Last week I confessed to not keeping up with my commitment to write a second novel in the Daisy Arthur series. I have been working on Sliced Vegetarian for a couple of years, which sounds like a tremendous effort, until you take into consideration that, in that time, I’ve worked very hard at the fine arts of procrastination and self-psych-out.
There was always something to take attention away from writing. The dog needed to go to the vet again, business needed me to work extra hours (even though a lot of those business hours slipped into Sudoku time–still not sure how that happened) and my personal relationships needed attention–in front of the TV. Hmm. Do you see a pattern here?
Then came the embarrassing wake-up call. Last week, for my Daisy update, I had to admit I haven’t been doing any work on the next Daisy novel–for a few months! Arrrgh! I felt like an alcoholic who’d fallen off the wagon.
Well, I’m back, shaky hands, unclear head, and all. I’m recommitted to Sliced Vegetarian and to producing the best novel I can.
Last week, here’s what I committed to:
- Make time in my calendar for regular writing of Sliced Vegetarian
- Set goals for finishing this work
- Take a stab at a few pages in my next chapter.
Here’s the results:
While I didn’t set aside an hour a day, five days a week, I have carved out some good time that equals five hours in my week. Although not as ideal as setting the same time every day, I’ve still found blocks. Yipee!
Setting Goals For Finishing
My book is outlined and I have done most of the background work. Here’s what I have to do now:
- Finish the draft – one chapter a week. Each chapter is an average of ten pages, and I can write two to three in any one hour session. This means I should be able to finish a draft by Christmas at the latest.
- Go back and layer in some subtleties–like clues and character depth–and some humor (going to read more about this. I don’t think Daisy can survive just with her puns forever)–completing this by the end of January.
- Final revisions will take place for the month after that. This is the part where word processing is so helpful. I will look up and eliminate words and phrases like “Wow” and “Well, as you know …” I will slash and bash flabby writing where I can, and make sure scenes keep driving the overall plot forward.
- Send out Sliced Vegetarian by March of 2013, not quite on my original schedule, but still complete and working towards another publication date.
- Have another novel stewing in this neurological knot of a brain so that I keep going and going. Watch out, Energizer Bunny.
Writing Chapter 19
Oh my goodness! It isn’t like riding a bike. I forgot where I was in the story, who had what personality, and how to write clearly (thank goodness for story bibles). If you’re in the middle of a book, KEEP GOING! Do what I say and not what I did. Picking up after a long break is more like trying to get a middle-aged body out from under warm winter quilts than hopping on a bike for a ride. It hurts–and I mean ouch!
But, I did manage to write a page an a half in my last writing session, and I know I’ll get more productive. The thoughts and attitudes do come back, even if the creative side of my brain is a bit calcified.
This is all reminding me of those black and white movies I watched on television as a kid. The ne’er do well writer sloshes amongst upper society fans in his professorial jacket with elbow patches and pipe, bemoaning his writer’s block. Somebody should have slapped that guy with having to write a blog post that essentially says “I goofed up.” Nothing like public humiliation to help you get your act together.
I was just going to ask for you to wish me luck as I move forward, but this new, organized and determined Liesa isn’t going to plan on luck. This new, improved creative writer is going to prepare for opportunity with good work–at least until the next Sudoku Sirens call. Heh, heh, heh.