I’ve recently started working with what I call an accountability partner. I have a weekly word count goal and she edits it for me each week. While I’ve not stuck to it every single week, just knowing that she’s out there waiting and cheering for me keeps me more focused.
In one way though, I’m finding this a little limiting and I know it’s just resistance in my brain holding me back. But, because this person is out there, I know that i WILL break through it. I’ve always been better about doing things for other people rather than for myself.
I’m going to try to work out my resistance here. Writing about it (even writing about writing) helps me find clarity.
What is bogging me down right now? Firstly, I haven’t plotted this book like I did my previously (written but unfinished) manuscript. So, I don’t know where I’m going. If I would have plotted it–and I know I can still do that–it would be easy to just fill in the blanks by writing the planned scenes. Instead, I’m spending time battling in my head, where to go next while the weekly word count hangs over my head. I’ve been making myself sit down and write (or try to write), instead of taking time to plot it. In the long run, putting in the plotting time would be the smart thing to do. (See how that clarity is coming to me)? But taking that time means saying, I have less than my alotted words this week because I spent my time planning and not writing. I don’t like not reaching my deadlines…especially when someone else is out there waiting for it.
Secondly, I hate seeing my word count go up and then down. To write without a plan you have to try things, you have to meander and let it take you where it wants to go. I could easily write 5,000 words to get to the next plot point. I often brainstorm in another document. Lord knows how many words I’ve written to get a paragraph just right, or to find an idea. If I do that in my actual manuscript though, I see the word count climb and then have to cut a lot out. So it may seem like I’m on track, or over my word count then SLASH. Bye bye words. I wasn’t where I thought I’d be.
Do others go through this? Or is it my mixed-up brain? I know that others go through their own writing process and it’s not always easy. I’m not so sure they analyze their inner processes the way I do though. I wish I could turn that part of my brain off. Or at least shelve it as a hobby for later…when the work’s done.
So, I have a decision to make. Should I take the time to plot the rest? Or do I just go with it and try not to worry about slashing words? I’ve plotted and liked that process a lot. But I’m also an artist at heart and want to continue trying to let the story lead me because I think that would be really fun and gratifying.
Or my third option, which I can hear my accountability person thinking if they’re reading this. Lighten up and get off your fucking blog and write that shit. Now, she’s never said anything like that to me at all, and I’m glad because I tell it to myself all the time. But I feel a kinship with my buddy and I imagine that we are two peas in a pod and we agree that I just need to do it.
Love ya, Ang. Even if that’s not what you’re thinking. <3 I’d bet money on it though, so I’m gonna go do it.