Check-in: I’m done with the picture book I was working on. Yay! I’m also reworking my query letter for my first novel and creating one for the picture book. What I’m procrastinating from is going back to my second novel.
My week off from my second novel is being drawn out, not because I have so much more pressing stuff to do. The items I’ve listed above are important, but I still have my end of September The End goal for the second novel and I plan to achieve it.
So, why the procrastination? I think it’s a number of things. My characters are moving into a new world, which I don’t know as well as the first part of the book. So, that’s a little daunting.
But mostly, I think it was that week off. Getting back into a project can be so hard after a break. Getting back into the character’s heads and their worlds. Crawling in there and looking around. It all seems a little strange now, not as familiar, as clear as it was a week ago when the longest break I had was a day, maybe two.
Why is it so difficult? Well, partly because of what I said before, getting back into that world. But I also feel a hesitation, a fear that I’ll mess it up.
This to me is one of the best reasons to write every day: It helps to keep the doubts away. Doubts still crop up — they’re never far away for us writers — but when you’re writing every day, you’re so engrossed in the story, it’s easier to push the doubts away, because really, it’s not you, it’s the characters, you’re just doing the typing.
For plenty of writers, writing every day doesn’t work for them. Instead, they write when the mood strikes. With my busy schedule, I can’t wait for that. I have to make the time, place it as a priority in my schedule, or it won’t get done. And writing every day helps me make that happen. It also helps me stay in touch with my characters, so when I sit down at that blank screen in the morning, I know where I’m going, which also helps stave off the temptation to procrastinate with emails and blog reading.
Tomorrow morning, I’m back to my second novel and my running goal to finish the first draft by the end of September. (I have a secret goal to have a publishable version of my second novel ready by the end of the year. We’ll see how that goes. Sshh)
If I don’t start back on my second novel tomorrow morning, feel free to berrate my in the comments. 🙂 A kick up the you-know-what can’t hurt — much.
How’s your writing coming? Do you write every day or when the mood strikes?
“Do you write every day or when the mood strikes?”
I set aside time to write every day, although sometimes I use the time to think about what I’m writing. Thinking is not as satisfying as writing but necessary sometimes. I usually write down my thoughts so they don’t wander too far from the topic and to make sure I remember my decisions. Trollope used to start his next novel the same day as finishing one but we can’t all be writing machines like him.
Too true, Joseph. 🙂
Thanks for the comment. Yeah, thinking about what you’re writing can help you stay on track. I worry when my characters leave me alone during the day. 🙂
And writing down your thoughts is a great way of keeping them.