Writing a Book In a Month: Week Two

Allow me a moment to smash my head against a wall. 

Repeatedly

I slipped up during this week! A whole bunch! 

Instead of writing for an hour, I stayed up late having conversations with my sister and brother-in-law. Sometimes we talked about life, other times we discussed politics or business, and then there were the brief interludes where we wouldn’t talk about anything that mattered. 

Anime. Video games. 

Real nerdy shit that I’m embarrassed to admit I wasted precious writing time on. 

I watched more Attack on Titan than I wanted to, solely to avoid working on my book. I told myself, “I have plenty of time. Progress looks great; I should be done in less than two weeks.” 

If you catch yourself saying this, do NOT listen to that idiot. They’re only trying to break your kneecaps and stall you. 

This also was the week where I hit several instances of writers’ block. 

I pushed through them, but I found myself all too relieved when my timer beeped and freed me from work. The last time writing felt too much like a job, I quit for months and didn’t think I would ever return. I didn’t wanna put myself through that again, so I decided to stop when I absolutely couldn’t continue. 

If I wouldn’t push myself to run with a rolled ankle, I shouldn’t push myself to write with absolutely no fuel. Now, ultimately, this is a decision for you to make. There are no two writers alike, so your tank is definitely different from mine. That being said, if you believe you can push yourself, by all means: go for it. 

After I reached these bumps in the road, I decided to try a different approach. I started breaking up my writing time, as well as expanding. Let me explain how. 

At most, I would write for four hours a day. I could break these four hours into thirty- or forty-five-minute intervals, so long as they equaled four hours in the end. While this proved effective, it didn’t last. Eventually, this method encouraged me to start writing for long periods of time again. I found that switching things up really helped my writing mojo – so I would absolutely recommend you give it a try. 

More good news hit me mid-week: I figured out my ending. 

Shocked, I played out the story several times to see if I truly liked what I conjured up. I feel like I got lucky; I usually struggle with endings if I haven’t started the story with one in mind. However, this ending came so naturally, I thought it foolish to fight. 

Of course, with the good, there is always some bad around the corner. 

I started struggling with the good old imposter syndrome

I swore up and down I was proud of my work. 

But in the back of my mind, I struggled to defend such a simple story. I wondered if this was the book I wanted to put into the world FIRST. Part of me considered scrapping the whole project and going back to my original manuscripts. 

The only problem with that was… well, I had already invested two weeks. 

If I gave up, then it was just more wasted time under my belt. Besides, who else was going to write about my characters? Throwing in the towel just meant I would be back at square one, and I was getting tired of how often I talked myself out of good things. 

Of course I would be extra critical of my own work – but that didn’t mean everyone else would be. Where I saw a lousy piece of writing, someone else could’ve been charmed, and left with a warm, cozy feeling. I couldn’t guarantee people would like my book, but I also couldn’t guarantee they would hate it. 

After some tug-of-war in my head, I managed to talk myself down and continue to write. 

I think in moments like that, you need to have perspective. In life, there are so many people who never try. How often do you see writers that keep shielding their work from being viewed? By this, I mean: how often do you – or writers you know – say “it’s just not done yet?” How long has their project not been completed? 

There are countless excuses we can come up with for ourselves, but at the end of the day, no one is going to write your idea except you. 

With this in mind, I continued my book. 

Now, I’m one of those insufferable people who like to edit while they write. For this project, I had to force myself out of that habit. Whenever I was tempted to edit, I pushed my brain to keep writing. I had all the time afterward to edit, and it would probably work better if I fixed the story as one complete unit. 

Looking back, I have to laugh. These problems were big, but trivial in comparison to what lied ahead. 

I would soon face a time crunch, made even worse by severe weather conditions. 

You see, I live in Texas, and as you may have heard: we were utterly unprepared for snow. 

Advice for the week: Don’t talk yourself out of writing. Whatever the idea is, jot it down and stick with it. You can always edit later. 

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