I’ve put a ticker in my sidebar because that’s going to make me write every day. I discovered during my two stints with NaNoWriMo that even when I didn’t want to write for me, I did want to write for the word-count box. With the box to keep happy, I dutifully turned in my 1700 to 2000 words every day.
With the romantic comedy, the same thing happened: an editor asked to see the whole thing when I was stalled eight chapters from the end. I set up a spreadsheet that graphed my progress; even if I didn’t feel like writing, I knew I’d feel like an idiot if there was no uptick on the graph. So every day, I wrote a bit, and “a bit” turns into “a lot,” and over a month, “a lot” turned into “the rest of the book.”
I’m not sure how long I can ride this crest. The fate of the romantic comedy is up in the air again, and by the middle of next week, I’ll either say “WOOHOO!” (not a literary problem) or else I might say, “Well, figures” and get too discouraged to write.
Yesterday, in order to please the ticker, I wrote a bit. And by a bit, I mean “four hundred words.” That’s just pathetic. It’s all the more pathetic because the night before, I’d planned the next scene. When I tried to type, it just wasn’t there any longer.
I wasn’t only goofing off. The morning was taken up with music class and grocery shopping. The afternoon got eaten by a medical appointment concerning Kiddo#1. But still: I stalled. I wasted time I could have spent writing. And worst of all, even though it’s a comedy and the scene involves my protagonist’s mother (who’s always good for a laugh) what I wrote simply isn’t funny.
Lame, lame, lame. The ticker can tell you I only added 400 words, but you’d have to see them to realize how flat those words were. Many of them may go away today.
Please join me in a groan of frustration. I know that in general, when a writer pushes past this stage, what emerges is terrific. It’s just hard to see that from here.