(continued from previous blog) For someone who has always had the next book just begging to be written, I was all but hyperventilating with panic. Then a good friend of mine (thanks APD!) said to just describe the bar. Not really write a scene or anything, just write it down in detail. That did it. As soon as I imagined what the bar looked like, the first scene popped fully-formed into my head.
Since that day a month ago, April 28th to be exact, I’ve written at least one hour every day. My original goal was 625 words (2.5 pages) a day 6 days a week, and felt that was pretty ambiguous considering I thought I wrote about 1 page per hour. That would give me approximately a chapter a week, so 90,000k book in about 4 months. The first few days, sitting at my favorite writing spot, I wrote blind, not knowing much about my characters. And wrote. And wrote. Exceeding my original goal almost every day that first week. Any research needed is done at night, when I type the pages into the laptop. The story grew organically and it became clear that I don’t need to know where I’m going.
To challenge myself, the original goal was bumped up to 675wds/day, 6 days/week for a weekly goal of 4,050 wds. I’ve keep my head down, writing that 1 hour a day, for a month today. If I need to catch up, I have that 7th day to write. I didn’t recalculate the 90k/4mo projection, giving myself a little wiggle room, in case something happens to knock me off my path. Life happens. I don’t berate myself for not making my daily goal, because it’s not the end of the world.
So far, I’ve exceeded the weekly goal, by several thousand words – remember that OCD – because I’ve written *something* every day, even on my “day off”. I feel like a writer. I act like a writer – see my website at www.darlaluke.com – AND I’m writing.
So my advice to writers: Know Your Process. If you don’t know it, try different ways of writing until you feel comfortable and can WRITE. Don’t put yourself in a box by saying ‘I can’t ____’. Susan Lute kept telling me that she’s a contemporary romance writer (she’s published in it, that must be what she is!) and she can’t write paranormal, even though she loves reading them. Until she sat down one day and did a writing exercise by putting two of her favorite characters into a different setting. A paranormal setting, it turned out. And an Apocalyptic paranormal romance was born.
I'm at 18,000+ words and counting. Are you writing … every day? What’s your goal?