Cracking knuckles and preparing to tackle.

I think I figured it out.

I’ve been dealing with making any sort of progress with my second draft; I’ve been dragging and kicking and just not getting anywhere. And I’m sitting here at midnight with a glass of red wine and my draft in front of me, and I realize something: with my first draft, I mowed through it. Don’t stop for anything, I told myself. It’s okay if your first draft is terrible. It should be terrible. It’s your first draft.

But I’m not on my first draft anymore.

And every time I’ve sat down to write, I feel this tightness in the dip of my throat, and type a few words before I end up online or watering my plants or talking to my dog. And just a few minutes ago I realized that my second draft isn’t my first draft (obviously), and there’s this sort of trepidation, this nervous tip-toeing I’m getting around it, because I told myself the first draft could be awful, and that I just had to keep going and not to stop for anything, but now here I am and…it’s the second draft. It feels a little more serious.

I’ve been overthinking everything, belaboring over small details; I’ve barely made a chip in the face of a granite cliff. I think I need to take on a bit more of my first draft mentality here: I have the rough bones to work with here, so now it’s just a matter of starting to put them all together and make them look a bit more spiffy.

So. Time to tackle this second draft with a bit more shoulder and force and less mousiness.

*cracking knuckles and getting into tough guy stance* Ya hear that, second draft? I’m coming for you.

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Things I’ve done in the past week.

  • Gone through 2.5 bottles of red wine
  • Fallen in love with Sherlock a la Benedict Cumberbatch
  • (not written anything towards the novel)
  • Made chocolate chip cookies
  • Ordered indie nail polish
  • Drank more wi-

Oh, what was that? What was the third thing on my list again? Shush. Silence. You didn’t read anything. I’ve been such a disciplined, diligent writer, writing hundreds of words every day. The novel’s almost finished, now. There’s just pages and pages and I’ve made incredible progress.

Sigh.

Sometimes I feel like this will never get finished. And then I don’t write for a week, and I really feel that way.

Okay. No time to dwell on the past. Got to keep moving forward, right? deep breath. All right then.

(picture me marching gallantly back into the field of battle, here. While wearing a kilt. Kilts are awesome.)

October

It’s me with the word count for the first day of October: 2,302.

It was the first day of the month and I wanted to be productive with it, to start off on a good foot. I think I did, aside from being drunk right now (although technically it’s October 2nd now as I type this, so maybe I was sober for all of 10/1? Midnight rolled in with my second glass of wine).

The story is getting interesting right now. Crazy things are happening. And weird developments are in the notes that I did not foresee. But I think weird can be okay. Weird can even be interesting, sometimes.

I love October. It’s all burnt orange and reds and the smell of raindrops hitting dry asphalt, and it’s the promise of things you don’t have but maybe you could, or the remembrance of childhood, or really it’s just that wine makes me incredibly lame and wordy. But October is here, and I wrote 2,302 words today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll buy a pumpkin. But for now I’ll just finish this glass of red wine and go to bed.

367

Word count towards the novel for the day: 367

It’s 2:20 am, and I know I’m probably a weirdo, because I sit here in the dim glow of firelight, surrounded by candles with incense burning on the counter. I’m a creature of habit, and I get into these weird little routines with everything I do. And writing at night has grown to involve at least one burning candle, incense, and red wine.

The back door is open to let in the night air, and in the distance I can hear someone playing music. It’s rare to hear anything this late at night, and it’s comforting to know someone else besides me is awake.

So good.

OH YEAH.

 

BROKE MY DAILY WORD COUNT RECORD, AW YISSS.

Word count for the day: 2283

Two thousand, two hundred and eighty three. I thought I did the math wrong and did it like four more times over in like three different ways. AND IT WAS RIGHT.

I feel so good right now about that.

 

 

PS – there is 1.5 glasses of red wine making an appearance in this post. Broke my record, feelin’ good. Also, you are all awesome as well. Shout outs of the moment go to MBA2MFA and Katie May who offered me awesome advice and encouragement this week, thanks guys. This is starting to sound like an awards speech. I’m blaming it on the wine.

 

Late night

Daily word count: 971.

It’s nearly 3am, so I’m debating – does this count for Friday or Saturday? But I think Friday, since I haven’t gone to bed yet.

So, 971. It took me a bit of a while to climb to that. I’m a slow reader in everyday life, and I’m beginning to think that I’m also probably a bit of a slow writer. But maybe I just need more time to practice and learn.

I’ve been coming up to this part cautiously, as it’s a big moment in my story, and I feel like it’s a lot of pressure to write. What if I don’t write it right? What if it’s terrible? Also, I’m not sure what’s coming after, so what if I just trickle down and lose momentum after hitting this point? All these little thoughts slowing me down.

But I got about halfway through this big moment tonight. I’m going to sleep on it tonight before (hopefully) finishing it up tomorrow, but then I’ll be past this part.

I would have guessed that these climactic parts of my story would be the easiest parts to write; that they would fly by because I would be so engaged in telling them. But actually, it’s the little things that have been easiest. The world-building, the dialogue – the smaller things, because they don’t matter as much to me. I realize they are equally as important, if not more so (and also that they’re not really ‘small’ things), they just don’t seem as big in my head. But this scene I’m cautiously stepping around, that I’ve been avoiding writing – it’s a moment I’ve tried playing so many different ways in my head, now. So putting it down into words is a bit intimidating.

I will admit, building a relationship between two of the characters has been fun. I hate romance in general, and have been trying my hardest to avoid any sort of gaggy love stuff in this story. But without even meaning to, two of my characters are starting to inject this weird chemistry I didn’t intend to be there.

Random daily notes:

– I had a box of used hypodermic needles fall on top of me yesterday, and one pricked me in the leg. So I have been mildly concerned that I hopefully don’t get like, monkey flu or otter glaucoma now (they were needles used on exotic animals, though I couldn’t tell you specifically which animal needle pricked me in the leg so…great). I’m trying not to think about that movie Outbreak that traumatized me when I watched half of it years ago.

The director reassured me that it ‘should be totally fine,’ so, you know. No need to worry, right? Hakuna matata?

– I’m dogsitting right now for this dog that is making me crazy. He barks at every little thing. My own dog keeps staring at him like, ‘dude, what’s your problem?’

– I was working outdoors in around 95 degrees heat yesterday and came across an adorable little mouse who was napping in a small patch of shade. There was a tiny little hollowed-out nook in the hard dirt, and he had curled up there and was sleeping. Every once in a while he would get up and turn around to reposition himself and get more comfortable, or would scratch himself and then stick his paw in his mouth.

It took every ounce of my willpower not to scoop him up and snuggle him. I must have watched him for close to ten minutes. I took a picture of him that I have probably looked at about fifty times by now. I was surrounded by all these exotic animals, and instead I was transfixed by this tiny, sleeping mouse, his little belly rising and falling as he panted in the heat.