Musings in Frustration

Don’t get me wrong, I love writing. I LOVE writing. Finishing the first draft of my novel, Girl Tries Life, was euphoric. I had created it. All 68,000 words of it. Me. My imagination.

It was one of those moments in life where I was really proud of myself.

But that was back in December. Life has since taken it’s grip, and I’ve been busy. Everyone says that, people see it as an excuse, and it partly is. I didn’t stop writing. I wrote 40,000 words of the sequel, wrote countless blog posts, not to mention all the writing I’ve been doing at work.

What I’ve been putting off is returning to Girl Tries Life. I spoke to an agent earlier this year and was strongly encouraged to get my word count up to 80,000. As an aspiring author who wants to see their book in print, 80,000 is an average size and an expectation for new authors. If you’re planning to solely e-publish, then the word count is less important.

And so, for the past few months as I’ve been working my butt off in all aspects of my life, preparing for my three month leave of absence, the book has been looming. I’ve promised it to beta readers before I go away. It’s smart, really, to give my readers three months with no pressure to read my book. I will be off galavanting, therefore in theory won’t stress about it. But the book is looming over my shoulder, staring at me from the page of my to-do list.

Today I sit at 74,556 words and am urging myself to write another 3,500 before the day is over. I’ve spent hours reviewing the plot, trying to figure out where to add words that aren’t fluff. No point adding filler if it will just be taken out. This process, this effort to add a total of 12,000 words to my first novel has taken a little bit of the fun out of it. It’s put pressure where there wasn’t before, and it’s had me referring to it in my mind – and sometimes out loud – as the god d**m book.

I know I’ll get through it, and I know it will make for a better product at the end of the day. I also know that others have gone through this exact moment. How did you get through it? Any advice for other aspiring authors here?

And with that… back to the god d**m book.

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4 Responses to Musings in Frustration

  1. mahriegreid October 5, 2014 at 11:45 am #

    1) stop calling it the GD book… (toxic language sets you up for failure) you can call it “the STUCK FOR NOW” BOOK or THE BOOK ABOUT TO BE UNSTUCK – anything implying forward motion.
    2) speed write in a blank document- type the question “why am I stuck” and put down anything and everything that comes into your head…
    3) put in those 3500 words no matter how good they are — – you can edit them out later if you like — but mentally, seeing the 80,000 plus words in the bottom corner of your document may be just what you need to bust loose.

    • vscot848 October 5, 2014 at 12:14 pm #

      GREAT advice, Mahrie. You’re right, I’m putting myself in a negative frame of mind when I do LOVE this book at my core.

  2. dianacranstoun October 5, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

    Great advice from Mahrie. I’d also suggest – you’re sending this out to your beta readers and then going away for 3 months. Chill. Have an a-maz-ing holiday while your betas are reading and commenting, then come back refreshed to your ms, read your betas’ comments and progress from there. You have a great premise, good story, and you’re a good writer. All will be well.

    • vscot848 October 5, 2014 at 7:30 pm #

      Aw, thanks. For those of you who don’t know, Diana Cranstoun is my Mum, therefore is bound to say wonderful things about my writing. Thanks Mum!

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