I was wondering today if perhaps “Not Penned Nor Published” would be a better name for this blog. It was a musing brought on by my admission to myself that after 5 weeks, I really thought that I would be further.
I thought I would be able to quantify my progress in pages, completions, or submissions. But, I cannot. The thing I have realized is how much I have to learn and how much I have to write. I cannot continue my pattern of half-finished character sketches and various scenes scribbled in my notebook or hastily typed out. This is going to take time.
I like the rush of starting a project and the satisfaction of meeting a goal but I dread the grind in between. And you can sense that dread in my writing. The tone is strained, the ideas trail off and the vivacity fades.
So, I have been asking myself, “How do I get my creative juices going and keep momentum on a WIP?” I found the following regime to be helpful. It is very obvious and perhaps redundant but it has stretched me personally:
First of all, I need to set a time. A daily routine gets my whole body in gear. I am still in midst of this step, trying out different times and locations. I am a morning person but teaching starts early and so I usually write before I go to bed at night.
Next, I read a few blogs. I stress the words, “a few.” And I don’t read the feel good blogs, the encouraging blogs or the inspirational blogs. I save those for weekend and really bad days. No, I read the kick in the pants, get moving blogs that remind me that I have writing to do and I better get to it.
Then, I read over what I last wrote, try to get into that mindset. I make some changes, spice up any sections that began to lag, check any facts I think may need reexamining.
Finally, I write. I write for at least 45 minutes. I try for an hour. I try to get at least two good pages a day. Sometimes, it flows and I do much more. Some days, it is sheer determination and the results are sub-par. But either way, I write.
As an addendum: when I am done writing, I jot a few notes of where I think things should go next.
Then, I turn off my computer with a sigh. I allow what I have written and what I want to write to marinate in my mind until next time.