April 22, 2011

hitting the wall

I'm not going to pretend otherwise — writing a novel is hard.

This first novel was the most fun and exciting project I have ever worked on, but it was also one of the must turbulent and angst-filled.

I struggled with finding the motivation to keep writing and sometimes the words just wouldn't come to me. Once I was heavily into the writing, I found it hard for me to turn my brain off, which made sleep difficult.

Through it all, I learned that the easiest thing to do was not to write at all.

Just because it was the easiest thing to do, doesn't mean it was the best.

After wanting to tell this story for two years, I completed my first novel in February. I began it in November. Then I started edits and revisions, which I finally finished last week. I finally sent my novel to some peer reviewers, and while the delay in my production did at times irritate me, at the end of it I can say the process has been worth it. It's been a great learning experience for me, and I'm sure it will only continue to get better.

I've tried to find tricks along the way to motivate myself. I'd turn off my phones and Internet, but would usually cave within hours. I hate feeling disconnected from the world. I even promised myself rewards for completing X number of words by X time, but nothing was ever promising enough to keep me rolling. I would create a writing schedule to stick to, but it was too easy to deviate.

In the end, for me, I found there is no magical track. I just had to buck up and make myself do it. The only motivator for me is knowing that I have a story and the desire to tell it.

The only way for me to keep writing is for me to suck it up and commit to it whenever I can as often as I can.

The best piece of advice I can offer is the same that was given to me by another author during a writing workshop. Don't let too much time pass between work episodes. The longer you are away from a story, the harder it is to get back.

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