I was going to write a blog post as a warm up exercise to getting back into my WIP. However, I’m glad I ditched that idea and did the writing first.
I have not been working on my WIP as diligently as a girl who wants to get professionally published should. I have a long list of reasons why but really what it comes down to is I’m damned scared. Wanting a thing, and then getting the thing, are two different things. What a piece of clothing looks like on a hanger VS when you try it on, are two different things. Expectation VS reality, and I’m scared that it’s going to be harder than I thought, and not live up to the warm fuzzy feeling I want it to be.
So here are some things I have learnt about me and writing on this journey.
- First I must do all the chores and then I can write. Using writing as a reward, but then making my to do list so monumental that even where I to get it all done I would be so burnt out I wouldn’t have any energy left for the writing. Writing needs to be put on the to do list, and not as the last item. As the first.
- I need to eat first. I really do need to make sure I have some foods before I get to the writing. Empty stomach is an empty brain.
- I need large swaths of time to do the writing. Large swaths of time are nice, especially if I hit my mojo and want to keep going. However, large swaths of time can also be overwhelming. Looking at all those hours stacked up in front of me, thinking I should be writing but being paralyzed by their magnitude. Fifteen minutes is a great way to get started. Setting a timer for distraction free writing time, is a great way to make sure I start. Starting is the hard part.
- I had a really great 10k day this one time, and I want to recreate that magic. I can’t. Somedays are 10K days, and somedays are 500 word days. Each get to be celebrated. Set a minimum goal and as long as I meet that, I’ve won.
- I need to write every day. I find when I’m writing every day, all of a sudden it’s like I’ve gone from a frozen tundra, to spring time. It’s snow melting, and rivers overflowing and flooding with ideas. It’s like training a muscle, I have to be there training every day. It doesn’t get stronger without the practice.
- The writing is a mess, and it’s overwhelming. It’s like my house and it needs to be cleaned up now. But I need a lot of time to do this. Yes, and no. A lot of time is overwhelming. Take a little bit of time each day to clean it up, and keep it as organized as possible as you go. It turns out I’m an edit as you go type person. Know yourself and your writing style.
- Just draft. See above. This is not you. Yes drafting is hella fun. Writing snappy dialogue back and forth, is so much fun. But also I need to take the time to add tags and scenery. Don’t let that build or I feel buried by it. However I can draft a scene one day, and clean it up the next. It doesn’t have to be perfect all in one day. This is a WIP in progress after all.
- I need to have a complete outline before I progress. Not true. This is delay tactics for me. My brain doesn’t work that way. I have to know my end point and my starting point yes, and I have to have some cool ideas for the middle, but every single inch and detail about the world, save some surprises for the writing.
- Know my own process. Not the writer next door, but my own damned process. My process is not their process, and stop measuring myself against them. Write the best damned book I can write.
- Know that I am a work in progress as much as the thing I am writing is. The more I do, the better I’ll get at it. Accept the journey.
P.S. So Sorry for skipping out last week. I caught a cold or a flue, or some sort of snot infested virus that had my head feeling like a bobble head doll while being completely congested. Mostly I watched TV and knit, and even that was a little too overwhelming and required muchos naps.