Earlier this month, I announced on twitter (as a short poem on National Poetry Day) that I had started writing a novel. I then blogged about it and said that I would post updates to this blog. It’s not even been a month yet but here’s the thing… I haven’t actually done very much about it.
Oh, it started well. I had a dream, which gave me the basic idea for the story. I got very excited about it and I told my sister, who was also excited for me. Then I wrote a basic plot outline and started writing the introductory chapter (I call it this as I’m not yet sure whether it will be the prologue, chapter one, or something else…). I went away and came back to it the next day. It didn’t feel right. So I started over. I’ve done this twice now and as I write, there are still only 1,260 words on the page.
I got a bit upset, so I wrote some other stuff instead, thinking I’d ‘come back to it.’ I’ve added a word or two here and there, but it’s not enough. I keep talking about it and then actually doing very little. This is not good. I need to focus, really focus, and get some writing done.
So why am I here, blogging today? You might wonder… Well, I said I’d update you on my progress – whether or not I’ve made any! Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
- I’ve become far too used to writing short stories and am out of the habit of writing for any great length of time
- I want to edit what I’ve written about every 500 words. I keep stopping to do so and then end up starting over
- I have very little writing time, which I need to be more possessive over
- I am brilliant at procrastinating
- I’m scared. It’s a big project.
And so here’s what I plan to do about it:
- Be more possessive about my writing time. Use it primarily for writing the novel. The blog posts can wait
- Flesh out my plot outline so that I can use it to refer back to should I get ‘stuck.’ I can always change it should the story take a different turn
- Use the plot outline to break the novel down into manageable ‘chunks.’ Allow myself to edit a little after completing each chapter (or three, I might need to review this)
- Embrace the fear and just get on with it.
So that’s where I’m at. Tomorrow sees the start of National Novel Writing month (NaNoWriMo) and although I won’t be officially participating (announcing that I’ll write 50,000 words in a month will just terrify me and make me watch the word count rather than what I’m writing), I am going to enter into the spirit of things by taking a blogging break and concentrating on the novel for the month (I’m sure I won’t be the only one!). Hopefully this will get things moving along.
I’ll still be around on twitter but I might be a bit quiet. Normal service will resume in December and let you know how I’ve been getting on.
Good luck to everyone who has signed up to NaNoWriMo – I look forward to hearing how you all get on!