I FINISHED MY FREAKING CHAPTER AND WROTE A TOTAL OF 2496 WORDS TODAY HOLY CRAP
That feels good. It was a pretty typical writing session for me, realising that I’d set up a bunch of stuff that was more complicated than it needed to be as well as not setting up a bunch of stuff that really needed to have been set up and thus having to improvise on the fly; but it worked pretty well, certainly for a zero draft. And I crossed the 2k-word line.
And it was fun.
Yesterday I wrote like maybe four lines total, spending the rest of the day wondering how I could find a way to work Greek mythology into a story that hasn’t already been done a million times, and felt no guilt whatsoever.
No, seriously, no guilt. It was pretty awesome.
And obviously that was totally justified, because today was productivity incarnate. I’m pretty damn happy with how things are going thus far.
I think it’s a lesson in the importance of being kind to yourself as a self-proclaimed writer. If you don’t feel like writing, then don’t write. And when you do feel like writing, go hard. I know this goes against all conventional writing advice which is all about making yourself do the work even when you don’t want to instead of relying on inspiration to strike, and I’m certainly all for establishing writing habits. But I’m saying that taking breaks and letting yourself take them without guilt-tripping yourself about it is part of that habit-building practice. Because today I wanted to write; I’d been writing in drips and drabs up to this point and then, today, I just wanted to keep going. I wanted to do more. Kind of like the little workouts I’ve been doing in my room; yesterday my entire body said “hey, more of that”, and so I did more of that, and it was almost easy, even after making it slightly harder and adding to my repetitions and whatnot. So basically the lesson is that if you make yourself do something for long enough – and you don’t even have to make yourself do a lot of it – eventually you will find that you want to do it. And it’s been, what five days for me to get to this point? That’s not bad at all. I did force myself to do the work, just not a whole ton of it; just enough to keep things moving. And if days like this are going to be the reward at letting myself start off at a snail’s pace, then I’ll keep on slugging.
Except for when I don’t want to, and I think I’ve broken that barrier. I want to write more. I also want to plan just a little, because I always look forward to writing story that I enjoy, I’ve realised. It’s why I love writing final chapters so much, or just the general third act of any story; the story is all laid out before me and it’s what I want to make happen. I figure I can apply the same strategy to an entire book, where the whole story is something I’m looking forward to making happen.
In any event, I did good work today and I’m happy with myself for it; and it all came from making myself do the work even when I didn’t want to – while not making myself drag it out when the motivation wasn’t there, either. These are the kinds of writing habits I want to have.
So yeah. It’s going pretty well.