I have been writing a good bit these days. It’s mostly 500 words on one project then – ooh look! Squirrel! – but I’m getting things done in small bits.
Awhile back I gave a story to a friend to read over for a possible project. She kept it for awhile, read over it, edited it, and sent it back to me bleeding. It was the first romance-type thing I’d finished in over a year, and it was short. And in terrible shape.
I knew it was in bad shape when I gave it to her, but I did it anyway. Mainly because I was too close to it. I couldn’t see the problems because I’d been living in that world for weeks. Ultimately what it boiled down to was that the characters didn’t have time to build the relationship and I kinda fell off on some of the important details.
I’m fixing it. And in between fixing it (and fighting the crippling bouts of fear that I suck as a writer) and playing mom to TWO kids (yes, there are two of the little hellions now), I’m starting to put pen to paper on other projects. If I ever make it to the end of the 25 things I’m writing at once, I’ll have enough to keep me in new stories for at least two years.
But I’m taking it one step at a time.
Right now on my plate I have a romantic fantasy novel, a paranormal romance novella, a paranormal romance novel, a holiday… something… (novel, novella, I don’t know yet), a Cowboy romance (a sequel!), and a contemporary novel and contemporary short story. All of these things are in varying stages of completion, which means I have lots of things to divide my time. Which also means I have too many options and can’t focus on any one thing for an extended period of time. Lexxx and Lucy are both going to tell me to put all of it away and only pick one thing, which I’ve tried to do…desperately. It just doesn’t work with me. I’m way too hyperactive for that.
I’m also the type of person… I love the rush of beginning a new project. I’m not talking about the plotting and planning stage. I mean that very first moment you put pen to paper. There’s nothing at all like it and it’s a better high than any drug.
Or so I’m told…I’ve never done drugs.
Then 10,000 words in, I hit that slump. By 15k, I’m telling myself I hate the book. If I make it to 25k before I dump it and walk away, that feeling usually goes away. There’s a lot of anxiety that goes with writing a successful story.
Part of my trouble, I think, has been that I’ve not really had time to read lately. This two kids thing really eats into my free time. In the past few weeks I’ve started listening to audiobooks, which has greatly increased my productivity. Right now I’m listening to 12 Years a Slave on Spotify. It just went up this morning and I’m already on Chapter 3. The book is breaking my heart, but it’s also showing me a side of history the movie couldn’t even touch. I’m learning something while I trudge on in the mindless activities of my day job.
So it’s not the wild leaps and bounds of progress I’ve been hoping for, but it’s there. I’m trying. I’m getting better.
Baby steps, kids. Baby steps.