Shameless self-congratulations AKA Writing Progress

Lookee! My little wordcount widget – the numbers, they are going up again! I’ve written about 4,000 words since I set my new goal. Can you tell I’m pleased with myself? The goal itself changed from “write 500 words every school day” to “be happy with whatever amount you manage to get done instead of feeling guilty because it wasn’t more”. Funnily enough, it still came out at an average of 500 words a day – but the process was much less painful.

Plus I got lots of practice at not guilting, which has got to be a good thing, since my “feel guilty about everything” gene is almost as well-developed as my worrywart gene. Witness the following exchange:

Guilt Complex: Oh Noooes! We’ve only written 286 words today. We are a Failure! We will never get this book finished. Never get published. We will be lying on our deathbed one day saying “if only we had tried harder we could have Achieved Something”. And we promised on our blog to write 500 words a day! Public humiliation!! Death and catastrophe!!!

New Improved Me: Begone, evil spawn of Satan! I refuse to listen to you any more. Tra la la! See? That’s me not listening. So what if I only had time for 286 words? At least I wrote something. I’m enjoying this book again! And ideas are starting to come! All is sunshine and roses!!! And tomorrow is another day, tra la la.

It’s true, ideas are starting to flow. I don’t know if they’ve been lurking in my subconscious all this time I’ve been avoiding the book, but they’re popping up all over the place since I poked a cautious toe into the dark waters of The Novel. Some of them are even good.

I had the most gob-smackingly brilliant one (ahem, even if I do say so myself) last night while I was cooking dinner. That pivotal moment in the finale of the book? The one covered in my sad excuse of an outline by the extremely useful sentence “SOME HUGE COMPLICATION NEEDED HERE”?

I thought of it. And it is brilliant. Totally worth waiting for. Sigh.

Gee, I’m just full of smug today, aren’t I? If you feel the need to go away and barf somewhere, go ahead. I’ll wait.

Back so soon? Let me just squee over one more thing, and then I’ll stop. Promise.

I killed someone!! Not a real someone, I hasten to add. That wouldn’t be squee-worthy. A character in my book. Since I am such a scaredy-cat, I couldn’t face leaping off into the unknown of the last quarter of the book. So I went back to a scene I had previously skipped over. It was a necessary scene, but at the time I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for it, so I just wrote “K tries to kill A and fails. She and G are captured” and moved on. Faced with the idea-less void of the rest of the book, however, even that much guidance made writing that part an easier choice to ease my way back into the book.

I was plodding through it, busily getting this secondary character out of the way for the big fight, so he’d be free to come back and rescue my heroine from captivity later, when it occurred to me that it would be much better if the heroine rescued herself and gee, wouldn’t it be fun to actually kill this guy instead. Immediately that scene became much more attractive to write, plus the implications for the rest of the plot started bouncing around, sparking new ideas left, right and centre. I may even become a mass-murderer, I enjoyed it so much.

But you know what the best thing about my new writing goal is? It’s made me remember that writing is fun. Take that, guilt complex!

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3 Responses to Shameless self-congratulations AKA Writing Progress

  1. ellsea says:

    Woot! Congratulations on making good & guilt-free writerly progress, from your fellow SBWA member 🙂 … so glad you’re enjoying writing, and give that guilt-complex a poke in the eye from me.

  2. Marina says:

    Thanks, Ellsea. It’s so much more fun this way!

    You had me for a minute there with the SBWA, and then I remembered! Would you like to be the president or shall I?

  3. ellsea says:

    I’m quite happy for you to be the president – I’ll be secretary & take notes 😀