Writing is fun.
I’m finding myself having to repeat the above, like a mantra. Truthfully it hasn’t been much fun lately; I have a self imposed deadline to finish my novel, and I’m getting nowhere fast. I’m a perfectionist. Not one of the write-first-edit-later crowd (and yes, I know that’s the most effective way to write).
I’ve gone back to the drawing board more times than I care to admit. Each time I promise to myself that this time I’ve got it right.
So, here I am again. Back to sub-10,000 words. But it will be a better novel. This time I’m genuinely happy with it. For now.
I’m also trying to find the joy in writing again. That feeling when you’re on a roll, and the words are tumbling out. And you know that what you’re writing is good. Your characters are likeable, you have a clear story trajectory, and you’re no longer worrying about whether it will appeal to a mass audience because it doesn’t matter so much. You like it, and are proud of it. That’s the way to approach writing. That’s what I’m trying to achieve.
I’m a reluctant convert to story planning; I always preferred to just write. Writing without a structure is easier and therefore more fun, but unfortunately it can lead to a disjointed end product. So now I plan, but not forensically – I still like to ‘pants’ some stuff. The best ideas I have come to me while writing, and often they mess up what I’m planning to do – but the idea is too good to ignore. Hence the over-used drawing board.
Finally, eventually, I will have a completed novel and then perhaps my method will make sense. And if I don’t, well, at least I’ll be able to say I enjoyed the process.