The weird thing about writing updates about writing a novel is that every time I start, I think about how I really should be writing the novel instead of the update.
The thing is, I really like reading updates about novel writing. I don't mean my own (although I have to admit that I do sometimes look back over the years to see how I was doing, during a particular time of the month--usually, I don't find the updates, because instead of writing them, I was working on the novel). I like to look and see how others who are taking the same challenge are doing. I like to see their triumphs, and I'm interested in their obstacles. Reading about novel writing is almost a story in itself--you're pulling for the main character, hoping they succeed, and you're sad for them when they don't.
It's Day 15--exactly halfway through the month--and I'm finally starting to get my crap together. I hate saying that when I write, because I generally only get that feeling right before I lose the thread of the story and begin floundering again.
When I began this month, I had ideas about experimenting with voice and point of view, to the point of almost being gimmicky. But I thought if I could pull it off, it would be a pretty cool story, told in a pretty cool way.
Sadly, I could not pull it off.
Almost two weeks in (13 days, actually), I ended up scrapping the idea, along with pages of notes, and a rough outline of the story. I also ended up ditching or changing a lot of the stuff I'd already written. This kind of move is always a little tricky, because it's hard to watch your word count diminish, especially when you're writing slow and you're under a deadline.
But I learned long ago that sometimes it's necessary, no matter how much it sucks to backtrack. And sure enough, when I got rid of the garbage, the story began flowing like it should.
On Friday, I was able to more than make up for the words I cut. And instead of paltry daily word counts like 300-500, I was able to write over 6,000. I thought maybe it was a fluke, but when I sat down to write last night, I was able to pick up the story where I left off, and not only did it still make sense, I was still rather proud of it.
I also went to the airport to pick up my family yesterday, so the anxiety and sadness that has been dragging me down for the last week has passed. I'm not sure what sort of an impact having them back will cause--on one hand, it has done away with that miserable loneliness that has made it so hard to focus all week; on the other hand, it feels stupid to lock myself in a room by myself to write when I spent so much time missing them when they were away.
I feel like if the story keeps moving along like it should, I won't have a problem balancing family time with writing time, which is a good thing.
If not, I have no doubt that I will cast aside the make-believe characters in my life in order to spend more time with the real ones.
Word Count: 31,257