Ups and Downs of the Writing Life

There is a huge drawback to writing on the computer. You can get dependent on the technology.

I was riding a high wave on my CampNaNo project. I was above and beyond the number count every day, averaging about 1700 words per day. Then the worst thing that could possibly happen happened. My computer decided it didn’t want to start.

I spent the next couple days trying to decide if I really needed a computer or not. While they are getting more affordable, how much computer did I really need? The more computer, the bigger the price. I realize that what I really do is I write, surf a little bit, and that’s pretty much all I do on the computer. I don’t need huge graphics. I hate the idea of a touch screen.  But I did want a cd/dvd drive as I’m still partial to my cds so a “flip” computer was pretty much out.

I had been riding the high of CampNaNo and suddenly came to a screeching halt. With the finish line  in sight. I tried writing on a pad and simply couldn’t get any words out. So I went from almost 2k words higher than the goal to 5k below the daily goal in just a couple days.

Now it’s the last day. And I have only written a handful of words since this happened. I went from writing 1700 words a day to less than 100 words a day. I totally lost myself, my enthusiasm and my story in trying out a new computer.

Bear with me here. I’m going on a tangent. I have recently reconnected to twitter, just like this blog. I check it two to three times a day, sometimes I tweet, sometimes I don’t. Since rejoining I have added 40 new followers and am following almost 100 more than I was previously. I have no idea how, but I came across Joanna Penn and followed her.

A few days ago she tweeted about an interview podcast that she did with author Rachel Aaron/Bach.  She wrote the Eli Monpress series and a few other series. In this interview she talks about how she writes TEN THOUSAND words a day. And I thought oh. my. god. That’s insane!

MyAnd only watching a decade later will we understand all the other jokes... first reaction is there was no way I could possibly reach 10k a day. She and I have drastically different lives. She’s a full-time writer. I’m a full-time mother and homemaker. She has one young son. I have triplet toddlers. She’s been published both traditionally and self-published. I have only had a few articles published in a college magazine.

My second reaction was: “Well why the heck can’t I?” If I say I can’t, I probably won’t. And I may not be able to make the 10k every day, but if I could religiously do 4k would be amazing! So I listened to the podcast again. I found her blog and in particular the post where she talks about how she increased her writing from 2k to 10k a day in about a month. I’m not going to go into detail about how she did. But if you’d like to read it you can here.

Getting back to my original idea. Writing has always been up and down for me as I write in an organic way allowing the story more or less to write itself. Doing this, I’m probably never going to get published, self or traditional. I have started more than 5 novels. Although I love them all, I ride the high and when I get stuck and the story stops writing itself, I stop.

This CampNaNo I was insistent on “winning” right up until my computer crashed and I lost all hope. But now I can take what worked for her, find what parts work for me and apply it to my writing. Just because I only have a few hours a day to myself doesn’t mean I can’t break 2k every single day.

Time to start the experiment. I’ve more or less used up all my writing time today to get this post done. Awful I know. Since NaNo was keeping track of my writing, I’ll be able to use that as my “before” numbers. I’ll apply what I can to my writing and I’ll track what happens. I’ll let you know about my progress in a week or so. My goal is to reach 4k a day in my 2-3 hour writing period every day.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Filed under Inspiration, The Writing Life, Writing, Writing Challenges, Writing Tools

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