Friday, August 11, 2006

Getting past the funk

As it turns out, I did not write any more yesterday. No scenes materialized in my head, and since I was-gasp!-not very busy at the day job for a change, I spent the afternoon reading the last of the romance novels I'd picked up for "research" (I use that term loosely) and poking around the Forum. This gave me the opportunity to read the "First Impressions" thread, which I have been meaning to do for some time. I couldn't contribute, because I don't know how my MC's meet yet. But I did want to see what everyone else was working on.

The snippets were all good. So good, in fact, that they threw me into a minor "writer's funk." Some of the writers are published authors, and others should/will be. Each voice was unique and--I felt at the time--way better than mine would ever be. I felt like an imposter sneaking around where I didn't belong. What was a physicist doing trying to become one of this group of writers? I should stick to my numbers and let the writers do the writing.

But I got over it. My own writer's voice is so familiar to me that it's hard to think of it objectively. Yes, I am very new at this. And yes, my work is rough in spots and needs work. But as Diana says, the only way to get a book done is to write. And I'm sure that as I go along I will get better. I'm also pretty certain that my newfound friends in the Forum will help me improve as well.

In that positive frame of mind, I came in this morning and two new scenes popped into my head, for a grand total of 1172 words written today (before lunch, even!). I now have nearly 5,000 words on a Work In Progress that still doesn't have a definite time/location setting (I mean, it's Scotland, but I'm not sure where or exactly when), a male MC without a name, an antagonist without a name, and the means of time-travel To Be Determined.

A large part of my funk yesterday was due in part to my tendency to get "locked in" to real life when I borrow from it. I'd been working on the opening scene, which uses real names and some details of my life. That kind of closed down my imagination and I was struggling with animating places or characters that I had to come up with on my own, after reading all these wonderful characters the other writers on the Forum had in their snippets. Then I was struggling with imagining anthing at all. I was worried that I was losing my inspiration this early in the game. So I took a break, read, and didn't try to write anything. Thankfully, my imagination still works. I just have to let it do its own thing.

I also set some goals for myself for the month of August. Cindy over on the forum will keep track of them and hopefully keep me in line! I intend to work on the book at least 30-60 minutes each night after the baby goes to sleep. This can be actual writing, or research. I also set a goal of 3,000 words for the month. Conservative, because I have a feeling I'm going to be spending a lot of time researching until I can get some details nailed down. However, I feel pretty safe considering there are 20 more days and I almost wrote half that goal this morning alone. Maybe next month I'll set a higher word goal.

Anyway, the Day Job calls. At least it's Friday.

No comments: