I have a confession to make. It’s been a long couple of months, and I’ve been working at finishing “Witch’s Curse” but I’ve been struggling a lot more lately.

I put up “Witch’s Sacrifice” a little over a month ago. I hoped that over the course of May, and maybe June, I’d finish the second novel. I have been working on it, but I am not putting nearly enough on paper to finish it by the end of June like I wanted it to be.

The edits struck a little harder then I thought they would. Not in a bad way! It’s just that now when I start writing I hear that nagging voice a lot louder in the back of my head… not that word again. Don’t do that. What are you writing? It’s obnoxious and I hate it.

Before those edits I wrote what needed to be written knowing that they would be fixed in post. That’s how you’re suppose to write. Do one draft, read through it and clean up the little things, or the glaring issues, then send it to an editor to have the grammar, spelling, and consistency examined. That’s the way I did it before, and what allowed me to finished NaNoWriMo several times. It’s what got me through the original book, writing every day and knowing that even if I wrote down crap at least it was written and I could go back later and fix it.

So why do I hesitate so much now? It’s my own brain, that internal editor that keeps asking “how should we say this thing now?” And he’s so insistent, so zealous that he is making it tough to write some days. I will sit down, read the last paragraph, and know that I need to write the next scene. I know that character 1 is going to talk to character 2, they are going to get into an argument, and then they are going to fight. Easy, right? I have all the pieces, now just right it.

Then I get stuck on the minutia. How do they walk into the room? What are they doing? Who is all there? Things that I need to know, but things I usually discovered as I was writing instead of before. I’m not sure which is better. I’m not sure if there is a better. I do know it’s slowing me down right now.

I do know one thing that is helping: “Take Off Your Pants” by Libbie Hawker. A few chapters of this each day seems to be get past the internal editor, and right back on track.

Today I practiced breaking out of that internal editor, giving myself permission to suck again. I wrote another 1500 words, and I’m going to try and do another 500 before bed. The goal is to get to 3k a day by the end of next week. That’s what I need to do to feel like I’m actually making progress on the stack of books I want to write.

The struggles will continue, I’m sure, but they are worth it. The end goal, finishing another novel, is worth every frustrated moment.


2 thoughts on “Confession

  1. Hi Crissy- Still cleaning email and found this. Not sure this is a current issue, but it’s one I face. A new technique I discovered during Monica Leonelle’s 8×8 challenge is helping. I use my phone to record each scene as if telling it to a child or a good friend. As I speak, the story pours out, sometimes in fits and starts. There is a lot of “No wait, nope can’t do that, darn it that won’t work, but in the period of 10 minutes, I typically have all of the choreography, character arcs and POV issues worked out. I listen to it again, and then re-record. I’ve been tackling a bunch of related scenes while I have a few minutes. Then when I’m ready to write, I just pick a scene, listen to the recording and go. It’s really helping on hi-emotional content scenes or those involving battle or magic, which I find so hard to tackle. I use the Smart Voice Recorder app, which skips silence.

    Hope this helps.

    • I do something similar, but in text. I really can’t do speaking to a recorder. But I block it out, like you’re saying, and write down who hits who how and the result of each move. Then once I get the desired effect I go through and actually write it.
      Sometimes it’s a bit harder because I’m dealing with supernatural creatures that have magical powers, or creatures that aren’t in a normal physical shape. It’s just a lot of work because usually it’s more stream of consciousness writing while for the fight scenes I actually have to plan them out.

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