Nothing like a deadline to inspire

My current novel was actually writing pretty quick (48k words in 5 weeks!), that is until I hit a wall. Like smacking-head-first-and-falling-on-your-ass-and-can’t-get-up kind of hitting a wall. I’ve faced this in various ways over several novels now and the solutions are always some form of tough love, sit in the chair and churn out words until things start making sense again.

But I was stuck, stuck. Nothing was coming. So, I switched from drafting new words to editing the 48k I had already written, hoping the process of reviewing the past work would help illuminate where to go next. Nope. Nice thought, but nope, I was still stuck after that.

Then a sudden looming deadline reared it’s ugly head, causing much stress, and a frantic rejiggering of schedules (I like schedules, not so much when they’re suddenly thrown into chaos). But one result of this, is I no longer had the luxury of not writing if I were to get this book done on schedule. The fear of not hitting the schedule was greater than the fear of not getting the book “perfect,” which is what I realized the problem was.

So rather than spending time figuring out the “perfect” ending, I just plowed ahead telling myself, if it wasn’t right or I didn’t like it once it was done, I could let the schedule slip if I needed to and fix it then. This was very freeing. The power of the deadline, and the permission from myself to suck, let me wrap up that novel over the next ten days. Done! And–I love it. It fits the book and the series perfectly.

The crazy part is, I’ve faced this with every book to some degree. That fear, and just having to trust yourself that once it all comes together it’ll be much more coherent and fun than the 500-1000 microscopic word chunks you work on in spurts. I don’t know why I forget this book to book. I’ve been thinking I need to make some framed signs of these things to put in my writing space to remind me. But …

Book 3 of the Sunken City Capers series is done! Now it just needs some editing love. Sigh.


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