I'm writing this on October 13, 2020. My mini-dachshund, Sophie, is curled up next to…
I’m writing a first draft right now. I’m excited about the story. I know the main characters, know the main plot points. Usually, I can estimate a word count goal for the day (depending on what I have going on) and meet it in a set amount of time. Not this time, my friends.
I’m writing slow. I’m talking S-L-O-W.
Yesterday, I didn’t even hit my word count goal, and I worked past six pm. Today, I did hit my word count goal, but it took seven hours to do it.
I want to write faster! What’s going on?
Right now I’m chowing down on a creamy caramel and trying to figure out why I’m struggling to get the words on the page. My thoughts:
- It’s January. I live in northern Ohio, and we had a severe winter storm this weekend. Yesterday it was below zero. Today wasn’t much better. I can’t blame everything on the weather, but being cooped up inside with gray skies does affect me.
- This is the first book in a new series. I’m still getting to know the secondary characters. I’m creating the town and the feel of the community. Plus, there’s a lot of plot to pack into this story.
- I’m in the middle scenes. My mind can’t always keep track of the various plot threads in this phase. I drop things–the faith thread, the romantic tension, the conflicts and goals. And it slows me down because I know I’m not getting it all but I don’t know what I’m dropping. At night, I usually get lightbulb moments–hmm…I forgot to address the emotional fallout from the previous scene. Or this IS a romance, right? Shouldn’t the MCs be getting butterflies?
That’s all I’ve got. Tomorrow I’ll force myself to sit in my office and tap out words until another scene takes shape. Then another. And at some point I will walk away from my laptop–with or without having met my word goal for the day. And I’ll repeat this until the book is finished.
Then I’ll find all the threads I dropped and all the areas I know are flat, and I’ll revise the book to make it shine.
In the meantime, I’ll have another caramel and try not to overthink it.
Writers, what slows your writing down? How do you get through it?
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