As I may have mentioned a few times before, I’m working on finishing my second Young Adult novel, Inside Out. And have been for some time. I am extremely slow in my writing and it comes in stops and starts, and I had also become stuck last year after playing around with the plotline in a way that totally confused the timeline (let alone the author).
Having decided to remove the scene that I’d inserted, which had totally changed things but then was getting in my way, it’s freed me up to finally finish the sucker. But I’m still slow, and the evil necessity of full-time work is getting in my way. At the end of my three week’s leave, a little deterred by not getting as much done as I’d hoped, my brain suddenly decided to come up with a brilliant way to get around my slowness and frustration.
Instead of trying to accomplish a lot at once and then feeling too tired and worn-out to even open the document, let alone write anything worthwhile, I’m taking it easy on myself.
I’ve challenged myself to write a minimum of 100 words a day, every day. It’s in my phone reminder so I can’t forget. I know that sounds very little, but so far, it’s a winner. Remember it’s a minimum of 100, so when the words are flowing, I often produce two or three times as much, plus I re-read and edit the previous day’s words. And because I’m achieving this daily on the manuscript, it frees me to work on other things if I feel like it (such as my short stories or the plotline or a scene for my other two ideas for novels).
It’s working! The guilt has gone, and I’m increasing my word count – more importantly, those words are moving the plot along and filling in the last gaps. Some nights I’m exhausted and I struggle to come up with more than the 100 words, but at least they’re there the next night, waiting to be edited and move things along.
Yes, it’s a very slow way to write, but it is far better than my alternative, which is not writing anything at all, and feeling depressed and overwhelmed, and making myself feel far worse, in a vicious cycle.
So, writers out there: what do you do when the writing is slow (glacial, in my case) or non-existent? Do you think the 100 words minimum is worth a try? 😀