I add 500-odd words to my novel for the first time in months and I think I am on a roll! In any case, I thought it might be interesting for those non-writerly folks to see into my writing process, such as it is at the moment.
Sit down to write
The biggest challenge is actually getting myself to sit down to write. Many obstacles befall my path. My desk / office / living room / kitchen needs tidying and words simply cannot be formed and put with each other unless every last domestic duty has been fulfilled. The only times I have written in the past twelve months have been when I have grabbed my trusty Macbook and gone out of the house to write. A cafe is a great place to write as there are no chores to do but there are drinks and snacks to consume.
Deciding what to write
I am writing my novel in the writing app Scrivener which easily allows me to move scenes around and clearly label each section. As I am not writing my story in chronologoical order (and I do not envisage the final story to be told in chronoloigical order), this is essextional. However it does mean that those few times I am in a position to add words, I have to a) remember what I was working on most recently; b) decide if I want to continue work on that scene or if another needs my attention; c) work out new scenes that have not yet been fully concepualised and d) re-read all these bits so I can continue writing. Perhaps I need to keep a writing diray to makes on edits and plot decisions to save me from having to re-read these parts over and over. Especially since I can’t help but edit when I am re-reading which I shoudn’t really be doing as this is meant to be my very rough first draft not my perfect final one.
Expelling those imposter syndrome demons
Part of this inadvertant editing and reading means that I spend too long worry about how naff my writing might sound to an actual reader. My current writing goal is not to become an internet Booktok / Bookstagram sensation or to even have my novel published (although I would love for this to happen), My current writing goal is simple. I want to write AND FINISH a whole novel. For me to achieve this goal, it does not actually need to be any good. This is what I am telling myself in order to keep going and get over the deeply cringey and vulnerable feeling of actually writing words and putting them on the page.
Quick Word Count Update
Since I last mentioned my writing, I have gained an accountability partner (albeit one who is not writing herself) in my colleague Em. I have also managed to add a few words to me novel’s word count.
As of 13th January, it was 23,365.
Currently, it is:
That is an increase of just 488 words but that is 488 more than I had written since April last year so I am pretty pleased that I have managed to get something written. I fully intend to add to this limit tomorrow with a trip to a cafe with my notebook and Macbook.