Write, even when you don’t want to

You’ve probably heard this from your favorite authors consistently, but it really is the rule of thumb. Write. Even when you don’t want to. Even when life is getting crappy and the world is barreling down with responsibilities, difficulties, whatever it is that’s clogging your mind.

Just write.

I listened to a podcast with Christina Dodd which really drove home. She said “There’s no such thing as writer’s block”.

It hit me like a sledgehammer. No writer’s block? But that’s the thing that plague my species! It dogs after me constantly and wipes my mind with an eraser! Writer’s block is a thing. It has to be, considering how many author’s I’ve heard say “I’m suffering from writer’s block” like it’s some kind of disease.

Don’t catch it. Stay in your house away from them so you don’t get the deadly flu like symptoms and shuffling zombie effect.

But the older I get, and the more I write, it’s much easier to understand what Christina Dodd meant.

“Writer’s block” is a state of mind, usually from not writing.

“EMMA!” you say. “THAT CAN’T BE TRUE!”

But it is. I have the worst time getting back into writing when I’ve given myself a pause. Just a couple days break and I’m already back in the real world, disconnected from my character’s and wasting time reading everything I’ve already written. Second guessing my choices. Wondering if that paragraph would be better a little higher, and then the next could be rewritten….

You see how easy it is to fall into that sandpit?

The whole point of a first draft is just to word vomit onto the page until you have an entire manuscript. And it has to happen or you are never going to finish that book, that essay, that paper, that short novel, that fanfiction.

You have to write.

Even when you don’t want to.

You might even like what you write!

So I took this to heart writing Black Blood, and cranked through that book with a feverish fury. It’s my best novel I’ve ever written.

This theory of “I can do that” followed me to Heart of the Fae, when I didn’t pause at all between series. Let’s see how fast I can really crank out a novel that I’ve been thinking of for months, and I know the ending of the story.

Let’s look at my tracking for Heart of the Fae. My goal each night, hard goal with no room for wiggle, is at least 2,000 words a night. This will get the book completed by mid-October and into the hands of my editors at exactly that point. No excuses. No mistakes.

Also, I can write 1,000+ words in 20 minutes, so these numbers may be unrealistic for most people. Lightning fingers and noise canceling headphones does wonders for the wordcount. But let’s just chat about this chart here.

(also I’m a numbers person, don’t judge me for tracking like this)

Heart of the Fae Wordcount Tracking

July 8th

2,000

July 9th

4,517

July 13th

7,246

July 14th

8,047

July 15th

10,013

July 16th

12,338

July 17th

15,236

July 18th

17,523

July 19th

20,012

July 20th REST
July 21st

22,535

July 22nd

26,092

July 23rd

30,524

July 24th

32,390

July 25th

35,060

July 26th

38,009

July 27th

40,081

July 28th Visiting Family invasion
July 29th Visiting Family invasion part II
JULY 30TH

42,537

July 31st More family time – Editing Black Blood
August 1st Even more family time – but a little bit of editing
August 2nd

50,036

August 3rd

53,024

August 4th

57,117

August 5th

60,026

August 6th

62,032

August 7th

64,070

August 8th

66,650

August 9th

68,089

August 10th

70,025

August 11th Pause to glance over previous writing
August 12th This was a mistake I should be writing
August 13th

76,101

 

Something key I’m hoping you noticed, around August 2nd and August 13th, is that there’s something very particular happening. I’m making up for all the days I lost in the family invasion and the breaks that I definitely shouldn’t have taken.

Writing, at least if you want to consistently publish, is a job. This is a 9-5 get off your butt, write to your goal, and get the damned book published.

I wish I could say it was something else. That pushing towards that writing career launches you into days of sitting in flower fields, musing at cows, finding that perfect word for that one sentence you’ve been working on for a week.

Poldark, anyone?

Because it’s not.

It’s a real job, with real struggles, with real deadlines. And the kicker? Some of us are doing this with another real job with real deadlines and very real stress.

I’ll talk about dealing with that stress in a later blog, but this is the reality. You have to write to have a book published. Even when you don’t want to.

Writing Updates

  • Black Blood has been out for a week now, and I’m asking everyone who has read it to please leave a review! It helps me in the long run, and I greatly appreciate it. <3
  • Heart of the Fae, as you can see, now stands at 76,000 words! Cranking through those word counts, and smashing towards the goal of having this completed by mid October (I think I’m slightly insane for trying that)
  • Slight hiccup in the planning of the book. I realized the ending was a little too easy, not enough suffering, so that has been replotted and now we are pushing towards a much more dramatic ending. It also added a second Act to the book.
  • Thank your lucky stars I’m not splitting this book into two
  • But it’s probably going to be 600 pages so fair warning
  • Seriously someone send me some chocolate or something

Anyways, back to the cave where I am furiously writing the best novel I’ve ever written, so I can get it into your hands.

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