Novel in Progress: Week 2

As much as I’ve read and heard about the so-called writer’s block, this scary state of mind that stifles and “cripples” writers’ creativity, I don’t really believe in it. To me, it’s just an excuse for laziness, impatience, and lack of perseverance.

What I believe in is this: glue your butt to the chair, place your fingers on the keyboard, and start typing. Type whatever comes to your mind–on a certain topic. If you stay like this for at least an hour, your characters will speak to you. They’ll “dictate” to you what to write.

As a result, you’ll have something on a page. Even if it’s nonsense, most of which you’ll delete later anyway, it’s still better than an empty page. Because during your revision you can make a decent paragraph, or even one sentence, out of that “something,” but you can’t make anything out of nothing on a page. Simple as that.

I proved this to myself over and over. This past week as well. I felt miserable for four straight days, feeling the pressure of having to whip up a thousand words every day but not being able to do more than fifty. After fifteen minutes of the torturous staring at the screen, I would spring up with “I can’t do it!” and march out of the room, indignant at myself and at the  world.

I’m ambitious. I’m organized. I’m a planner. My problem is, I tend to plan much more than I can handle, and then I suffer if I don’t reach my goal. So this time around was no different. I thought I would die of humiliation if I didn’t finish 7,000 words by Sunday night. I realized that I just couldn’t do it, but I also knew that couldn’t not do it.

So on Friday morning I forced myself to stay in the chair. I forced my fingers to type the “nonsense.” Well, Kate the narrator (bless her heart!) took pity on “poor me,” taking over within twenty minutes. 2,000 words were done in a little over two hours! Gosh, how I flew downstairs for a cup of tea! I had earned it! And what a boost it was for the next day.

On Saturday I wrote 3,010 words. Yay!

When I got up today, I couldn’t wait to hear what Nick (he’s the narrator in this scene) would have to tell me, so I got to the computer at 7:10 a.m. He “dictated” 2,040 words to me, thus helping me to reach my goal, and concluded with “Take a break till tomorrow, Nadya. It’s Father’s Day! Go have a drink with your hubby.”

Thanks, Nick. 🙂

My plan for the next week: 5,000 words.


2 thoughts on “Novel in Progress: Week 2

  1. Impressed, as always, with your tenacity- It is good your characters “take pity” and speak through you- Your main message seems to be just write! Reading Low Pressure by Sandra Brown- though her writing is formulaic- you already know from the beginning that she is going to end up in the bed with the diamond in the rough antagonist who will end up to be the good guy- she still grabs your interest from beginning to end.

    • Hi Beth. Thanks for complimenting on my “tenacity.” If only I had something else starting with the letter “t”–like, talent? 🙂 Oh, well…you’ve got to have at least something, right?
      I haven’t read Sandra Brown’s Low Pressure yet. I will–definitely. I love her! Yes, her novels are sort of predictable, but yes, they pull you in from page one and don’t let you go until the last page. Her writing is great: there’s nothing in a book that doesn’t belong in it; the characters are fascinating and very well developed; there’s suspense in every chapter; great dialogue; vivid description of place; there’s lots of humor; and her prose is just enjoyable. In short, I wish I could write like her.

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