This has been my most stressful week. So far. (I wonder how naive Future Tom will regard this remark!)
Intent on making up for lost words and conscious this was the week to do so, I really forged ahead with my writing. Fortunately, it paid off. More than being relieved by the more-like-usual amount of words I produced, I was double and even triple fortunate to enjoy what I was writing and to be pleased with it afterwards.
I don’t know whether or not my underlying apprehension of you really need to make this up boyo contributed to the writing’s success or not, but it certainly had me stressed. Not when I was writing—luckily, those periods of clock-blind time were very productive—but pretty much the rest of my day.
Everborne isn’t something I can just switch off. (Though it’s easier to let it simmer in the background over the weekend.) When I’m not writing, I’m constantly thinking about it, regardless of what it is I’m doing. Take today as an example: I was trying to split my brain between thinking about my story while maintaining a four-way conversation at lunch. Another example: I was at a concert on Thursday night (hence the lower word count on Friday) and throughout I was letting my mind wander through the thumping arena to what I would be writing the next day.
As I was pretty wired for the entire week, I decided against writing today.
This may sound counterproductive. Surely an extra day of writing would mean more words? Would being closer to my month’s target not relax me more? To both questions: yeah, it would. But how good would they be—or how worth it—if they weren’t coming from the right place?
As tempted as I was to write, I tried to listen to what felt right. I knew taking the time to relax would do me better; it would set me up better for next week, as well as granting me time to think over what I was going to write next.
I’m glad I did this. Especially as I was stumbling with Chapter 12, which I began writing on Thursday. I so far think it’s a good chapter (it could even turn out great, if I do it right) but I knew there was something missing. By deciding to have my weekend as usual, it gave me time to slow down, feel less pressured, and think about what it was that needed fixing.
This did allow me to fix—or, rather, find—the missing part. Aside from progressing the plot and connecting two narratives, I needed the chapter to somehow develop my character whose perspective the chapter is told from.
I realised, as I was driving to Canterbury (see, another split-brain scenario), that I hadn’t fully worked out who my character was before their current situation, even though they have been present in two previous chapters (from other character perspectives). This may sound obvious, but when the chapter has a lot going on and you’re pressuring yourself to produce the words and have been for the last few days, the obvious can be rather oblivious.
By slowing down, I was able to work-out how to continue ahead, instead of speeding on and possibly (read: very likely) stalling.
Not long after the initial thought, which came wanderingly, the rest of my solution came to me quite quickly, fitting into place like the last pieces of a puzzle.
Now, when I come to writing tomorrow, I feel like I have the full shape of the chapter, as to a part or parts.
Here’s how the week worked out in terms of word count:
|Week 12||Word Total||Daily Words|
|21 Nov 2016||92,932||2,111|
|22 Nov 2016||94,742||1,810|
|23 Nov 2016||96,487||1,745|
|24 Nov 2016||98,096||1,609|
|25 Nov 2016||99,110||1,014|
|Overall Total||Week’s Total|
Will you look at that word count! Ain’t she a beaut?
I can’t believe that come December I’ll be over 100,000 words! If you’d asked me in September what I was aiming for by the end of the year, I would have likely said 80,000 words minimum, with a hopeful eye on closer to 100,000.
Monday to Wednesday, I focused on Chapter 11. This is my last chapter to introduce some key-characters. I say “key” as I’m not sure if they’re “main”, just yet. After introducing them and instantly loving them, that could easily change.
I also know that something has to happen to one of the characters, though I’ve yet to choose which character will have that something happen to them. When I was outlining this narrative, I decided not to decide until the moment I write the something happening, as I want it to be a surprise even for myself. After writing these characters, it’s only made the decision of who this something will happen to all the more harder. I imagine this is good because if it affects me this much then hopefully it will have a similar impact on the reader.
Hopefully I will be less-stressed next week. After taking the weekend to relax, I can go in feeling confident I’ll be able to reach my minimum target, proud of what I’ve achieved this week, and excited for what is to come.
(This week my featured image is actually related to my blog. This is how I start every morning before I write: coffee by my side, book in hand, Cass on lap. Best way to start any day, let alone every day. Sure beats the London commute!)