My writing continues to move along at a good pace. I feel excited and energized, but I try not to get too carried away in a big fit of productivity that would wear myself out. I have yet to establish a steady schedule or routine which could include writing, but for now in the controlled chaos of my life, at least writing can find a place in between the rest.
At first, it was difficult for me to pick up where I had left off in my work last December. I felt guilty about how long I had neglected “serious” writing, and there was a lot I had forgotten. But after a week of writing a scene here, reviewing some notes there, I began to get back into the swing of things and start work not only on the current novel in progress, but also on the overall world building and series planning that has preoccupied me for so long.
Chapter Six of “Saving the Gods” (or “Divine Forgiveness”, or “A Blessed Life”, or “Riwenne” or whatever I end up calling this thing) has now been completed, and I also pounded out Chapter Seven in only two days. The story is really starting to take shape: I can see how the middle fits into the overall scheme of the story, I still feel confident in the beginning, and I have some better ideas about how I might handle the end. Chapter Eight will be the middle chapter, so I am nearly halfway done.
I feel confident that even with delays for other concerns, if I keep going at a good rate, I should be able to finish the first draft by the end of the year. Of course I’d love to finish it next month, take October off, and then do NaNoWriMo with everyone in November, but I don’t want to get too ambitious with my plans. I would be happy to finish it sometime in November or early December, take the holidays off to let it sit, and then begin the new year with fresh eyes to start the editing process. I really think it’s time for me to get the first novel out, no more starting and stopping, and see it as a finished product so I can move on with my other projects.
The more that I write, the more excited I get, and the more that I want other people to read it and tell me how they think. I’ve shared it with a few, but I haven’t heard from anyone, and I’m not really sure what I hope to hear. The most important thing for me right now is just to finish this draft, and then I will be beating people about the head and shoulders with copies so I can ask the tough questions of editing that my judgment alone can’t answer. And if people can’t find the patience to even get through it, that will tell me something as well, that the world building is too heavy-handed and there isn’t enough character development or plot hooks to keep readers interested.
Since I can’t exercise my vicious editor on my own work, I find myself tempted to unleash it on others, but I think that would just be counterproductive. The troublesome part of being a writer and knowing other writers is that you can always procrastinate on your own work by talking to others about your work, their work, someone else’s work, published work, writing strategies, editing tips, world building advice, and on and on and on. Not only are many of my friends at least casual writers and more than casual readers, there’s a whole Internet full of people who are just itching to talk about writing, and sometimes they’re a little too easy to find. Even just today, I missed out on the opportunity to write because I was tempted by an advertisement to join a web community as a reviewer, “to help other people.”
I know what my weaknesses are. I know that I obsess over things, and when I start talking about writing especially, I can get so caught up in just being a writer that I will neglect my actual writing. I need to stay focused and not let myself get too sidetracked by other things. In some sense, I think that being surrounded by a writing atmosphere helps me a little bit, but I take it too far.
But I am moving along all the same. I think about the story all the time, whether I’m at the computer, taking notes in my notebook, or just going about the little tasks of my day. I try not to talk about it too much, because I know that the story is reforming in my mind and there’s a creative process at work that I don’t want to disturb. Despite my doubts, I hold on to my confidence and determination to see this through, and maybe someday I’ll have something to show for it.