Juin Charnell

Importance of Momentum

I have read numerous books that suggest the only way to grow as a writer is to basically write every day.
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Now some of you are thinking, I don’t want to write every day. Sometimes I’m plotting in my head, which is akin to writing, but actually isn’t. I talk to my characters all day long, in my head also, but if I’m not putting words to paper it means I am still that far behind in accomplishing my goal.

One of the books I use in keeping me on track as I write novels is First Draft in 30 Days by Karen Wiesner. (And NO I am not hawking her books). I have used her method because I don’t like to outline. But I have noticed that it helps give me enough structure but doesn’t pigeon hold me into a tight confine where creatively can’t still thrive. It’s a loose enough method for my right and left brain to both feel like they are working.

And one of the things I notice is that if I take the time to start writing, even if my goal is 3 pages, I usually end of writing more. It’s the hardest struggle not to edit as I go. Which some writers may also struggle with. But I give myself permission to write badly. I understand that this draft is just that – a draft and not the final product. I understand that in the editing process more nuances of the story may take shape and I’m prepared when I have a decent outline to start with. And her method helps me stay on track because I can use research as a giant excuse not to write. I can get so sidetracked it would make you think I was working on my PhD.

I like the idea of pages a day instead of word count. And I usually use the same method that I use when I’m working on a screenplay. I visualize the scene and write that instead of thinking of the WHOLE finished book. That is too daunting and can stop you in your tracks.

Happy writing.

Category: writing
  • BURIED IN BOOKS says:

    I write too, but usually don’t find time daily, except for during NaNoWriMo. But a page a day doesn’t sound bad. My problem is the internal editor. It’s already started before I even open up my document. While I’m mulling over the next few pages, it’s already saying,”No that won’t work.” When, truthfully, I don’t know if it will or not. I just have to do it. I know I do. But right now, my family needs me so I have to put it aside and figure out a way to shut that internal editor up!

    Insightful post!

    Heather

    December 16, 2011 at 12:28 am
  • Juin Charnell says:

    The really crappy thing is the editor will tell us we are doing a good job also. I was lucky enough to have a librarian who encouraged me and a Professor in college who also did. And when “my negative editor” tries to talk, I give it 2 minutes and shut it down, like a whining friend. And then I can write.

    But I also understand the family obligation. I used to write once my children were asleep. We beat ourselves up and don’t work from the godlike selves we are. Peace Heather and happy writing

    December 16, 2011 at 1:34 am

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