Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Is Through The Only Way Out?

I was trying to figure out why I don't seem to be very excited about working on my current writing project. I'm only a couple of chapters in on a Page 1 Rewrite (actually more like Page -100, since I decided it needed to start much earlier than the short first draft did). At this point I should still be enthusiastic about the new project and cranking away at it. Shouldn't I?

I think the problem is that I've spent almost three months on the outline and these first couple of chapters (and the chapters don't actually fit the outline, so it's out of date). When I work on something in NaNoWriMo, I get through an entire draft in 30 days. It's fun. It's exciting. It's nerve wracking. Without that pressure to be done with 50,000 words by a certain time, I've been doing my procrastination thing and stretching things out.

I need to just write. Today I did a skosh over 500 words and it feels a little better. But I still think I've been working on this one thing for far too long. Other projects are dancing around in my head. I've been writing them down as they come up, trying to stave them off. I'm tired of Winter and the project seems to be part of Winter, so I'm tired of it, too. It seems very appealing to take another break from the current project and start more in earnest on something new, something Spring-like.

But I'd also like to finish what I've already started. To date, since 2005, I've started a half-dozen novels and a few short stories. I've finished and submitted one short story (to a conference contest) and finished a decent draft of another short story. All of the novels are in draft-zero form, or less.

I think in order to finish something, however, I need to do it in a more compressed timeframe. Something more than 30 days, so I don't ruin my life. But certainly it must be less than four to six months. Simple math tells me that if I truly write 1,000 words a day, six days a week, I will have 72,000 words in 12 weeks, or 3 months. In that case, I would be well over half-way finished with a sizable first-draft before my week 6 malaise set in. Maybe.

Maybe it's worth a try. Then again, I think I'll see what chapter 3 of this work in progress holds for me tomorrow. I've heard that the "only way out is through."

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