Adventures in Writing

I’m a visual person to a degree: I like things in the proverbial black and white. I like exactness, and tracking progress with precision. I like facts and figures. I like, for example, knowing that at the beginning of March, I will have increased my personal net worth by 10%, thanks to my still-in-progress budgeting and tracking system. Perhaps 10.2% or 10.3%. I do like precision.  Which is to say, I’m still in the negative thanks to a mortgage, but less so.

I’ve surpassed 9k words in the novel, perhaps a paltry number when measured against the total of a true novel, but I look to be on track to meet 10k or even 11k words this weekend, and I’m a bit proud of that. It’s progress. Not bad for someone so lacking discipline as myself, with a full-time job and attempting to contract with a possible client for web content.

With the exception of a single successful NaNoWriMo, (which was horrid in execution), the only time I’ve ever written this much on a single project was for my senior thesis.

Which reminds me, I should pull that out. I enjoyed the end result of it. I had a catchy title, I’m sure (I’ve always been fond of not-too-straight forward titles), and it focused on the power exchange information transference.  What is private versus what is secret. How they’re handled. Motivation for keeping and sharing secret and private information.

I do enjoying examining power exchanges: who benefits, who suffers.

I read once that everything is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power. I disagree: I think everything is about power.

But I digress.

The beginning of the writing process for me was like pulling teeth.  Even after my “aha” moment when I had the first scene of the novel, and  I began plotting the events which shaped her, it was difficult. I found myself lost in distraction, attempting to do anything BUT write, and it came in bits and pieces. Every time I colored in a bubble representing 1000 words on my word map, I felt triumphant.

But something happened along the way. When I started, I forced myself to write 100 pitiful words a day. One hundred! A book would take a million years (give or take, depending on precision) to get written that way. But I was more concerned with establishing a routine. Developing the habit of writing.

In the past two weeks, I haven’t added words every day, but I have “written” every day. Sometimes scratching notes on pieces of paper, sometimes working towards an outline, or pondering what my protagonist’s main crisis will be. Writing, I’ve discovered, isn’t just putting words down.

And I’m enjoying it more. I still list a word count and date every time I break another thousand, but I don’t have time to color it in. I’m ready to go back. And the scenes that were once bare-boned are unfolding, and my protagonist is showing me more and more of herself with every interaction.

THIS is writing, I’ve discovered. I didn’t really enjoy writing before; I loved having a finished product, and I loved editing in order to make it cohesive, to link together. To make it progress as it should.  The shuffling, rewriting, and editing will come later.

For now I just write.  And it’s quite the adventure.


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