Traditionally, once I complete a book, I’m fairly hesitant to begin the next one I have planned. . . and believe me, I always have a new book planned (there are currently 27 projects contained in my “future projects” text file). Part of it is because there’s so many other things to do, like catch up on all of the life-related activities I’ve allowed to fall by the wayside whilst I whittle away on my word counts, the never-ending process of editing, publishing and marketing, and, you know, just everything that goes with being a writer. So, once I finally get to the point where I feel as though I’m ready to begin again, it can be several months, if not a year, since I’ve last sat down and attempted to be actually creative (I’m working on a new process of writing which should correct this, but we’ll see how well it works in practice).
Anyways, once I actually get back in front of the computer with the idea that I’m going to begin creating again, my brain aches. Just like working out for the first time after a period of not doing so, it takes a while to get into. I find myself having to force my butt into the chair and avoid all possible distractions so I can actually get down to work, constantly looking at word counts after every word put on the screen to see if I’ve finally made it to my goal for that specific moment or not, deciding I’ve made it far enough to sneak in a moment on facebook or netflix.
It is, in short, painful.
I’ve found that once I get through the first 10,000 words or so, that pain begins to subside, but it still takes a great amount of effort to actually get myself to continue working. Words still don’t flow nearly as easily as I feel they should, and I’m constantly struggling to determine what the point of what I’m writing is.
I begin to think that I may actually hate writing (similar to the feeling I get while editing, which is that I KNOW I hate writing).
But then, something suddenly changes. Somewhere nearing the 20,000 word mark, things start flowing magically. Within a matter of minutes I find that I’ve written over 500 words without even glancing at the word counter, and struggling to force myself away to take care of whatever task awaits me in the real world because I feel like I’ve just started to get my flow. As opposed to what just weeks prior felt like the hardest struggle possible, the hardest struggle now is stopping.
And I love writing all over again.
I’m happy to announce that I’ve been in this place of bliss for the past week or so now with my current work-in-progress THE RISE OF THE FAT MOGUL. I’ve been blasting past intended word count goals, and each new day seems to create a need to increase my goals just to ensure I don’t fall back on them. Suddenly the story has begun to fall into place and pieces that I wasn’t sure would work are being placed into their positions boldly and with pleasant outcomes. . . and it’s only beginning!
This is the place I wish I could always be when writing. . . unfortunately it seems to be the place I am least located. The final 2/3rds of the book always flows too quickly and I find myself back in the grind, working to make those words actually make sense, cleaning up character issues, resolving plot holes, and whatever else.
I will admit that I’ve begun to gain an appreciation of the editing process, since it allows even more freedom in creation, since the hard part’s been done and now I’m just making it pretty, but. . . it still doesn’t hold that same place in my heart as does that initial process of just watching my fingers fly over the keyboard faster than should be possible. My typing speed seriously increases when I’m in this step of the writing process, which is a good thing because I still can’t manage to keep up with my thoughts regarding where things are going.
So, here’s my moral of this rather mundane story. I’ve many friends who have attempted to put their talents to the craft of writing, only to give up in frustration a few pages in. I want you to know, it gets better. . . way better. And you can’t fully understand what causes writers to continue on the (mostly) unappreciated craft unless you’ve gotten that far. It makes the idea of making money from doing so feel, well, like cheating.
Anyhoo, speaking of all of this, I’ve got some fantastic ideas I need to get on the page before I forget them, so I should probably get back to it.
Have a good one!