writing as a process

Friends, writing is hard, sometimes. I see people writing books and writing them well, and quickly, and moving through the process in a year’s time (or less, if we’re talking NaNoWriMo – did I get that right?).

But I find it so difficult. Maybe I have really bad writing habits… I’m thinking these are my top 5 worst traits:

1. I write more than one thing at a once. This, of course, detracts from a single piece because my writing time is split up. It also means I have to spend more time reminding myself where I am in the story since several other stories are also bouncing around in my head.

2. I don’t write in chapters / sequentially. I don’t even draft chapters as placeholders. I kind of get inspired to write one particular scene or story arch. The novel I’m currently working on (and determined to finish in 2014) is being written less like pouring water in a glass, and more like rain trickling down a window. Each chapter gets a bit of love, but nothing is complete or fully done.

3. I don’t keep track of word-counts. I used to do this, but since I’ve started each chapter as a separate documents (and separate documents for “thoughts” or “ideas” or “lines”), it’s harder to keep track of my progress, which can sometimes be discouraging, since you never feel like you’re getting anywhere…

4. I am at the whims of inspiration. I only really work on my novel when I’m inspired. When I want to work on it but am not feeling particularly inspired, I go back and edit down the language and re-think the plot, the characters, what their motives are and where they’re going… which is great, and all, but no words are actually written so I don’t progress.

5. I don’t make time for writing, or make writing a priority.  I feel awful bailing on loved ones because I want to write. I also want to live life – and from life comes  inspiration. But attending everything and never saying “no” means I have no time for writing, or am really too tired to write with the little time I do have (mentally, and physically as my eyes have begun to dry out / blur/ water when I’m in front of screens for 8+ hours a day…).

…Now that I started writing this list, I can think of hundreds of other things I do to sabotage myself and my writing. Sigh.

As you have guessed, I’m way behind on my 1500 words / week goal for this month with regards to my novel. I did finish a short story, but that isn’t meant to count in this goal. I’ve got tomorrow, basically, so I’m hoping I can at least get 1500 words in to alleviate some of my guilt!


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