Writing Progress

I’ll be honest, the last three and a half months have been very rough for me, from a writing perspective. All through COVID, I was able to keep on soldiering forward. 1,000 words a day. It helped that I had a very definite deadline I was working toward for some of it, and that I was well into writing and revising Don’t Go to Sleep. I’ve always prided myself on my ability to churn through my words, whatever else might be happening in my life.

But that project ended, and I faced the dreaded What Do I Write Next phase of an author’s life. It took me some time, but it helped that I knew the general genre of what I was going to work on. (More historical thrillers!) I picked one and got to plotting. I was still working toward something definite, and all was right with the world.

But then the wheels started to fall off the bus.

Between the stress around home renovations and gearing up for Tomas leaving, and then the disruption of my family heading off to Europe, I cruised into my vacation running on fumes. When I got back, I was out of practice and had a bunch of work to do to catch up on everything else. Then the bathroom renovation picked up and Tomas was actually leaving and yada yada yada . . .

Writing has been tough.

I know it’s easy to just say “go easy on yourself,” and I’ve tried to, but I’ve been writing so long, it feels like an integral part of who I am. Struggling with it hits me in a way not much else does. That said, it isn’t that I haven’t been writing at all. I took the time to go through everything I’d written for my current project, revising it and bringing it all to a certain level of consistency. That was roughly 45,000 words, so it’s far from nothing, but it still felt like a real cop out, because many days I’d just sit down and work on it for 20 minutes or so and call it a day.

The good news is that it finally feels like I’m getting close to the other side of all this Stuff I’ve Been Going Through. The house is getting clean and decluttered bit by bit. The bathroom is finished. Tomas is off. And so the last few days, I’ve been able to sit down and actually get 1,000 words of new material done, even on days when I’ve felt exhausted. I still had enough in the tank to write.

I expect it to be a bit rocky still from time to time, because I don’t think this is something you just magically are done with, but as I look at my trajectory, I’m very encouraged. I want to get back to the point where I feel like my life is under control again. I like to have everything at a certain level of order, including my To Do list. When I wait to long to wrangle it into shape, things go poorly . . .

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