a month to sort it out and make it all shiny for my January deadline. So that's the plan. Feel free to mock me mercilessly if I'm still flailing around on the first draft in mid-December. (But if you mock me, I may cry.)

So what's YOUR plan? You do have a plan, don't you?

*Note to self: try not to write a grief-soaked book when you're, y'know, soaking in grief.


  1. I can totally empathise with you. I wish I can say this is my job now, but I can't, yet - I like the word, yet. I handed my first book in to my agent last summer (he is still trying to work his magic) and have been trying to start my second book since last autumn. I still have not got further than the first page, though I know where, when, who and how the next book should go. A lot of life-changing events have happened/ are happening but I should be able to use my writing as an escape, right? Sadly, no. Yes, you're right; writing should be fun and liberating. Perhaps I need a deadline, and then a plan. Yes, a plan, and a self-imposed deadline sounds right. Thank you, you have nudged me :-)

  2. So sorry to hear that you've had a 'whole world turned upside-down' experience too. I know how hard it is to write at times like that. Good luck with your deadline and well done for sticking at it.

  3. Good luck with the deadline! I know the 'stuck' feeling. I know it well!