Decisions, Decisions…

I have a confession to make. Lately, I haven’t been doing much writing. I started the year out with high hopes and a pretty good schedule that I was determined to stick to, but life happened and various things caused the schedule to fall apart. Now I’m trying to pick up the pieces and decide how I should proceed with my works in progress.

About a week ago, I decided I was going to write for just an hour a day. Anything. It didn’t matter what I wrote, or what particular story I worked on, just as long as I was writing something. But I realized it’s a lot easier for me to stick to a certain word count or page count per day than it is to stick to a certain time-frame or number of hours per day.

Now I’m trying to decide what my daily word count ought to be, or whether I should focus on writing just one of my works in progress, or if I should do two at once. I still want to revise THE ARCHIVES in May, but as of now, I’m unsure of how to go about that revision. The story is only about 37,000 words, and it reads quite fast, so I should be able to have an idea of where I’d like to go with it sometime within the next month… but it’s just a matter of time management.

Eck. I’m sure every writer has these types of difficulties. Do I work on a brand new story? Work on rewriting and revising my old ones? Work on whatever has the most potential to be published? Work on the one I love the most (but that’s silly – I can’t decide which one I love most)? It’s not like I’ve lost interest in anything I’m working on. It’s just that I’m at a loss as to how to proceed. I guess this is a type of writer’s block… and I don’t usually experience a lot of that. Oh, well. I guess everything will fall into place one way or another. I think I’ll look to my writing instruction books for some inspiration.

12 thoughts on “Decisions, Decisions…

  1. It’s so hard to decide what to write next and find the right rhythm but just remind yourself that you can do it, you’ve done it before. Sometimes to helps to take a break and come back with fresh eyes.

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  2. Maggie,
    Have you ever read Stephen King’s book, “On Writing”? I was surprised to read that he writes 6 hours a day! Having a time limit is one way to approach it, but reading your post, it doesn’t sound like that will work for you. I think your issue is trying to understand what your “motive” or “purpose” is (work on what’s going to get published, etc.) Been there. I think once you think about that some more, you’ll know what to do.

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    1. I did read On Writing – and I may have to read it again; it’s been awhile since I’ve read it! Hmmm… it seems I definitely have to think about what the purpose is for each of my WiPs. Thank you!

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  3. I took a break from writing my novel a few weeks ago (about a week after I started it). I know I can’t compare, but my point is that breaks are good times for reflection. Good luck with your new routine!

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  4. King’s On Writing is actually two books. The first part is an interesting, but less useful biography. The second part, the actual writing advice, is good as gold. I’ve read that part a great many times, and often still refer to it.

    Second point, and sorry Maggie, but this is going to hurt. Let me preface by saying I know exactly the quandary you find yourself in. But here’s the truth of it:

    Getting tied up in knots about what to write, about when to write, about how long to write, or how many words to write is a trap. That discussion is what is keeping you from just writing.

    I speak to both you and I when I say that we can find endless reasons to NOT WRITE, but only one TO write. And that? Because we say so.

    Good luck.

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  5. What do you want to REALLY do? Think about that, I do not mean what you THINK you should do but what you would like to do. I say do what you like, regardless of what that is, and I also feel that if you get to the point you feel burnt out, then you are perfectly allowed to take a break.

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  6. You will find clarity again. In the meantime, I agree with “write what you are passionate about”. Just select one of the peices that speak to you. And go crazy on that. May you have much success in the upcoming days.

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  7. Just speaking from my experience, I found at one point that having two unfinished novels (and no finished ones) started to feel like a weight. So, I set a deliberate goal to finish them, before starting on anything else. I worked at it very methodically, chapter by chapter, and I gave myself a definite deadline (my 50th birthday). The fact that it was a discrete project helped. It had a beginning, a middle, and an end. And having them done really helped in moving forward to other things.

    Oh, and I agree with Richard. The solution is in writing, not in planning. As Alanis tells us, the only way out is through.

    I hope this is helpful.

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