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Nov 27

Word counts

As of the posting of this blog, NaNoWriMo2017 will almost be over (I’m pre-scheduling this so I can continue writing all the words while I’m on vacation). I’m hoping to have far more words than I currently do. I’m hovering around 9,000 when, according to the NaNo counter, I should be closer to 20,000—super behind, but not so badly that I can’t catch up if I keep my nose to the grindstone.

The problem, for me, is that when I have a deadline like that and I HAVE to write x-amount of words in a certain timeframe, I end up wasting time on Facebook or wandering over to Twitter (where I haven’t posted regularly in a few years). I’ll decide that my brain needs a break and turn on an old episode of Supernatural so I don’t have to actively THINK about what’s coming next in my story or if I’m getting my character motivation right.

But, like Lays potato chips, you can’t watch just one episode of Supernatural and I end up binge-watching an entire season, letting the time I should be spending working fly by in a haze of demons, ghosts, and ogling the hot guys who star on the show. I do this far more often than I should, and as a result, my current word count is lower than it should be.

I KNOW I do this to myself. Why? I have four books written as Paige and ten written as Rhyann, so I KNOW I have the ability to finish. The easiest answer is that I get in my own way. I tend to stress on things and overthink them to death until I reach the point where I have to get up from the computer or risk a tension headache.

I’m trying to figure out how to take a deep breath and relax enough that I’m able to write without agonizing over every single word that goes on the page. My friend Tibby told me that the first draft of a book is the scaffolding of the story. I need to get the basics on paper and then go back and build the rest—put in the details and imagery I glossed over the first time around. Make sure the characters are progressing in their journeys while staying true to themselves. Create the best story possible, but do it in layers (why am I thinking of Shrek now?) so it’s not so overwhelming when I sit at my laptop to get these words down.

One day, I’ll be able to build my story without freaking out over every word and worrying that I’m a terrible writer who shouldn’t ever put pen to paper again.

One step at a time, right?

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