Definitely slow, not as steady as I would like. I’m 18.5 K into the story, solidly in the part where all the political intrigue comes into play. I have at least one cool scene coming up which is going to throw my MC into a tailspin and send her running for her life. Is it mean of me to be looking forward to writing that?
My main goal right now, though, is to get back into the habit of writing. Since it’s very easy for me to be distracted by things that are not as hard to do as writing (Internet, video games, reading) and the urgent-but-not-important (almost all housekeeping tasks), I’ve set the bar low for myself: 500 words a day, 5 days a week. That gives me days off, and prevents me from using the excuses of “I’m too tired”, “I don’t have enough time”, and “It’s been a long day” (when are they not??). 500 words a day on a first draft? That’s peanuts. I can do this.
I’m also using author Holly Lisle as a pacesetter, having taken her up on her Write a Book With Me offer. Just posting my wordcounts on her daily threads and enjoying the support of the community she’s created is good for my motivation.
Beginning a writing session is always the hardest part for me. I can spend all day wanting to get to my nightly session. I can think story and plot plots and scheme schemes while washing dishes, vacuuming, and driving. Then the time *finally* comes to sit and write and I got nothing. No fizz, no drive. It’s like wanting to go for a swim and you finally get to the edge of the pool and realize it’s cooooold in there. So you stand there shivering, unable to take the plunge.
So here’s what I came up with to ease myself back into the story: I created a novel journal document and before (and sometimes after) every writing session I throw down all my thoughts about the story: why it’s stupid, what I want to accomplish in the scene I’m working on, a cool realization that RB threw at me, why my characters suck, why my writing sucks, why my story is totally great, etc. etc. This idea is not original; I got it from an essay by Sue Grafton in the The Complete Handbook of Novel Writing. It’s a good way to get all the uggh out of my system so I can get to my story without all the baggage of self-doubt and “why, bother?” and “woe is me, for I am an untalented hack” and all that.
It’s also a handy place to keep notes on my next scene so when I come back to it, I have a map for how that particular scene should go.
Do you have any rituals/tips/tricks to get you started writing and keep you going?