For the last year – perhaps even two – I’ve had this frustrated feeling that I’m spending so much time editing my book and revising and doing work on the business of writing, but not actually writing (like setting up a webpage, and getting my book cover made etc etc). To my shame, I hadn’t been actually writing. Not new things, anyway. And what is a writer that doesn’t write? not much of a writer.
But at the same time, I couldn’t figure out how to get myself back into the game. I have a book in my head, but it’s the sort of book that I can’t just sit down and write – I need to finish a lot of research, I need to plot it out on paper and piece all the details together because as much as I’m excited about it, it needs a ton of planning to make it work. But that meant I couldn’t just start this sequel in the background while I spent most of my time getting the current book out. Somehow, I didn’t realize that I could work on other writing to keep the skill up, even if I wasn’t working on an actual book.
I realized too late that I could be doing articles and blogs and other short stories, to build my repertoire. When I did realize this I had been out of the routine of writing new stuff for so long that I felt somehow blocked from getting back in.
Over the last few weeks though, I’ve almost miraculously been given a feeling of refreshment. I’ve written a couple short stories, I’ve gotten ideas for new novellas that I could write in the background, I’ve started one and have ideas for more. And I’ve gotten ideas for op.ed type articles to start driving traffic as well. It’s the weirdest thing. I also had a baby four weeks ago, and in a weird way, it’s passing this new milestone has jumpstarted a new chapter and gotten me over an energy hump I needed to overcome to get back into the business.
I’m still not as disciplined as I need to be. It’s taking me a lot of time to get this novella going – even though I’ve a generally good idea of the body of it. I’m blaming that also on the sleep deprivation that comes with mothering a newborn. The words are for sure coming more slowly as my mind isn’t working quite as fast as it should. But I just wanted to say how pleased I am to get back into the game.
How do you guys hold yourself to your writing expectations? I’ve been thinking about live-writing on Twitch to force myself to stick to it for a set period of time. perhaps the live accountability is what I really need to start that momentum going strong.