So. A few things:
One, this article from a pantser on writing everyday. This article is inspiring, at least to me. My own personal writing streak has been going since Sunday. I’m looking forward to seeing how long I can keep it up.
Two, the before mentioned article writer said he usually had multiple projects going at once, so that he can make his writing time as productive as possible. If he isn’t in the mood to work on one thing, he works on something else. Now, there are times when you just have to knuckle down, grit your teeth, and write through whatever it is. But for me, if I am not inspired or if I’m discouraged or if I’m convinced there’s something wrong, my productivity goes WAY down. (I haven’t quite figured out a cure-all for how to get past that, by the way. I could tell you a lot of things that have helped, though.) Back when I wasn’t trying to write for publication, I’d just not write for a few days and wait for either inspiration, excitement, solution, or a plot bunny to show up.
I don’t have that luxury now. I probably panic more than anything else when I hit a block or snag.
I don’t recommend panicking. I recommend you find a way to allow yourself to write a “bad” first draft. (No, I don’t know how to do that, either.) I further recommend you get used to the idea that editing is a long, long process, so you might as well enjoy it. (Don’t even ask. I know very little about how to enjoy editing.)
Okay, back to the point. If you ever look down at the very bottom of my blog, you will notice a word count meter. I’ve had one for my WIP Shifting Sands for a while now. If you look down at the footer now, you will actually see two meters.
I now have two WIPs.
As I said earlier, I cannot afford to not write for days as I wait for inspiration or for my subconsciousness to untangle a knot. As I’ve also said before on this blog, Shifting Sands has been giving me all kinds of problems. And as you may not know, the last month for me has rendered me unable to work on sorting out messes that the story has been giving me (Busy, busy, busy and then sick last week.).
So what’s wrong with Shifting Sands? Possibly nothing. Or maybe there’s just one problem and I haven’t figured out what it is yet. Maybe I just hate the style I’ve written it in and need to go back and fix that. Maybe I’m not ready to outline novels so intensely yet. Maybe it’s trying to type it instead of writing it in a notebook. Maybe I am just too worried that I’m going to mess it up. Suffice to say that writing that particular story has been giving me more grief than joy. And with writing, if you don’t love it, you need to evaluate why you’re doing it.
Well, I love writing usually. And I want to tell this story. But something I can’t put my finger on yet is wrong.
I went about three weeks without writing anything substantial– I was too busy and too tired. Ouch. That lead to guilt. And feeling like I absolutely had to write. It seemed like everyone else was being productive and there I was, trying to force words out for a story that I cringed reading parts of. And I was sick last week, so every problem with the story suddenly seemed larger.
On Saturday, I started playing with the idea of starting a new story. Not giving up Shifting Sands, just giving myself time for subconsciously sorting out the problems with it and releasing myself from worry of getting it right, and from the pressure I was feeling (as a reaction; I was not actually being pressured) from everyone else who was being productive and seemingly happily so. Besides, it could be something I wanted to write for eventual publication anyway, so I would still be “working”. So, Sunday I started L.A.S.E.R..
L.A.S.E.R. is urban fantasy, almost completely pantsed, and is being written in a notebook. So it’s pretty different from Shifting Sands. And if/when I get stuck on L.A.S.E.R., I’ll flip back to Shifting Sands. I’m not saying it’s a perfect solution, but for now, it’s working.
And lastly, NaNoWriMo starts in just over two months. I have no idea what I shall attempt for the endeavor. I don’t even know that I will participate. Out of all the NaNos and Camp NaNos I’ve done since November of 2011 (six total), I’ve only had one successful one (November 2011). And by successful, I mean I wrote something that I actually finished and I didn’t drop out. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to participate in attempting to write 50k in one month; giving myself plotting headaches and euphoria when I’ve written 2k in a day (that is truly not sarcasm–being drunk on writing is an awesome feeling). The problem with the before mentioned sentence is that I have trouble keeping up with the 2k every day and 2k usually takes up everything I’ve planned (pantser, remember). Plus, a lot of my writing is trial and error. I have to start writing a story before I actually know if I want to write it and see it through (I don’t know why. I apparently don’t know a lot about what I’ve said in this post.). And at the rate I’m going, I may very well end up editing for NaNo (again) and that’s just not as fun. But I may yet participate. We’ll just have to see what happens.
So, what’s up with you guys? Any thoughts on having multiple projects at once? Any other thoughts on the article or writing streaks? Who is planning on doing NaNoWriMo?