I have reached 20,000 words on the novella I’ve been writing since November of last year. Yeah, that’s like, 2000 words per month. But despite the inchworm-like pace I’ve been maintaining on it, I still feel like reaching this milestone deserves some kind of cheering.
If I keep up at this pace it won’t be done for probably another year, and that’s not even including the journey through the circles of hell that are rewriting, editing, editing, complaining to the editor about the edits, more edits, and finally formatting, losing the document, and formatting again.
So, how to step on the gas? How to focus on this thing above other shiny new things and just get it damn well finished?
Part of the problem is that I don’t think about the story enough. It’s got to be swimming around in my head constantly–bubbling, boiling–new ideas floating to the surface like bodies breaking away from their cinder blocks. I find that whenever I’ve been stuck or unmotivated for a while, taking a walk and really focusing on what I’m trying to do will knock stuff loose. It’s getting in the habit of doing it that’s the hard part.
If I spend more time thinking about it, the drive to write it will come. Even 1000 words a week would double the pace I’ve been keeping. God, that is depressing to type right there. I should be able to do 1000 words a day, that’s like, half an hour of typing right?
Here’s my plan. I’m going to think about the story every day, for at least a few minutes. About the characters–what are they doing? What are they feeling, thinking, eating, dreaming? About the world, the plot, and what’s to come. About what I’ve already done and what it might foreshadow or how I could use it or twist it to my needs. If I can keep stirring the pot of ideas in my head instead of hopping over to new, unrelated plans all the time, I hopefully won’t be able to keep from writing it. And if I can just keep typing words, a little each day, I might be able to finish this thing in like… five months.
Okay, that’s a worst case. But the worst case is now half what it used to be! Right? Right.
Anyway, thinking is important! I’m going to do more of it.