As I stated in “April Goals + TBR“, I wanted to share at least one writing update this month. I hadn’t thought at the time that I would push it off so late, but here we are! Better late than never. In the future, I’ll try to get these out on Wednesdays.
It has been hard to write regular updates on my novel progress because some weeks are harder than others to write. Either I’m motivated but stuck or unmotivated with nothing productive to say. I also feel like I jinx myself sometimes by talking about how it’s going when it’s going well.
I also feel like I have to make sure that I’m not having more fun talking about writing than actually writing. So sometimes I just have to hold myself back.
Regardless, I’m back today with a plan to try and share how the writing’s going, some personal deadlines, and when I plan to share more updates.
Building Good Writing Habits
When I last did a writing update, it was early in NaNoWriMo 2017. I didn’t end up winning last year, but I love looking back at that post. I was so optimistic. I also find the advice really useful on a personal level still when I have trouble knowing where to start.
However, I now think that the hardest part of writing is not simply not knowing where I want the story to go or even silencing the internal editor. Instead, I think the hardest part of writing is simply getting my butt to stay in its seat so that I can write and get somewhere great. Starting is often the hardest part, not just in writing but in most things. Even when all’s going well, it can be difficult to stay in the writing. I catch a little nagging voice in my head urging me to take a break or, more manipulatively, that I’ve earned one.
No longer do I believe in the writing muse. I do not believe in waiting for inspiration to strike. I believe good writing can only come from getting deep into your story and staying there, even when it becomes uncomfortable.
I’m still working towards becoming a daily writer. At the end of long days or if I’m in a lousy mood, I’m not too likely to write much. But it’s easier when I’m feeling more confident in my story.
In March my writing buddy Sara and I decided to finish our current drafts by May 31. I’m working on my first draft and she’s doing another round of structural edits. April didn’t end up as productive as either of us would have liked. But for my part, I still intend to stand by my self-set deadline.
I don’t have a target word count goal. I just want to write the story’s skeleton, the most important plot points of the overall story. I think it could be accomplished in 20,000 words or less. Unlike during NaNoWriMo when you’re just trying to churn out as many words as possible and not edit anything, I want all the words I write to be good. So I’m writing slowly and carefully.
My next writing update will likely be after I’ve finished my first draft’s skeleton. I’m hoping this could be complete in about two weeks of solid work, but I have given myself until the end of May. I’d like to do more inspirational and writing tips posts on Betwined Reads, but I’d like them to be fun to write and not a chore that takes me away from actually writing. So they’ll likely come as unexpected treats in the future.
Next up this week on the blog is my April Notes (what I’m calling a wrap up which will summarize everything I read and my progress, or lack thereof, on my blog goals for the month), my May Goals + TBR post, and a book review of one of my all-time childhood summer favorites A Ring of Endless Light.