Monday, April 25, 2011

Ugly Confessions

Okay, confession time:  I'm getting behind on writing.

Wait, what?  Ms. 3000-word-a-day is behind?  What's going on?

Yes, it's true: lately, the days I've been writing, I've been averaging no more than 1000 words... and most days don't get that!  Since I finished my first novel, I've been in a lag as I picked up two part-time jobs to pay the bills, edited the first, began looking for agents (still no success), and tried to start on my second.  The biggest problem is not time, because my jobs still leave me my mornings free.  The problem is endurance and plot - two things I'm lacking.

At first, I was so unsatisfied with the plot of my second novel that I couldn't bring myself to write. So I rewrote it.  And rewrote it again.  Then, by the time I was happy with my story, my writing muscles had gotten out of shape - I'm getting tired after 1000 words.  I've said before that writing is an endurance sport, and since I've stopped, my mind is getting flabby.

Solution?  Discipline.  No, I'm probably not going to get back to 3,000, at least not right away.  But I have to keep pushing myself, and no more excuses to put off what I should be doing first: writing!  I'll try for a week at 1-1.5k, and then push upward from there.  Wish me luck! 

What do you do, when you find yourself slacking?  How long does it take for you to get yourself back shape?


  1. I get exactly what you're saying. This happens to me as well, though I'm not doing 3000 words a day right now, either. What tends to work for me when I'm having trouble getting words on the page is a re-evaluation of the story.

    Rather than focusing on writing your story, try free-writing about your story. Or, look at some of the plot-points you have and ask yourself what might happen if you kicked them out and tried something else. Or, think of a scene from later on that you're really excited about writing (or dream one up) and go for it. Another thing I found helpful was tossing in a random new character to stir things up and create conflice. :)

  2. Great advice! Nothing like throwing a new character into a story to mix things up - and who doesn't need a new and interesting subplot to spice things up? Or else, the removal of a poorly written subplot can take out a lot of story-baggage, and make things flow more easily. One of my new characters is so likeable, I'll have to watch carefully to make sure he doesn't take over the entire story himself. ;)

  3. I had a character do just that, but I ended up just using him to replace another character who wasn't working. :)