Writing is simultaneously the most thrilling and exasperating thing I’ve ever done. I can get so engrossed in whatever’s pouring out of my head that I’m often startled by outside interference; be it a touch on the shoulder or someone calling my name, the latter of which usually takes at least three tries to get my attention. On my best days, I feel like I’ve run a marathon; take Mondays, usually my best day for writing. I sit in the kitchen trying to pound down breakfast, ever aware of the time, and trying to close out this bloody scene before my friend pulls up and we have to head to work. After an hour or so, I pull away from the keyboard, smile, sigh, and prepare to pat myself on the back when….WHADDAYA MEAN I’VE ONLY WRITTEN FOUR HUNDRED WORDS?! IT’S BEEN AN HOUR! WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING ALL THIS TIME?!
Ah, yes. There’s twitter, my Google Reader, and less frequently, Facebook (I’m trying to cut back the habit).
Oh, I know what you’re thinking, I do. But Avery, if you just close those out and focus only on your writing, you’d probably get a lot more done. And it makes sense in theory, doesn’t it? DOESN’T IT?!
I was diagnosed with ADHD when I was twelve; my mother was good enough to give me a choice as to whether or not I wanted to be medicated. I declined. Writing with ADHD can be extremely difficult, as the urge to get up and do anything else becomes harder to resist, the longer I sit. On the flip side, it means I’m a fairly accomplished multitasker; I can follow my news feeds, stay up on twitter, and accomplish my daily word count of five hundred words. I once had my goal set at one thousand words a day but found that it was almost impossible to reach; I didn’t like having to lower my goal (and thus my standards), but it forces me to work harder. If I have a great day (usually on the weekends) and write over two thousand words, it means I can coast for a bit.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I absolutely abhor first drafts with every little atom of my being. I despise them. They’re wrong. They are not fit to be used as toilet paper, much less public consumption. Then again, I speak only for my own writing; yours is probably much better. As I continue to write my first novel (and become ever aware of the looming deadline to get this thing out by the end of the year) I’m trying to become more accepting of the idea of revisions, but it’s a process. So I end up frustrated, re-writing the same scene over and over again. The good news is that I’m always satisfied with the final result, but I feel as though I’ve wasted a lot of time arriving at that point. Tessi, the Barefoot Author, put up a really good post about her own dealing with rewrites, and was good enough to share her own work. Glad to know it’s not just me, although she seems to be dealing with it better than I am.
Writing under contract is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. Granted, my publisher is awesome; he puts no pressure on me. All of my deadlines are pretty much self-imposed. But I feel as though if I don’t finish this book, and I don’t keep my word to have it released by the end of the year, then I’ve let him down. He chased me down and gave me everything I wanted in order to sign me as an author. The least I can do is justify the investment.
I confess that Universal Warrior: Atherean Defenders is approximately seventy thousand words long—with only two (barely) cohesive chapters. And somehow, I still have to have this thing done by the end of the month—which allows for an end of 2011 release date. So there’s a lot of work to be done and not a lot of time to do it. Anyone wanna trade passions for a minute?!
I’m reading this kick-ass book called First Draft in Thirty Days; I’ll use what I learn from here on the sequel to Atherean Defenders, entitled Heir To Fire. Yes. I just dropped a hint.
So that’s all for now, this is what it’s like on the front lines of the creative process, at least from my utterly insane perspective. Thanks for reading, best of luck in your own endeavors, may the words flow freely and the dreams shine brightly.
(c) Avery K. Tingle for Akting Out LLC
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