Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Writerly Wednesday: One word or Two Thousand--It all counts!

Listen. We all have those days where you know you should be writing, but you just don't have the motivation to do so. Whether that's because you have a dozen errands to run that day, or your kids refuse to nap, or you just can't pull yourself away from that Veronica Mars marathon--life happens. And you know what? That's okay. 

If you're like me, you feel so guilty any time you don't sit yourself down at the computer and jot a few words down. But the one thing I have to remind myself is this: Sometimes it's better for you to skip a day and recuperate, than to force yourself to write words you'll most likely delete anyway. I've decided with my current WIP that I was going to take my time. And I mean REALLY take my time. For a while I always felt like I was rushing to get something done, and I think that's because I was anxious to get it into the hands of an agent/editor. That doesn't necessarily mean the work was sub par, but I know when to admit that I could have taken a bit more time to flesh things out. Of course, this is always a good reason to have beta readers/critique partners. Though, I can't help but consider that if I had given myself more time, I would have seen what the manuscripts were missing that I eventually added or edited out.

Recently I've taken more time on the WIP than any other. And what I mean is that I've allowed myself to take a few days to a week for some breathing time. Usually I push myself to write EVERY. DAY. It would get to the point where I just felt burnt out. But now that I've told myself that it's okay to take a step back for as long as I need, my writing has been better because of it. And more importantly, when I do write, I remind myself that it's OKAY to only write a few words each session. Sure, I usually aim for 2k or more, but if I only jot down a hundred give or take, I don't feel horrible about it. It doesn't do you or your writing any good to put more pressure than you need on getting your word count up. There will be plenty of pressure to come when you get an agent or a book deal. And even then it's all about finding a balance.

Even if you only write for 15 minutes every day, or every other day; don't feel bad for not getting in as many words as everyone on your Twitter feed. We all work at a difference pace, and that doesn't make your work or anyone else's any less. The fact of the matter is: you're writing. A book, mind you. That is damn hard and it doesn't matter when you finish (unless you're on a deadline) but you're getting it done, and that's all that matters.

Heather Marie is a YA writer who loves all things creepy. She enjoys writing horror/supernatural stories that make you question that feeling of someone watching over your shoulder. Heather spends most of her days reading and writing and plotting her next idea. When she's not in her writing cave, she enjoys watching creepy TV shows with her husband and picking apart plot holes in movies.

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