Work in Progress Update; or “How I Forced Myself to Write Again After a Slump”

Finally getting back on track with my series after a couple months of dismal word counts. Here’s how I did it.

Overload

Two months. That’s how much time I’ve wasted on 200 word days and streaks of zeros on my word count tracker. I love my word tracker so much, and every one of those days I felt like I let it down.
Of course, as with most creative types, I had plenty of reasons why I wasn’t getting my words. Here are a few for your shaming pleasure. And feel free to borrow any as you see fit.

  • Tired!
  • No coffee
  • Driving kids around
  • Broken laptop
  • Setting up new laptop (thank you hubby!)
  • Sick kids
  • Sick dog
  • Sick me
  • Writing by hand (because I have to)
  • Changes at work = working late
  • My muse is really good at hide & seek
  • Did I mention how tired I am?

Back in the Saddle

But the times they are a’changin’. I passed the 15k word mark last night. Actually, I blew past it while dictating.

Yes, I know it’s one day in a sea of nothing. But it’s that all-important day of crossing the Rubicon. For whatever reason, the way my brain works, the first 15k words are the hardest for me. Maybe it’s the dreaded blank page… or forty-seven of them in a row. Maybe it’s switching gears from the previous story to the new one and getting my new groove.

Once I pass that mark, the rest just flows and I finish the book in no time… which is awesome because I have deadlines and all.

The Finish Line

So, here I am now with only 55k-ish words to go on this novel. My outline has been fiddled with until it can be fiddled no more. My characters are not behaving as planned, but when do they ever. And my fingers are nimbly tap tap tapping away on my pretty new keyboard.

I’m sure setting that pre-order deadline didn’t hurt. It worked last time and it seems to be working this time. I won’t say I recommend it. Heck, many people advise against it… a lot. But years of ghostwriting conditioned me to always hit deadlines. Without that hard date and Amazon’s scowling countdown, I’d pick up my yarn and start a new crochet project, or decide now’s the perfect time to redecorate my office again, or some other vastly urgent side quest that will get me nowhere fast.

Like I said, I know myself and myself knows me. We’ve come to an agreement. She lets me finish this book on time, and I let her build the new Titanic model set that’s staring at us right now from my craft shelf. Maybe we can work together and write a couple blog posts about that process. Or about our multitude of half-finished craft projects piling up in the den.

Fun times will be had by all.

But for now, I’ll get back to work so my editor can get these next chapters. Deadlines!

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