Thursday, November 11, 2010

Writing Through Good Times and Bad

November has been an interesting month so far. Good things have happened and some pretty annoying things as well. Since this month is National Novel Writing Month, I've been writing every day to try to stay at least somewhat on track with my goal to finish the post-apoc paranormal romance novel I'm working on by the end of November at best and mid-December at worst since for Christmas I'll be going out of the country.

I've had positive news, namely a revise and resubmit request (hooray!), and as great as that is, it stressed the daylights out of me.  I didn't want to mess up the revisions, so I put them off for a few days until finally the stress of having it dangling out there ate away at my ability to focus on writing my current novel. So, I decided to work on the revisions and then I still stressed about them, which made writing hard, but I told myself I would still get at least some words on page.

I've also had annoying stuff. Well, besides from the changing of season and feeling a little out of whack some days because of the move to an area with season change, as opposed to Florida. So! On to that example of a bad time. Long story short, Wednesday (yesterday) night at my house was very eventful. In between the billowing smoke coming from the fireplace, the frantic running around the house to all of the fans and almost all of the windows, the deafening noise of the smoke detector, and the herding of cats, I, with my blackened nostrils, very easily could've given myself permission to sit the night out from writing. But, I hadn't written that day, and I didn't want to fall behind with my word count goal.

Sometimes in life, it's easy to say that we're not going to write just because things either go well or don't go well at all, and this isn't to say that if you have a really sucky day that you should drop everything to plop down in front of the computer, because believe me, it wasn't the first thought that came to my mind either. But there are a few reasons why opening your word document and getting at least a hundred words down on paper could be a good thing.


  • You stay connected with your story. You don't go back in a couple days and scratch your head, having to think "What was I thinking the other day when I wrote this?" You have a better idea since there's not a lot of time that is passing by.

  • You develop a habit with writing, just like washing the dishes after dinner or brushing your teeth before bed. It's just something you do every day, which makes it easier to keep up because it becomes second nature. Sure, there are days when you don't feel like doing a habit, but they tend to be fewer.

  • You have the feeling of accomplishment that you actually wrote instead of letting circumstances get the best of you. Looking back on a chart of how much you write each day, you're not necessarily going to say "Oh, that's the day I worked on my revisions. Or the other day when I had a super crazy evening." Besides, you won't feel as guilty (or be as far behind on your word count or page count goal) the next day. You'll know that even though you might not have gotten to your word count goal, you still did something.

How about you? Do you write every day (or almost every day)? And what are things that you keep in mind to help you get in front of the computer regardless of circumstances?

3 comments:

  1. I have spurts of writing every day to my great and glorious happiness...and days where I find opening that word doc to be the hardest thing in the world.

    I keep to my routine even the days I don't have the courage to open the doc, makes it easier when I slowly rebuild the routine.

    Some days...I've been dealing with a painful case of the shingles and they coincided with the arrival of my first round of revision notes. Nothing for it, I dug in. And it has actually helped me deal with the pain. It's a diversion that is easy to get lost in.

    I'm still deciphering that lesson...

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  2. It's really tough some days. I have a "one sentence rule." I have to write a sentence on my current manuscript (or revise a paragraph). Sometimes, that sentence is all I get done. But usually once I've written a sentence, I'll keep going. Of course, I'm also highly motivated by deadlines--LOL.

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  3. Thanks for the comments!

    Maureen, that's horrible about having shingles. I hope you get to feeling better! It's good to know that the revisions are helping with the pain.

    Suzanne, that's a good rule to have! I try to at least get some words down on the page, too. Sometimes I feel like going on, but others, I let myself off the hook, knowing I've gotten at least a little done. I agree about the deadlines though. They help me out a lot. Self-inflicted deadlines, not as much, but external ones... yep! Those work well because I don't like to fail.

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