Yes, I admit it. I am procrastinating. I’ve dug out my office (which was loaded with clutter), re-established my desk as a workspace, and reviewed my Action Points Outline and stared at the screen and I am simply…meh…on what to write. The other night I updated my hand-held calendar (one of those checkbook size ones) in which I record my daily progress. At the end of each month I tally number of words written (regardless of which WIP they are on).
April (which is when I began, on the 14th): 12,190 words
May: 30,511 words
June: a fabulous 35,339 words
July: a lousy 14,083
I am massively disappointed in July. It isn’t as if I didn’t get any work done. And I was out of town for 5 days that allowed no writing. And beginning of July was when I did the major storyboarding and made cuts and alterations. I am now officially done filling holes in the manuscript but for one scene that will get tossed in later when I have time to borrow someone’s 5 year old for research. I am, effectively, caught up and a little beyond where I was before the storyboarding. And I’m much more on track in terms of the suspense of the entire book. But my work habits have been inconsistent and hellacious, and I’m just disappointed about the whole thing. Pot says that while I have admirably upped the suspense, I’ve just sort of forgotten the romance (which is really what is called for in the scene I am trying to finish). So I have decided that I need a full read through of the current draft, now that all the additional scenes are in place, and as I go, I need to write up a Romance Point Outline to match my Action Point Outline. This is, admittedly, more procrastination, but I hope it will be productive procrastination. As hubby is at band practice and I have the house to myself, I’d rather do it now than this weekend, which is when I originally hoped to squeeze in a reread. Because of all the changes and my inconsistent schedule I’m not totally in my characters’ heads right now, and I need to get back there do write anything worth keeping. So I am off to read.
Oh, the guilt on both of us, sorely misplaced since a) I know you’d rather I said something if I thought it, even when it seems to cause all this trouble, and more importantly b)…
while it’s true that there aren’t as many words recorded for July, it’s not because you worked half as much. With the exception of your vacation (during which you still thought about your story and tried to work on it some), you were still really consistent. Yeah, you took a few reading days, but who didn’t, and you needed that too. The fact is that it wasn’t so much that you didn’t write as many days in July, it’s that you didn’t hit a zone as many times and your output on those days was generally lower.
Besides the fact that there was editing, you seem to be at a point where everything’s more complicated, more technical. You’ve written most of the easy stuff and now you’ve come to the point where you’re really having to sit down and think through and check facts. You’ve done a lot of fact-checking lately, time that in June might have been spent just writing, but it needed to get done. It takes time and it affects your momentum too.
So even though you didn’t make as impressive a word count, you’ve still been doing the work. Give yourself a break.
Screw the word count.