Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Trying to Get My Groove Back

You ever hear of the Book-in-a-Month challenge? I successfully completed one such challenge a few years back (My Brandi Whyne series). Recently, life has gotten in the way of me taking up another one. I need to get back into the habit of writing fiction regularly. I don’t have a month free at this point, but I do have a week. One whole week. I thought in March I’d do a “Book-in-a-Week” challenge during my spring break.

Am I insane? Well, of course I am! But everyone needs a goal, a swift kick to the pants to get them moving again. This certainly will motivate me to write, because to draft a whole novel (50,000 words approx.) in one week I will have to average twenty pages or more a day. That’s about twice as many pages as I’ve ever written in my life. Talk about a lofty goal!

The book I want to write in March is tentatively titled Leaving Who. It's the sequel to my fantasy-adventure-romantic-comedy Loving Who, which is now available in print at Amazon as well as in e-formats from Mojocastle Press.

Habits are hard to break, and I’m out of the habit of writing everyday. Sure, I write emails and work on other paying writing projects, but I’m exhausted by the end of the day from my day job. I fall into my desk chair after I come home from work and turn into an email junkie most nights. It’s not a pretty sight. I seem to be related to or befriended by every email joke junkie from here to Alpha Centauri. I can’t resist junk email, either. I sit brain dead for hours forwarding funnies and Maxine cartoons and chain prayers to friends and family members—who in return send them back to me—and soon I’m drowning in them. Help!

Long ago in the early days of the Internet, I purposefully didn’t check my email until after I’d written my “pages” for the day. I was more disciplined. I made myself write the scene, or as much as I could of a scene, before I dialed up and opened the email box that day. And I only had the one email address, too, and not the multitude I have nowadays.

I can’t easily get rid of the email addresses (they do come in handy at times), and I can’t tell my friends and relatives not to send me email jokes, funnies, prayers, links, and spoofs without hurting their feelings. But there is one thing I can do: I can make a promise to myself for one week to write those pages before I crack open the email box.

It’s going to be tough. I know it. I’ll have to get up early in the morning and not open the “box”… but the email will still be there, calling to me, enticing me away from my task. But I will persevere and make that valiant attempt to finish a novel manuscript. Wish me luck!

PS Check out my latest blog about St. Louis at the Examiner.com Feel free to leave a comment there--or here for that matter! I enjoy hearing back from readers.


Anonymous said...





Mima said...

hey Celine!

I did a book in a month for NaNoMo one year. I think the trick is to write tons and daily, so yeah, it's a def shock, but don't get hung up on the amount. make it about the story. mine turned out to be fairly short, but i really worked on it, editing blah blah. i think if you have the pressure to do 20 pages a day, it can get overwhelming, but if you say you're going to write one good scene a day, and that scene may or may not be 5-50 pages, you know?

anyway, you're not crazy. good luck.