Day 5: Keep Going…

It’s day 5 of the monster novel writing challenge, and I’m still raring to go but flagging a little. I think after my earlier burst of ‘go, go, go’ the tiredness and enormity of the task is starting to weigh over me a little. However, I’ve actually hit that joyful moment when the character takes over and you’re not so much writing as transcribing for them and discovering where they want to go and what they think and feel about things. Basically, at 14,000 words, a bit of magic happened. I’ve just hit a little over 15,000, which has to be a personal victory. I’m flying high on the wave of word count victory.

The things that seem to be keeping me going is just a kind of dogged determination – I have to force myself to open Scrivener, open the chapter I’m working on, and just write. It doesn’t matter if it takes a little while to settle back into it, but at least I’m writing. Apparently Week 2 is when things get more difficult as the initial burst of excitement and energy dies down and you’re left with the reality of the task ahead of you. My thought is that okay, it’s scary and more than a little mad, but at least you’re doing something incredible, something that proves to yourself that you can do something, given large amounts of caffeine, writing into the wee after midnight hours, and lots of bullying by a friendly relative, or pet, or your inner critic. Yes, it pays to cajole your inner critic into actually being on your side. Bribe it with promises of excellent editing in the months to come. Instead of pummelling you with ‘this isn’t good enough’, get him/her/it to push you harder, to encourage you, to write a paragraph or two saying why it is so important that you finish this manuscript.

Then when you’ve written the days word count goal, reward yourself. With snacks, a film, a night out, whatever. Its strange how I’ve developed a ‘now I’m sitting down to write’ routine – I switch on the fairy lights, light some candles, make myself a hot drink and sit my butt down in front of the computer. I’ve been rewarding myself with chocolate, naturally. This is the month to let rip on the self pampering front – buy yourself something luxurious, treat yourself to beauty products, buy something that will come in the post and spur you on. Or, make a bet with yourself – for every day you complete your word goal, set aside a few pounds, or promise yourself a very special treat once the month is over. The possibilities are endless. After all, you’ve got your work cut out just forcing yourself to sit down each day and churn out something. You might as well be kind to yourself and bribe your brain into submission.

On Friday, I went to Mamma Mia! with captions –  basically unadulterated Abba cheese, but it was fun. Especially the part at the end when the entire audience stood up and started dancing…

There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream.  ~ Author Unknown

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