So last night I started writing my work in progress (WIP) again after several weeks of non-writing. I know, I know, shame on me, but I did have an excuse of preparing for nationals, going to nationals and then recuperating from nationals. But I am back now, writing once again.
For those of you who don’t write, I thought I would share with you the gamut of emotions I went through last night. These emotions were ramped up even further since I hadn’t been writing. For a writer, that can turn on the self-doubt machine full-force. Will I be able to write? Will it flow easily? Will I be happy or frustrated while I am writing? WILL, WILL, WILL>>>?
So as I drove home (and I would only confess this to you, my followers) I sang a little jingle. “I’m gonna write tonight, I’m gonna write tonight.” Luckily I was not carpooling from work or I would have been dropped off on the side of the road. But I was ecstatic. I could equate it to the feeling we had as kids right before we went to an amusement park.
Unfortunately this emotion did not last. When I got home I made my first mistake. I decided to reread my WIP before starting to write again. Logically I told myself that I needed a reminder of what was happening. Makes sense right? All of my ‘non-writing’ followers are nodding and my ‘writer’ followers are shaking their heads. Here’s why. No writer can simple ‘read’ their work. It almost ALWAYS means editing it. We can’t help ourselves. It is in our DNA. So by the time I finished ‘reading’ it. I was tired and I hadn’t written ONE STINKING WORD yet.
Now the little devil jumps on my shoulder and starts telling me that I don’t need to write anything tonight. I’ve done enough already. But I shake my head and convince myself that I can write 500 words. 500 words to get my brain jump-started again. And I plop down in a chair, both cats taking turns sitting on my lap with my laptop as I begin the next chapter.
100 words – I’ve started now.
200 words – I know I can do it. Although it sure took a long time to get to 200 words…
300 words – dear God I am being tortured and in addition to being tired, I’m cranky now too. And this chapter is NOT working for me. Little angel appears on my shoulder and tells me to start writing whatever scene comes to me.
400 words – stop your whining, you’re almost there!
600 words – wait, I have written more than my goal. Why stop now? I can do a thousand words. The little angel is smiling now.
750 words – starting to tire, but my stubbornness is kicking in now. The devil is telling me to stop. I only had promised 500 words, now I am just showing off.
910 words – I flick the devil off my shoulder and tell him that I’ve won. The angel does a little jig on my shoulder
1010 words – I take a deep breath and close my laptop.
So you may be asking yourself why I would torture myself? Well, true there are some days where writing is hard and you don’t want to do it and you can give yourself a thousand excuses as to why you won’t write. But it is also fulfilling and amazing especially when you get into the ‘zone’ and writers know what I mean. Some days the words seems to stream from your fingertips and your laptop glows in the light of your creativity. Those are stellar days, but they are not every day.
A writer who must write has to tell the story. Has to laugh and cry and root for their characters. Has to work through the good and bad and somewhere in between writing days and keep going. Because once you get the manuscript done, another story shouts to be told.