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Monday, June 13, 2011

Quarterly Report the Second

I had planned to do this post at the end of the month, but as I have zero other ideas for blog posts this week, we'll have to go with what's in the barrel.

I'm not gonna lie, folks. It's been a bad couple of months for my writing. At my last report, I had about 50K. Right now, the word count stands at 50,837. But I also have 2,645 additional words floating around in a document entitled "Outtakes." Around the end of April, I discovered I'd made a goof in the bones of the story (or maybe the story thought it'd be funny to make a goof with me), thus rendering most of those words useless.

It sucked. It sucked enough to make my motivation dry up and scatter.

2,645 may not sound like a lot of words. Okay, it's not a lot of words. But for a slow, ludicrously meticulous writer like myself, 2,645 words represents lots and lots of hours, staring at a blank screen, carefully coaxing them out of my brain. Plus I actually liked those words, which is why I couldn't bring myself to delete them.

I'll get back to the book. I always do. But I'm thinking that making a public commitment to finish this thing by the end of the year, knowing full well that I am who I am and I write the way that I write, shows a bit of presumption on my part. Ego, even.

Well, live and learn. A lot of this is probably just inexperience. Someday, when I'm a grizzled old cat lady hunched over the computer with 20 published novels and a million rejections under the waistband of my pantyhoes, cutting 2000 words will be no biggie at all. Until then, I soldier on.

Nevertheless, I'm going to include the Orphan 2K in this report, because it makes me feel slightly less lame. So, since the end of March I've written around 3,482 words.

Hm. Never mind. I still feel pretty lame.

All right, enough whining. I'd like to hear from y'all: any tips on motivation and/or discipline? What do you do to rev yourself up when you just don't wanna?

Thus ends quarterly report the second.

7 comments:

Janiel Miller said...

I tend to have the opposite problem: I never get enough time to write, so I rarely get sick of it. BUT, there have been a few times when I've gotten discouraged with a project. That's when I turn and write something else. Focus on something else for a while until I feel friendly toward my project again and can approach it with new eyes. And I don't think it's a bad thing. I think it's part of the natural process. A natural way to infuse the story with objectivity and freshness.

At least, that's what I choose to believe. :)

You rock, Maegan. You'l totally get this.

blueviolet said...

Usually I just have to step away until I feel it. I can't force it. Well, I can, but then I'll just be cranky. lol

Just Another Hat said...

I totally feel your pain. It still takes hours for me to crank out a paragraph, just one paragraph. I'm not trying for perfection either since my advisors will tear my paragraph apart anyway. Sometimes just doing something else for a while and then going back to the task helps. I also like to surround myself with people who have accomplished what it is I'm trying to do. I just figure that if they can do it, so can I. Just be warned that it can have a totally negative effect if you let it. Have you tried a reward system? Doing something for yourself or buying something pretty for completing task X and then up the reward as the task gets bigger. Maybe a cute pair of earrings for a page or two. Well, you get the picture. Looking forward to your progress.

Robin said...

I print off a page, and set it down in my space, where the 'back burner' would be on a stove. I tell it that it needs to simmer a while and that it should let me know when it's ready to go again. Then I turn my attention to whatever else is around that needs to be done: dishes, laundry, daydreaming...

The project is never far away because it's not Put Away. It's just simmering. I'll smell it in a while and get back to it.

Romina Garcia said...

I just wait until I couldn't possibly think of anything else I would rather do.
And also I guilt myself into it.
Once I begin it usually takes on a life of it's own from there.
Hope you find you inspiration x

Maegan Langer said...

Sounds like I'm not alone in my need to walk away for awhile, and that makes me feel tons better. Thanks everyone!

blueviolet, I completely agree that forcing the story never works, and I wasted many cranky writing sessions before I finally figured that out.

Romina, guilt may be the greatest motivator of all. I know it works for me ;-)

Russo said...

Girl, I totally hear you on this. The good news is-you can do this. you already have conquered so much with your manuscript. Know that I am rooting you on and if you need another vent session Janiel and I are here for you.