Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…

Some days it’s cake, other days it’s like pulling teeth.  But doing it every day is the key.  I’ve been using a spreadsheet to track my progress and over the last twelve days I’ve added approximately 390 words each day on average.  Some more, some less, but all around there.  It’s not a ton, not quite even two full pages double-spaced, but it is forward momentum and that equals progress.  For me, it’s far more  effective to be on it every single day than it is to try and do it in dribs and drabs.

Ironically, along with progress comes feeling better about what’s actually going on the page (most of the time).  I know some of it is crap, but that’s for sifting later.  Right now, in the “oh my God too many of these pages are blank” stage, I just have to keep plowing forward, dropping words every day like clockwork.  Or a person with a high fiber intake.  Anyway, those are my tidbits for the day, back to it!

10,100 words and counting

It’s been a good long while since I’ve updated this blog, and for good reason.  There hasn’t been much of anything to say.  I’ve been writing, slowly, in little chunks, here and there, for several weeks.  But this last week I turned on the faucet and let the words go.  I’ve written close to 3000 words in the last few days, a large bit of it just this morning.  For me, that is a veritable torrent of wordage.  I’d like to say that all I had to do was sit down and vomit the words onto my keyboard, but that’s not quite how it happened.  Hell, I’d like to say I was able to just look at my outline and the words unfolded fully formed from that into semi-coherent prose on the screen.  That’s not how it happened either.  I sat down at the keyboard and STARED at the screen.  And then stared some more.  At which point I’d be slightly more certain of what I wanted to type, and then I would put my fingers on the keys and start typing.  And then midsentence I would stop and look at it, and think yeah, ok.  We’ll go with this.  And start typing again.

Sure there were points where the words came out with ease, but most of it was actually work, and it took stretching my brain a bit to make it happen.  You hear that?  It was WORK.  But, that being said, it was a damn sight better than the work I actually get paid for.  There’s something to be said for the satisfaction I get out of doing some actual creating.  I’m still a good long ways from done, so there are no champagne bottles opening yet, no glory be hallelujah’s or even thank God that’s overwith’s.  But 10k is a lot of words, and it’s progress.  So, I’m going to get some food and then get back to it.  We’re not done til we hit The End.

Outline is wrapped!

This project has been kicking my ass for years now.  Or rather, I’ve been letting it do so.  In one reincarnation or another I have been working on this particular story for at least five years.  Eventually you get to a place where you’re done playing at being a writer, and just decide that yes, you are a writer.  Writing is what you do, so you do it.  Quality of said writing is always another issue, but it’s something you can worry about after you’ve got the words on the page.

I can now happily say that after lots of messing around, stops and starts, revisions and reimaginings, I have finished an outline that I like, and am committed to writing.  One way or another, this is the outline that will become my full length manuscript, for better or for worse.  That having been said, I rather like the few thousand words or so that I’ve slammed down so far.

I still struggle with making the time to do this, and don’t hit the keyboard every day like I know I ought to.  But I know that quitting isn’t an option, and each day I let slip without putting new words down is another day added before reaching The End.

So, I will leave you with this today.  If writing is something you want to do, just do it.  Don’t fall into the trap of making excuses for yourself to keep you from the keyboard.  You never finish if you don’t start.

-Paul Andrew

2716

2716.  That’s how many words we’re at as we speak.  Or as I speak rather.  Since technically neither of us is actually speaking perhaps its better that I move on instead of continuing to drag this particular horse into an alley and cut off it’s head only to bludgeon it further.

I’ll say, things are busy as usual.  I’ve no other excuses for my slowish progress.  Also, I’m a terrible procrastinator ever since my childhood.  Why do now what I can surely worry about tomorrow, or even in a week, or a year?

BECAUSE YOU’RE NOT GETTING ANY YOUNGER.

Seriously.  I’m 31 and I have white hairs popping up in weird places.  That is to say, any place at all where my hair is white is extremely weird to me.  After all, as far as I’m concerned I might as well still be 25.  Or 19.  Or 12 some days.  Or most days.  Whatever.

In any case, it feels good to be putting words on the screen again, even if they’re not as numerous as I’d like.  Baby steps and all that.  But chapter 2 is under way now, and we’re still moving forward.

-Paul

1% yo.

1600/150,000 Words (1%)

Ok.  So maybe it’s a shade above one percent.  I’m a writer, not a mathematician.  I’ll be including the count as part of each post to my blog from now on.  It’s one of the few meaningful ways in which I can gauge my progress on the book.  Speaking of which, I realize I’ve yet to mention exactly what kind of book I’m writing.  Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m a huge fantasy and science fiction nerd.  I have Star Wars tattoos.  Seriously.  So with that in mind, I’m writing a western.  With magic.  To give you a brief setup we have a grizzled lawman taking his family and moving out to a small town in the middle of nowhere looking to get away from the dangers of his job.  Of course, it wouldn’t be much of a story if things actually worked out that way…  Soon I will have a sample up and posted for you to peruse.  And I don’t mean soon in geological terms either.  Now, where’s my fedora?

And so it begins…

I’m the sort of off again on again writer that so many of us with real lives and distractions tend to be.  I’ve been working on one incarnation of my current work-in-progress or another for half a decade now, at the very least.  Recently things in my life have crystalized, and like many others I’m realizing that there is no such thing as too much time.  In fact, there are only varying degrees of not enough.

Certainly it should be plain to all that your time is limited in a very real way, not merely by your job or family responsibilities, but by the very fact that one day you will die.  Horribly.  Screaming and writhing.  Ok, maybe that last part isn’t a given, but you get my point.  Each of us only has so much time to accomplish the things we deem important.  For me, I’ve often set my writing on the backburner with the dial constantly set to low.   It’s time to rotate the pans, and start to really cook.  Stay tuned to this space for periodic tastes of what’s coming up.  It’s going to be an adventure.  No whip or fedora required.  But let’s face it, a whip and fedora make everything better.

-Paul J Andrew