At the end of December, I started writing the second draft of my WIP, a YA paranormal-ish novel called Devil May Care. I currently have 20,349 words, and I actually like what I’ve written.
To give you a timeline of this project, I had just finished the first draft when I started this blog in April 2014. I decided to let it sit for a month, and then that month became, like, eight months. School was in the way, and then summer was in the way, and then school came back and there was always something standing between me and free time.
A lot of it was homework. A lot of it was self-doubt. A lot of it was just being tired and stressed and not wanting to put another project on my plate.
But in December, I started writing again, and miraculously, I’ve managed to keep writing, even when second semester started and hit me in the face like a freight train. (I hate January…)
Last night, I wrote 3,348 words, the most I’ve written in one sitting since I started draft #2. It took about three and a half hours, and I’m paying for it today, because I stayed up until midnight to write it, and my body really wanted sleep.
Just over three thousand words is not a lot, but actually it is. In the grand scheme of things, it is a tiny scrap of a story that I will probably rewrite five more times before I like it. However, it is a sign that I’m still writing, and that I’m writing more. I’m not just adding a paragraph a week. I’m adding entire chapters, chunks of plot.
I’m falling into a rhythm. I can tell people that I’m a writer because I’m actually writing.
My grades are still great. My life has not become more hectic. Writing, just like it used to before I convinced myself it was too stressful, is a wonderfully therapeutic exercise. I feel like myself again.
I’m just putting this out there because I doubt I’m unique. Everyone has life get in the way of living. But I woke up this morning feeling tired but content, and wanting to write more. I’m caught up in a great story–and it’s not the one I’m reading, it’s the one I’m writing.
In fencing, falling into a rhythm is bad. It’s predictable. You want to change it up, catch your opponent off guard.
But with writing, rhythm is exactly what I need. Routine. I can’t let writing be a once-a-month occurrence. I have to remind myself that I’d rather write than watch TV. That I’d rather write than stare for hours at Buzzfeed. I need to keep writing, to stay in this rhythm.
One thing that has definitely helped is that I’ve started an Excel spreadsheet keeping track of how many words I write a day. My average is around 1,000 words. (I don’t write every day, so I only take into consideration days I actually sit down and add to DMC.) I always have the spreadsheet open in my laptop as a reminder to write. It also gives me a confidence boost when–like last night–I realize that I’ve written a substantial chunk of words.
I know one night of writing doesn’t mean my novel is done, but it’s enough of a confidence boost for me to believe it might get there eventually.