Recently, I wrote about coming up with a weekly writing schedule for my novels. I said I would write at least a 1,000 words an hour per day, five days a week. Well, that lasted all of a week and two days.
For the first week, I wrote 5,845 words which made me extremely happy. I thought, “Yes, I can do this!” The following Monday and Tuesday, I wrote a total of 2,016.
Then I stopped writing. I had nothing to say.
On the third week, I wrote a total of 714 words, and that was on Friday. I mainly just went through my scenes and added to them here and there.
I worried that being a bit of a panster was not working for me at all. The scenes I’d written didn’t connect with each other since I wrote them out of order, and I still had no idea how this story would end. This bothered me, so I decided to step back and try to figure out what to do next.
I printed out what I’d written and started reading through it. I don’t like to waste paper and ink, but printing out my master’s thesis in its entirety made it easier to edit. It helped me see how it flowed, where the repetitions were, where the gaps were, etc., with no scrolling up and down and losing my place, so I thought it might work for this novel. I’ll try most anything at this point to do a better job of writing this story.
I guess this is a big no no—editing before you’ve finished your first draft, but I felt like I was stuck in boot-sucking mud with no way out. I even thought about abandoning this novel and starting on something else, but I don’t want to be a quitter on my very first try.
A lot of doubt seeped in my mind, as usual, about my ability as a writer. I guess I thought I should get it right the first time.
Then one of my cousins, who’s written several books, checked in with me to see how the writing is going. After our email exchanges, I always feel inspired.
I’m still struggling with writing this novel, but I’m plugging along with it. I hope by the end of it, I will have figured out what works for me and what doesn’t.