Every time I have one of these writer’s blocks, I can’t help but think a bit about writing and how it works, at least how it works for me.
When I began this project last year in August, it was really more of a whim. I hadn’t been writing my fantasy novel for four or five years at that point. Though you tell yourself that you’ll pick it up again soon, once the time is right, eventually time passes, and you wonder where it all went.
So I decided last year to finally just start writing again. But I knew that if I spent a whole year or two writing and then try to publish it then, I’d eventually stop writing. I had to publish something that someone somewhere might see, or I’d eventually stop writing again.
And for a while, it worked! I wrote each week, and I published something each week. And sure, the writing I publish on this website is basically a rough draft, but at least it’s there. Better to get something down on paper and revise it later, whatever the method, I think.
Still though, I knew I couldn’t sustain that pace.
On the one hand, I knew that if I slackened the pace, I’d skip one week, and then two, finally a month, and then I’d stop writing altogether. And on the other hand, I’d eventually run into a wall where I was to drained to write anything.
Which is exactly what happened.
And I don’t think I did myself any favors. I placed a few artificial constraints on myself that just made writing more difficult. I think it was the right decision to at least have a nominal schedule of one chapter per week. Some people can write more, but that’s about all I can sustain with my current work—turns out that software development uses many of the same creative muscles as writing fantasy!
However, I didn’t need to write chapter one and then chapter two and on and on until I completed the novel. I could have written by whatever part of the story excited me the most.
Which is what I think I’ll do next. Part of the reason I didn’t do that originally was because when I was setting up the site, I had chapter numbers assigned, and I didn’t want future chapter numbers to have to be moved around and re-numbered.
But I think I’m going to have to ignore that niggling part of my brain that demands perfection in the most minute details.