It’s been a while since I’ve believed I needed inspiration to write or muse or that sudden urge that drives you into crazy writing highs. I’ve had those, usually because I kept working and some days it’s a bit of a drag and others you couldn’t imagine a more perfect way to spend your time.
I like having a writing routine; I like being accountable to myself – to say: it’s not okay if I just don’t write all day. It’s how I get things done and it’s been working really well. I owe that to the sage advice of many who cured me of any notion that writer’s block exists, or that excuses count for anything, or that I have to wait for a divine intervention to sprout words onto the screen.
This week, though, I think I found a limit to that rule. I finished the first draft of a novella last week and my plan was to let it rest for a week or two, finish up the After Life Lessons edits, work on some other projects that need editing and to spend my daily wordcount on erotic short stories for submission calls. It seemed reasonable. I don’t like stopping in the middle of longer projects to write short stories, and neither am I great at diving into the next big thing without any time to digest the last.
So I made plans, and because I wrote them down and because there’s no such thing as writer’s block and excuses don’t count, I worked on those short stories last week. I also did my last editing run of After Life Lessons and did some mayor rewrites on the first 4 chapters of a YA novel I wrote last year. The short stories, though… they didn’t go so well. I finished one, and got through half of another, but it felt like pulling teeth. And for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why. This was not supposed to happen. I had cracked the writing secret, hadn’t I?
And yes, this will come as no surprise to anyone but it still took me a week, a lot of self-doubt and bad moods to figure out: I don’t have to be inspired — but I have to be excited. I can force myself to work on something I love even if I don’t feel like it that day, but I can’t force myself to write something I don’t want to work on, something I only write because I put it on a list and rationally, the timing is good, even though I pretty much need a break from erotica after finishing Trading Tides.
My head is already wrapped up in more zombie stories and ideas for the After Life Lessons sequel. It’s spun in fantastically awesome circles coming up with an idea for a YA book about an anarchist witch – and no. I had no awesome, exciting idea for an erotic short. Or, the one I had, was for the submissions call that’s the furthest away, so I benched it and tried to force some others.
I’m not gonna do that anymore. Next week, I’ll concentrate on editing and rewriting. That’s what’s important to me right now – not bragging rights, that I never stood still. That I kept producing, that my word-count at the end of the year will be more impressive than the last. None of that matters to me at all.
And I might have to reread this a few times, to make sure I stick to this. A little force is good – but too much, and you’re just unkind to yourself.
~ ROW80 – Round 1 – Sunday Check-In Week 5 ~
Goal #1: Complete Trading Tides (Driftwood Deeds sequel, ~30k). ♥ On track.
Still sitting on the finished first draft and letting it rest as I planned.
Definitely and absolutely on track. I got through my last copy edits last week and now Lorrie is doing hers — and it looks like we’ll have our clean ARCs next week as planned.
Goal #3: Complete By The Light Of The Moon Edits + get ready for publication.
I decided to edit Where the Wind Settles first, but I edited 4 chapters on that, so I’m pretty happy with that. I realized that the rewrites will be pretty extensive, switching point of view for most of the novel, so it takes time. Feels good though :).
Goal #4: Complete Forest Fires edits + start shopping it around.
Still no changes. And as Lorrie is moving house and already rather overworked, I don’t think we’ll get to it next week either.
Goal #5: Write a total of 80k (on my own) in that time. ♥ On track.
Ish. As I said above, I didn’t write that much last week – I think it was about 4k on short stories and about 3k on rewrites. So, it’s on track, ish, but I wasted a lot of time trying to force something I didn’t want to be doing.
– Read 3 books (now up to 11/50)
– Wrote 1,5 short stories.