I just finished up one of my most exciting weekends to date (and in a minute you’ll find out why,despite being spectacular, it also is notable for showing how little of a life I have!)
I spent it writing. (And there you have it)
If you read semi-regularly, you know I am in the midst of writing a contemporary romantic suspense novel in the first-person, present tense.
Not my forte. Not even my usual, in fact, it’s a complete split from both the subject matter and the style I usually operate in. It’s been, by turns, exciting, horrifying, and painful.
I hit just about 40 thousand words and it became a languorous climb up a mountain that didn’t seem to have a peak. I pressed on, as noted in last Monday’s post, but it was painful. The joy of writing was gone, and I desperately needed a jump start.
So, I had a mini, at-home, party of one, writer’s retreat. As of last night, Faded Roses stands at just over 62 thousand words and the end is very much in view.
I could ramble about the things I learned until you just run from the post, but I’ll make it short and sweet. I learned that setting impossible goals is powerful for the soul. I learned that sometimes, we have to write not WHEN, but UNTIL we feel like writing. I found that we are capable of things we think we can’t do, that we should never underestimate the power of housekeeping, cooking, or exercise to spark creativity, and that sometimes, maybe all the time, we can barely hang on- and still find strength to reach the summit.
What tools can I give you, found within my surprising box this weekend?
1) Change up the song. I moved from slower, deep music to something upbeat and powerful. Whether it was because that’s where the character is going or it’s what I need to be, I don’t know, but it worked. Think about the music.
2) On that note- sorry- also think environment. I set myself up a lovely writing space with candles, inspirational sayings, and reference books. Turns out, this book needs to be written sitting on my bedroom floor with my back against the bed and fresh air blowing through the windows. The right space might not be the same for every novel. Find the one for your story.
3) I learned the value of breaks. Pay attention to your body. If it’s stiff, go do kettlebells or ride your bike. If you’re thirsty, grab some water- don’t let them become distractions from writing, but also don’t ignore those messages.
4) Set an impossible and ridiculous goal. You’ll feel a bit silly when you don’t make it- I didn’t write 30k in one weekend- but it will swiftly be washed away by the wonder of all you did do. And you’ll be that much further down the road.
5) Believe. It might not come easy. You might want to weep that a sentence so monstrous found life at your fingertips. But don’t give up on the story, don’t give in to anything or anyone, that tells you it’s not worth it, including yourself. Even if it becomes your worst novel or story ever, well then- that’s out of the way. On to bigger and better things.
We can do this, y’all- we can achieve our dreams and passions, we can envision big and do still bigger things- we can accomplish all we wish to. We just have to go for it.