Friday, January 20, 2012

Writer's Progress

At work today one of my co-workers, who is an encourager by nature, asked me how After Her Death was coming along. I was flattered she remembered that I write novels on the side and told her where I was at in that particular novel. But then I realized that I hadn't done any writing in any story since the first week of the new year. But her asking about it prompted me to want to fly off on another writing binge. I call it a binge because, well, that's what it tends to be in my case. I'll get inspired and the words will gush out for a few hours straight. The rest of the world (including eating) tends to blocked out and I get mono-focus. I have to let the words all come out right then or else wait a couple more weeks for the inspiration to hit again.

I realize this way of writing goes again most of the advice writers get, which is to write a little each day. Set aside a specific time each day and just do it, no matter how you feel. I might have to do that at some point, but I have found it tends to squelch my desire to write and produce some pretty wretched writing on my part. And hey, it's a free country full of individual artists who all write at their own pace in their own way, so why can't I? Probably because I'm a typical first born and like to meet people's expectations and do things the "right" way. It's something I've learned to acknowledge and will deal with it the rest of my life. And that's ok. :-) Once I realize I'm doing that, then I can then make the choice as to whether I want to stay on the path of great expectations or take the road less traveled. (No commentary on Dickens or Frost here,...no, none at all...really....)

So back to the coworker. She wasn't putting expectations on me--but her asking actually prompted me to want to write. Which is VERY GOOD. It may even be putting positive "pressure" on me knowing that someone else actually cares about the story and wants to know how it ends. Cause I got all excited when she asked. :-)  And I suddenly wanted to tell other people where I was in my various novels! Which means posting on my blog of course! Lucky Readers--you get two posts in a week from me. Maybe the Mayans are correct in their 2012 apocalypse prediction.

Without further babbling, here are my word counts as of today:

A Time Once Before: 34,463
After Her Death: 23,585
Chocolate Soldiers: 19,850 
Scapegoat (more on this story later): 16,127
Iron Triangles 7,856 
What He Never Told Me: 5,905


As I'm aiming for the suggested minimum YA count of 80,000, I'm at least a third of the way through a couple of the stories (HURRAY!!!).  This of course, makes me happy and creates the urge to keep writing. Actually, I've written closer to 90K if you add up ALL my word counts. Pity they aren't in the same novel. ;-) I try not to think about all the rewriting that must be done after I hit my end word count.

If you're a writer, I do hope you have at least one or two encouragers in your life who ask how your stories are coming. We all need that sort of thing to combat the typical writer self-doubt. If you don't have that kind of person, maybe it's because you've been too scared to share your story with someone. So, try it sometime if this is you. I think you'll find your fears were unwarranted and you might even be more inspired in the long run.

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