Everyone can laugh at me. There are people with 20k words, 30k words, or even 40k words by now. And then there is me. I passed the 8K mark today! While the pace has been slow, some amazing things have happened. My muse is working overtime for me. As I have worked up this story, several times a good night’s sleep results in waking with a completely re-arranged and deepened understanding. Several days this past week were spent describing the story in broad strokes, or doing character sketches. (Character sketches do not show up in my word count.) I had my main character doing all of these amazing things. And then I would sleep on it. The next morning, these amazing things were in the hands of other characters. Stories are developing within the story.
All week long I found myself pushing late in the evening to make a difference that day’s word count. Two nights ago I asked myself why I was doing this so late in the day. After all, every day I begin writing early. But writing in my journal, and writing this story, are two different forms of doing. Writing in my journal is second nature to me. I look forward to it each day. I haven’t missed a day of journaling in about four years. Writing creatively is a different matter. There is a voice for this book. Some days, writing with that voice is next to impossible. On those days, it is just so easy to waste time in my journal, fooling myself into believing that journaling is good enough.
Two nights ago I made a renewed commitment to write early. My new motto is: Create Early, Create Often. I don’t write fast. But I am making progress. No more broad strokes, though. The focus now is on creative writing. (Until the next day that the wheels of my mind inevitably gum up on me.) I begin each day with a few paragraphs in my journal. Just enough to verify that I am capable of documenting my thoughts. And then I begin by reading my opening. Reacting to my own writing. Fixing what I don’t like. Changing wording. Providing more context. Then I get to the end of what I think of as ‘the book.’ Everything after that is just broad brush strokes. And then I work on the next paragraph of the story. Tomorrow I will edit today.