Matches, Jamie Street

In-Between Writing

I don’t want to write another novel.

It’s true that I have several ideas waiting to be continued or started, but to be perfectly honest, I just don’t have it in me. I can’t bring myself to start another 80,000 word project right now.

So I’m in the in-between writing phase. I want to write but I don’t want to start a long term project.

My focus over the next few months will be journal and magazine submissions. Poetry, short fiction, and non-fiction/essay. Let’s do this.
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Into the Void, by John 'K' / Courtesy of flickr

When Writing Scares Me

There comes a time in every writing project when I get scared. And it’s not at the end. No, it’s usually just over halfway through, before I can really even start thinking about an ending. I don’t often anticipate it even though it happens every time. I get to a point in my project, in this case a novel, when I hit a wall and start to think and doubt and wonder if I’d just be better off scrapping the entire thing and starting something new.

Every time this happens, I have to push myself through it. I have to focus on what’s on the other side of this terrifying void. I have to stop and say, “Sarah, this is ridiculous, you’re having fun, you’re enjoying this, this is good, you’re doing really, really well, and you’re over halfway there, and it’s a good thing, and please, please, please don’t lose steam now.”

But I do lose steam. It’s a struggle to find the right words. My daily writing goes from 1K or more to 0. Then I start skipping days. Once I start skipped days, I know it’s really bad. Because a habit forms only with consistency, and if I stop writing, stop that consistent meeting of a word count goal or a scene written goal, then the habit stops being habitual. I take too many days off and that’s when I really think, well, this is the end. You’ll never make it now. Might as well take a break and pick up later with something new.

No. I can’t let myself do that. It wasn’t until this time around, when I broke 40K and realized I was over halfway through to the end, that I equated my pause, my hesitancy, to fear.
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