I met with my writer friend last week and told her of my plan. Well, she gave me such a scolding (you know, the ‘tough love’ kind) that I’d have to reconsider my plan that I laid out before. Not the whole thing, no, just the decision to go back and fill in the holes. She said it’s better if I just keep going and fill the holes later, because by the time I finish the whole first draft the book might be changed a lot, again, and then I’d have to go back and rewrite everything that I’ve rewritten, again, so it’s not productive and waste time. You won’t see the whole thing until you finish it, right? So I should just ignore all those empty plot holes and stuff that doesn’t make sense and keep writing until you’re done.
I did not like that, because I’m the type of person who has to make sure everything is perfect before I go on. So moving on while everything sucks is torture to me. But she’s right about me being stuck, though, so I think I’m going to listen to her and move on. Yikes! I’m not sure what’s going to happen because there are so many things that I have to resolve and so many things I have to research, but moving on is important, so I think I’ll just have to grit my teeth and go. I see why authors usually abuse some kind of substance now. One is because they tend to be depressed, but the other one is that moving forward requires courage and a bit booze or weed would make you lose your inhibitions and fear. Allegedly. I’m not going to abuse anything because that’s bad for me in general haha. So I guess a lot of relaxing video games is the way to go?
I actually made my goal word count yesterday, which means I made it 3 days in a row! Yay!!
I know this sounds really silly, but seriously you do not understand how hard it is for me to write past three days and accomplish whatever goal I’ve originally set myself up with. It’s definitely a character flaw and I’m trying really hard to beat it but, boy. It’s a trip. It’s why I could never do NaNoWriMo even to the smallest degree (like, I don’t think I’ve ever made it past 25000 words, ever.) I would go gung-ho at the beginning and then after the third day, total deflation. And then I can never pick it back up again.
Well, I did it yesterday. It was hard. It was the 11th hour (literally done at 11 pm and I started at, say, around 3 in the afternoon?), but I got my 600 words done. Yep, all that agony for a measly 600 words. What bull crap. I’m hoping for Camp Nano July I can at least ramp the count to 800 words but, alas, probably not going to happen? Whatever. I can’t worry about that right now. I just need to keep going and make sure I can do 600 words today, too. And tomorrow. And Saturday I will take a break. Have you ever thought 3000 words could be this slow and ridiculous? I never did.
I think I’m better at time management now. I used to (and really, still) waste so many hours browsing reddit/kotaku/themarysue/etc. while I should be doing work, and it’s become a serious problem (especially since I work for myself from home). I do blame a little bit of no motivation and my easily distracted nature, but that’s not an excuse. It got so bad that I would literally write for like 20 minutes and then spend the next 2 hours browsing random sites or play a “quick” game. I’m sure you know how that turned out – before I knew it the day’s over and I did, well, nothing, essentially. And then I’d feel depressed that I’ve done nothing, and the next day would be the same, because the failure from the previous day would make me feel guilty the next day, and then instead of getting pumped up I’d just feel more behind and in turn, have no motivation again, and the cycle continues.
Well, you know I’ve been using both Trello and Habitica to at least try to get my schedule under control. I used to have such big vague goals like “don’t waste time!”, which did nothing. So now I’ve been writing things like “spend less than 15 min on whatever procrastination site at a time” and if I meet it, I check that off and give myself a reward. If I don’t meet it I don’t sweat it, just try better next time. It’s been going on since, oh, the beginning of this year, I think? And now two and almost a half month later, I find that I definitely have lessened visits on my timer-waster websites.In fact, I actually found those sites approaching boring now. I mean, they’re fine if I glance at them quickly a few times a day, but actually spending more than 15-20 min browsing I’d get very very bored. I consider that a win! (Although I guess it marginally takes away some of my entertainment, but hell, I’ve still got like hundreds of Steam games to finish and many, many tv shows that I’d like to watch, waiting on Netflix and Hulu.) I still check the news though, first thing in the morning and later at night, because if Donald Trump somehow blew up the world I’d at least like to get a notification.
So, yesterday, I FINALLY, and I mean FINALLY, continued with my novel. That means I’ve written something completely new and didn’t just go back and edit to oblivion, or just not write altogether. Some stupid year this has been. (I blame it on everything that’s wrong with the world right now. Jives horribly with anxiety.) I wrote about 700 something words, not too much but man, they’re BRAND NEW WORDS, and I can’t describe how wonderful that is for someone struggling with writing.
The process was super, super painful. I was just agonizing over the 700 words, you wouldn’t believe how much I hated every single damn syllable. It’s crazy. But about 500 words in I realized I got “into” the plot again, and came up with something new, and the last few were a breeze. Unfortunately by then it was dinner time, and I felt like I spent 4 hours on 700 words (in truth it was definitely less because I kept on checking other things to distract myself from the painful words). And I was so tired mentally so I just went whatever, I’m going to watch a random movie or something. So I did, and then my husband came back and we started putting together furniture, and there goes the rest of my evening.
But know what, after I watched the movie I was really, really happy. Like a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. It wasn’t a ‘high’ just pure content. At first I was thinking it was because of the movie (it was a decent Korean film).But then I thought – no, it’s because I wrote stuff! The process was agonizing but afterwards it felt so good, like I had worth. It’s like the opposite of what happens if you shoot heroin (well, I’ve never done any drugs so…it’s an approximate from what the Internet tells me) – instead of the happiness and rush you get depression and self-doubt and everything horrible during, but afterwards you don’t get withdrawal but a healthier mindset and brighter look on life. Oy.
The hardest part is to know that I will have to agonize every single day to earn any peace of mind. Hopefully, like exercise, it’ll be less painful, and eventually will be routine with happier results? Well, I’m on day 2, so let’s see if I can pull through today what I need to do.