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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Year of the Novel: Where O Where Have The Days Gone?

Seriously, where have they gone? I feel like I blinked and suddenly three weeks had passed and I hadn't written a damn sentence. Various things conspired to keep me from my keyboard, among them are child-rearing, lethargy, laziness, working for a living, a trip to NYC, and writer's block. I'll talk only about the last and the second, since they feed into one another.

I can tell you that any number of distractions are easy to get over if you know where you are going in your story and your'e excited about it. However, if you are unsure of the shape of your story and aimless, then it can be equally easy to just not get up early in the morning or watch that extra TV show. That has been my last three weeks. After the glorious triumph of finishing Part One, I sat down at the computer to begin the next section and realized, horribly, I hadn't the foggiest idea where to go next. Well, that's not entirely correct, I have a foggy idea, but fogginess is only ok for future chapters that you haven't gotten to yet, not for chapters that are staring at you from a blank word document. So, I did the only thing any uber-distracted writer with writer's block does, I procrastinated and stopped working on the novel.

Now here's the part where I don't lose heart and turn this into a woe-is-me-I'm-quitting-this-crap post. I have been doing this long enough to know that sometimes, especially after large benchmarks like finishing parts of a book, you need a little space, and pushing through only makes for a lot of revision later on. Creative inspiration is not a well that can merely be pumped and voila! out shoots awesomeness. No, it's something that takes time sometimes. It's good that I've grown slightly more patient in my old age because I was able to realize I needed a little space from the story, and focused on any number of other things I needed to do, until the beginnings of Part Two started to coalesce in my mind.

This week I started up again and made a lot of headway. I've written almost 2700 words with four more days left in the week, and I'm starting to see the shape of Part Two more clearly, which will help significantly in the coming months. I don't doubt that I will be stricken again with the lazies, but with any luck I will be able to get my word count back on track and still have this thing done by the end of the year. Either way, though, I think I'll have a better manuscript because of the time off than I would have if I'd just berzerker'd my way through the writer's block.