Two books. Each book about half done and nothing to carry them forward. Well, I shouldn’t say, nothing. Though I wonder how many of us end up with more unfinished, dusty, forgotten works than we haven’t completed. What are the issues that cause this to happen and how can we move past the stigma of never being able to finish a work? I have two, if not three, books in the works at the moment and for the life of me I cannot seem to get back in the groove of writing about the particular stories each have. At one point I wondered if the length of my books was what scared me out of being able to write them.
When I talk to other writers I recommend that they read and then when that’s done read some more. The implication of the missing piece to any unfinished work (especially in my case) can be a page turn away. I don’t mean by any stretch that your ideas should be taken from what you read, because that’s plagiarism, but use the time you spend reading to let your mind mull over ideas and scenarios that you are trying to move through in your own writing. Inspiration can be the key to unlocking your imagination to carry you through the rest of your story.
A Stumbling Block
A lot of writers talk about having “writers block”. I don’t necessarily think that it’s a syndrome or even a state of mind, but I consider it a lack of discipline.
Someone who writes daily is much more likely to move beyond a getting stuck in a thought when writing, than someone who only sits down once a year to write. If you want to write that novel then commit yourself to being disciplined. Break the behemoth down into manageable chunks. Writing one-hundred thousand words seems daunting, however can you write two-thousand words a day. Sure! Then start there and commit yourself to writing two-thousand words daily for 60 days (2 months). What will you have at the end? By the end you will have one-hundred and twenty thousand words. Done. How we look at a given task, especially when it comes to writing, can make all the difference in accomplishing that task.
During NaNoWriMo I was a proud writer when I hit the fifty-thousand word goal, because in that same moment what I was writing became the largest single work I’d ever written. The book needed more work, editing, of course. Still it was an accomplishment that I will never forget and which still inspires me today.
A Drop in the Bucket
Over the course of the next month I want to write around thirty-thousand words across all my books in order to see them each grow a little further. Broken down it would only be about 15 days of actual writing out of the month. Half the month writing, the other half thinking about what to write. While it may be a small leap in the overall size of my books I consider it to be a crucial one if I plan to finish them all by the time I turn 30. (Old jokes to follow).