How Not To Bug The Fuck Out When Writing A Novel

“I watched a snail crawl along the edge of a straight razor. That’s my dream; that’s my nightmare. Crawling, slithering, along the edge of a straight razor… and surviving.”

– Kurtz, APOCALYPSE NOW

There comes a point during the writing of a novel when, in the thick of it, some 30 or 40,000 words deep, you look down and wonder, how did you get naked, exactly? Where are your clothes? Why are you covered in grass-stains, your flesh marked by thorn-scratches? Why in your hair do you smell boar’s blood and the mating fluids of forest nymphs? Time is lost in clips and stretches. You feel disconnected from your body. You see a fly on the window batting its wings and you’re like, “I could eat you. I could sustain myself forever on you. Or I could shrink myself teeny-tiny-itty-bitty and ride you into battle against my foes.”

It’s time then to realize you have, as they say, bugged the fuck out.

I just finished a novel, and I had moments where I rubbed elbows with a crazier version of myself, a version of myself with blood in his beard and the flesh of the imaginary pterodactyl ‘neath my fingertips. But somehow, I kept it together. I dared not lose my shit because, Sweet Molly McGibbons, I was on deadline. You fuck with a deadline, you get fucked by the deadline. That’s freelancer law.

I figured that it might be worth it to try to figure out exactly how I stopped myself from going off the reservation to live in the mud and the leaves, and here’s what I came up with.

Together, we shall stave off this indefatigable novel-born madness.

Lay Down Breadcrumbs

Writing a novel is just freaking weird, man. Feels like you’re wandering through a dark forest with a lantern whose meager light is cast by a flock of disgruntled and unpredictable fireflies. It’s like a Miyazaki film up in this bitch. It’s hazy and dizzy and dreary and giddy and did I mention weird? Weird. Weird, weird, weird. It is exodus, epiphany, and egress all rolled into one.

So, it helps to have a plan. Further, it helps to track your plan as you go. Now, that doesn’t mean having an outline if you don’t want it — though, an outline is certainly one way to do this. But even if you just figure out how much you need to write per day to get the novel done by so-and-so deadline, you’re already a little bit ahead. Word count matters. Your schedule matters. Track that shit on a spreadsheet — no, no, I hear you, a spreadsheet will burn the tender fingertips of the creative writer the way an angel’s lusty secretions will blind a demon by cooking his eyeballs in his fool demon head. Still, I’ve learned to love the spreadsheet, just so I know where I’m at on my word journey.

You have all manner of plan at your disposal: spreadsheets, mind-maps, outlines, treatments, beat sheets, notebooks filled with your lunatic scrawls and inked in your own tears and urine, etc.

Use them. It’ll help put a boot on the neck of your sanity as it squirms and screams and tries to escape your house through the cat door. Anything to keep yourself on target and not ape-bat insane.

Sprint Now, And Thank Me Later

What I’m trying to say is, “Get a little bit ahead.” It’s like investment banking: save up some extra word count early in the process and that shit will pay in dividends later on. Because inevitably you’re going to have a day where it’s like, “Oh, the dishwasher exploded? And it took out the stove? And now the kitchen is filled with both soapy floodwater and jetting fire? What’s that, you say? Goblins have colonized the attic? I’m not going to get any writing done today, am I?” And then, voila, you whip out that banked word count and you’re like, “Magic! I did my writing for today, I just happened to bank it last Tuesday.”

You’ll feel like a mad genius, you will. You might even go back in time to thank yourself.

ASAFPMF*

* As Soon As Fucking Possible, Motherfucker.

Don’t wait. Write as early in the day as you can. Get it out. Exorcise the word demons. On an average day, even the best of us build up bad energy the way boat hulls collect barnacles, and with that scummy aggregation you start to lose intellectual energy. Mornings tend to be when your brain is at its lemon-scented freshest, so hop on pop and get moving. This also means you’re giving fate a reduced opportunity to saddlebag you later in the day — 4pm rolls around and suddenly it’s all, “I forgot that I left my children at the reptile house at the Zoo. Or was it the primate house? Ooooh. Uh-oh.” There goes your daily word count as you battle howler monkeys and hooded cobras in a battle for your children’s allegiance.

Stop Shoveling Garbage Into Your Lumpy Writer’s Body

That diet of caffeinated Fritos and nougat-filled pork rinds is not the breakfast of champions. It is, in fact, the brunch of the insane. What you put in your body during the time of novel-writing genuinely matters. What you eat affects your mental state, and if you’re too sluggardly or cracked-out, your writing for that day is going to be a) not completed or b) as incomprehensible as the chitterings of a distempered raccoon.

Here’s what I did. I drank a cup of coffee first thing in the morning and then, mid-morning, a cup of green tea. Green tea is nice because it keeps you awake and alert but dulls the edge of that morning’s coffee. Then, I ate protein. Eggs first thing (eggs are brain food, or so I’m told). Then until lunch, some light snacking: almonds, cottage cheese, some dried fruit or veggies. No carbs, and especially no sugar. Carbs are for when you need to burn energy. Sitting your pudding-laden bottom in a chair and writing is not the way you expend energy. Finally,  Scotch or Bourbon at night. To clear the head.

I actually lost weight during the writing of the novel, which surprised me.

Maybe I have a tapeworm?

Mmm. Tapeworms.

The Only Thing Left To Do Is Dance

Oh, also, a little exercise goes a long way. I mean, you don’t have to actually dance. Unless the spirit moves you. In which case, move that booty, rump-shaker. Move it like they just made rump-shaking illegal.

Pre-Program Your Brain Like A VCR, Before VCRs Went Extinct Like The Dodo

Seriously, you ever try to find a VCR for sale anymore? You’d have better luck finding an undisturbed Yeti print in your backyard. What was I talking about? Ah. Right. Your brain.

On a day where I have serious word count to attack, I sometimes awaken that morning with deep and freakish anxiety as if I am — well, I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s equal parts, “I’m not worthy of the task that has been placed in my hand” and “OH MY GOD MY BOWELS ARE FULL OF SCORPIONS.” Oh! Oh. You know what it’s like? Waking up the day of a test at school, a test about which you forgot, a test for which you are woefully under-prepared. A test you will be forced to take in the nude. With a dunce cap on your head. A dunce cap full of stinky bowel-scorpions.

Thing is, I find that if I preset my brain like some kind of storytelling slow-cooker, I can wake up without that fear threatening to suck my heart outta my nether-holes. It’s like this: before bed, I take a handful of moments to think about the next day’s work — where are the characters, what do they need to do, where do I need the story to be — then I can go to sleep and let my unconscious thoughtmachine chew on it.

Zero real effort on my part, and it helps to provide focus come morning.

Shit Happens, But Shit Comes Out In The Wash

I said it the other day on Twitter, but it perhaps bears repeating:

Writing is when you make the words.

Editing is when you make the words not shitty.

Writing the novel is the long slog through a deep mire, but it’s not a one-and-done deal. This is just the first voyage West — provided your wagons don’t break down and you don’t murder all your characters and consume their flesh like the icy Wendigo, you’re going to do fine. Once you’ve got the route planned, it’s time for editing. And editing is refinement. It’s all hatchet-and-scalpel.

Writing is art. Editing is science. All of it together is craft.

Calm down about the first draft.

Your story is truly formed during the editing process.

Calm Down, You’re Not Curing Cancer

I don’t know why, but it feels like writing a novel is some weighty responsibility, some cross made of aurum borne upon your sagging penmonkey shoulders.

Yeah, listen. Storytelling is genuinely some epic, mythic, fucked-up magical business. It’s important. It really is. The world is build on the bones of stories. Stories have the power to change lives.

But even still, you’re not curing cancer. You’re not powering up the Large Hadron Collider. A house is not burning down with a basket of kittens inside that only you can save.

Vent a little of the pressure off yourself. Not enough to go slack and stop writing (if you do that, I will hunt you down and beat you with your own swollen indolence), but enough to not feel like you’re carrying the world on your shoulders. Writing is a little bit like sex: there’s a very real “mental game” component going on upstairs. You get too choked up under pressure, you’re not going to finish. Not the sex, not the novel.

How else you gonna reach the mighty endjaculation? After all, “climax” is apropos to both fiction writing and sweet-sweet love-monkeying.

How about you, word-herders and ink-thinkers? How do you get through the writing process from start to finish, be it a novel, a screenplay, a memoir, an endless manifesto of rage-fueled anarchy?

“In some inland post feel the savagery, the utter savagery, had closed round him — all that mysterious life of the wilderness that stirs in the forest, in the jungles, in the hearts of wild men. There’s no initiation either into such mysteries. He has to live in the midst of the incomprehensible, which is detestable. And it has a fascination, too, which goes to work upon him. The fascination of the abomination — you know. Imagine the growing regrets, the longing to escape, the powerless disgust, the surrender, the hate.”

– Joseph Conrad, HEART OF DARKNESS

38 comments

  • Well… I honestly don’t know.

    Writing a first draft has never felt as weighty a process to me as the editing phase of writing. Plenty of hair pulled out to be sure, but no bugging the fuck out over a first draft. Basically just get through it by being as prepared as I can when i sit down to write, and seize the moments when the creativity strikes hottest. Whether that means pulling all nighters to get a chapter or two done. Also doing things that completely take my mind off writing for a time, only way to give oneself a true writing break so burnout doesn’t happen I think.

    • @Amanda:

      Editing for me is more… ponderous, but I always feel like the hard part, the marathon, is done. Editing is the time I know I’m going to fix the goofy stuff I dicked up in the actual writing. :)

      — c.

  • I try and set up writing as a habit, writing at the same time and for the same amount of time each day.

    When that doesn’t work I have someone threaten me with a bear.

    Given that there is currently a pool amongst my friends as to which one of us will die first, and I’m in first place…with the method described as “via bear”, this is a very real threat.

  • Editing is easy. The hard part is pushing up word count. The most I’ve ever written in a day was about 5k words, and those were immediately slashed up into bloody tubes and fed to the grinder upon completion.

  • There is a lot to be said for a little organization. Right now, I know exactly where I am and where I am going – and I know how long it should take me to get there. I have the project I am working on mapped out in time, the three smaller things I am going to do after, and then the first rewrite, which I am oddly looking forward to. The hardest part, honestly, is not sitting down every morning and trying to edit the shit out of what I have done so far.

    Therein lies the trap. Backwards progress is not forward momentum.

    ASAFPMF is the big catch of this article, as far as it relates to me anyway. If I don’t get my ass in the chair and in the zone early on, I might as well jut turn on some video games and take Sallybutternuts on her new quest across the lands of Universe of Timesinkcraft. However, I am so lucky in to have a wife that not only supports me in this, but is in the zone herself. It’s nice being able to trade off to get a few more ideas down.

    Also, Chuck’s Beard, I’m coming for you. *Finger. Neck. Line across.*

  • Wow, this is awesome. And I needed this, today.

    First of all, goblins colonizing my attic? That would explain so much. Things keep disappearing, and I’ve begun to wonder if the dog has become a petty thief. But goblins? That’s a much more interesting theory. ;-)

    Anyway, there are days when I’m writing (re-writing/revising is worse — that’s what I’m doing now, and it makes me twitchy) where I lose focus. So, on the good days, I try and write more than the words alloted — just in case. It’s come in handy.

    I have a notebook full of notes. And purple post-its. They are everywhere. I really should get a corkboard, instead of scattering them over the wall. I tend to have novel-related ideas at the most inconvenient time. Like in the shower. Or while I’m walking the dog. So, I keep a pen and a tiny notepad with me wherever I go.

    In order to get started, I try to write first thing in the morning. Even if that means getting up earlier. That helps me.

    This was an awesome post. Thank you for sharing it. :-)

  • Good motivation. I agree about the morning writing part. Every morning I have all these brilliant ideas on what to write. Well, brilliant for me anyway. Then by the time I get off work and get home, I hate the world. Fuck writing, I just want to veg on the couch and snipe 12 year olds on Xbox Live.

  • great article. Totally agree with the sprint now part. I tend to get caught up with life especially when writing in the weekends when my niece and cousin came to visit me. Just couldn’t get my hands on the computer and all the shouting really get on my nerve so I usually sprint my writing for the weekend on Thursday and Friday and do no writing whatsoever during the weekend.

  • Mornings are quietest, with one kid in morning kindergarten and the other in therapy in his bedroom or at playgroup. So there’s just the Crawling Horror bumbling and toddling her way around the living room. So it’s a grace period of about three hours when all is blessedly quiet, from 8:30 when one kid’s out the door and another’s exiled to his bedroom with his therapist, to 11:30 when the eldest returns home from a long day of reading and writing and ‘rithmatic.

    However, there’s all that housework shit to do. Loads of dishes. Laundry that piles up faster than hemorrhoids on a fat man’s sphincter. Toys all over known creation, including those Lego pieces of shit that double as modern-day caltrops for parental feets. Vacuuming. Sweet baby Jesus, the vacuuming. I could honestly use one of those little robots that hide under your couch until a single crumb drops and then WHOOSH! They emerge to drag it back to their dark caves like starving couch-monsters that feed on broken crackers, stray macaroni noodles and the crushed dreams of daily productivity.

    Speaking of housework, I can’t even get through a comment field without needing to jump up and prevent Ye Olde Youngest Spawn from pulling all the books off the bookshelf and scattering them around the room I just cleaned up

    Anyway. My writing gets done in bits and pieces whenever I can snatch five minutes to do so. I can’t remember the last time I had a 1500+ word day… my word count is generally measured in sentences and paragraphs, not scenes and chapters.

  • Timers. Not in a “I’m going to race to get as much wordage as possible” sense. More like “you need to remember to take a break every so often”. So I’ll set old Scrivener to full screen, put the timer on for 15-30 minutes (depending on how I feel that day) and go. When it’s done I force myself to get up, readjust my eyes, and do what I need to do for 5 minutes. Repeat until I’m out of word mojo or distractions sneak up on me.

    Also, playlists have been helping a lot with the current one. Having a dedicated set of songs for each of the two POV characters help keep them and their voices straight while I’m plugging away at the words. I have to write the story chronologically (most of the time. Skipping one chapter doesn’t mess the flow too badly) and can’t spend much time dedicated to one or the other until they part from each other. I’m sure when they separate for a while it’ll be easier and I can just write the event around one brother in one long stretch, then the other, and worry about weaving them later.

    Editing and revision – I still haven’t found the process that works best. This is a problem, but one I’ll worry about at the end of this draft. Then I’ll take some time and experimenting with the novels I have.

  • While there is great truth and wisdom in all of these things, I want to give a special notice to eating right. Writers have got a stigma of basically being constantly covered in a thin layer of cheeto dust and bourbon. That shit cannot fly. My productivity has been ground to a halt because I ate some terrible piece of convenience food. Your brain requires food to run! If you put crappy gas into your tank, your brain will run crappy.

    Do not neglect your body for the life of the mind. Or John Goodman will come and kill you in a burning hotel hallway. And nobody wants that.

  • You wanna finish a novel? Then stay the hell away from TERRIBLEMINDS and Wendig’s fucking flash fiction challenges. I’ve only chimed in on three of them, and now I’ve got protonovels about cancer-ridden, suicidal fathers; spetugenarian hitmen and tumescent vampires knockin’ about the ol’ noggin. Novel writing has got to be serial monogomy. You gotta dance with who brung you, at least until you get her knickers off and you go all the way. And then you gotta keep her around for the morning-after sex, eh, I mean the rewrite. Then you can dump her and move on. I dunno. Maybe some people can work on more than one book at a time, but I ain’t one of them.

  • I violently despise getting up early, would normally prefer gnawing my own legs off, but I have found that the morning is the best time to get the words out. It pains me, but it’s true.

    Also, planning. My folder full of deranged scribblings has been my saviour during this particular first draft. Without it I would be licking the tables in Starbucks and storing food in my socks. Again.

  • I tend to turn into Satan when I write. I don’t want to be disturbed, no matter whether the house is on fire or not.

    First draft is easier to walk away from, but you can bet you’ll find me sitting at the computer from 8am till 6pm, because I WANT to. Sick, I know.

    Editing, I love to do. It’s like I’ve finally done the hard part and now I get to do the fun part, put on the makeup and fancy dress. But you’ll still find me sitting there from 8am till 6pm, and the moon could have exploded and be hurtling towards Earth and I’d still be pissed off if someone disturbes me. It’s like waking a sleeping Doberman. I’ve done that. Had one. Not a good idea.

  • I start the thing and write until I’m done. Keep my head down and keep sprinting through each day, even though the goal’s a marathon away. Then I don’t write a damn thing in between. I’m happy to take days or weeks away from writing between books, working on games, toys, or whatever. Freshens up my brain for the next one.

    Sometimes getting back to writing’s like returning to training camp, but I need that off season, even if it’s only a couple weeks.

  • Novel Process:

    First drafts are easy. I can do it anywhere, fit it in to any schedule, peaking on the raw discovery and fun. It’s just for me at that point, any audience is at least one more draft away, and I can groove. The focus is all on events and ideas.

    I also chart my daily word count in an excel spreadsheet. That keeps me from ever stopping short and often keeps me writing well over what I planned.

    The second draft is the hardest because I’m deleting almost as much as I’m writing as I try to make everything blend together and make sense. It’s also the hardest for me motivationally because even though I know it’ll grow into something pretty, it’s one fucking ugly duckling at this point. Work work work and no growing word count high.

    I love the third draft which actually starts happening somewhere after the second half of the second pass when my plot finally comes together. Then it’s all about the language, the subtext, the theme. Then, every word I can delete is a celebration, every tightened image a chunk of dead wood whittled away.

    What gets me through: Well, honestly, summer. I can usually only squeak in an hour or two of writing a day during the school year, and that’s not all novel work. Having pages due every other week to my writing group also helps. In the summer though, I can work as much as I want. Sometimes two hours, usually four, occasionally twelve.

    Other than that: no desk to clutter up with other stuff to do, lots of music, tea, coffee, and gum. Only dangers, reading jags, surfing the net.

    I have also completely divorced my TV. I don’t even miss that soul sucking bastard these days, which means I still have time for friends and family and all the other things I do for fun.

  • I guess I didn’t really answer the question. How do I get through the writing process? I must have silence (no frikin Sesame Street in the background), tea (but I usually forget to make it in my hoarding of thoughts and words). I push myself when I want to make a word count, but honestly sometimes I write 10x more than that because it may be a day where I’m just so passionate about what I’m writing and have so much to say it just keeps coming and never ends and then I realize the kid’s dangling from the chandelier and all hell’s broken loose around me.

    That’s the best I can do. It’s a mystery to myself how I’ve managed.

  • @Wendig

    Oh, I hear you about the editing. And i’m starting to get there too. But…. it’s hard to feel comfortable knowing that i started off with a long book for the first draft and in the editing/rewriting process found out that where I sucked was skimping on some ideas i had and in some places i didn’t even bother to ponder because i thought it’d make the book TOO long. Gonna do it, make the book how it’s supposed to be, and pray i’m dping it right, but definitely not particularly comfortable for an unknown writer trying to enter the fray with an 200,000 word book :)

  • My kids all grew up with The Rule, which all can still recite to this day:

    “Don’t bother Daddy when he’s writing, unless you’re on fire– and can’t put it out with one hand.”

  • This post was hilarious. Also, the other comments crack me up.

    I am coming to the realization that I need to get my writing in ASAFPMF too. Even though for years my best writing time was at night, after school and homework. But now that I work nights, and get home late, I am just too tired to write.

    So mornings it is. I’ve noticed that you CAN retrain yourself to write in the morning if you have to. I am still not what you call a morning person. I think I should be able to sell my mornings to morning people and take all their nights, sort of like a time-share, but since we haven’t cracked the barriers of time and space yet, I make do.

    I am half way through the book, where everything feels stupid and trite, and can’t I just set it all on fire and dance on the ashes? Reading the post on conflict is helping, but my boredom keep wanting to insert things like “And then Godzilla attacks! No, no, vampire unicorns! From SPACE!”.

    I am bored because I know all of what happens next. The good news is I know how to get to the ending. The bad news is knowing this makes the writing boring, because I feel like I am just going through the motions. I’ve kept some things up in the air, but not enough to make a difference to my interest.

    Normally I just push through anyway, which in the past has lead to lots of things being cut. So this time I am trying something new. I spent the writing time yesterday reading over what I have written so far, all 111 pages of it. I mostly skimmed, and took notes on all the elements that kept popping up. The book is about a medium, so naturally lots of stuff with ghosts came up, but there was some unexpected elements I didn’t realize I was focusing on. Like the character’s relationships with their fathers, and a branch of philosophy I made up.

    Now I am going to look at these elements and figure out ways of working them into the ending in new and surprising ways. Wish me luck!

  • Anti-psychotics and caffeine.

    I try to take some time off from the day job at the beginning to bang out the word count. I usually know more about what happens at the beginning and end than I do the middle, so that gives me the illusion that I’ve got a head start.

    Cuts down on the losing my shit factor.

    I don’t get a chance very often to go heads down on a project. An hour here, an hour there. Though I don’t like having to chunk it out like that it’s become a useful habit. I don’t need too much to be able to focus. Noise canceling headphones are a must.

  • Thanks. You always make me laugh, and I really need that right now.

    I am THIS close to finishing a coherent draft that needs only fine tuning, and my body is rebelling. I have a chronic condition that is flaring and really cutting into my writing time. I have to take frequent, short breaks to manage pain, but I make a note of where I’ve left off and where I was going with the edit. Hopefully, the pain will pass and I’ll get to the finish line.

  • Holy shrap, dude. Your message was serendipitously timed. I am in this bi-polar place with my manuscript… where I’m beating myself over head with a bottle of Centrum, trying to vitaminize the words in my brain… and then telling myself over the course of months that someday it’ll all come naturally.

    I am going to put my kid in daycare, and reset the process using your suggestions (including but not limited to, resisting the nougat- filled pork rinds).

  • “You fuck with a deadline, you get fucked by the deadline. That’s freelancer law.”

    Can I get an Amen!

    Learn to love spreadsheets is on my to-do list. Do you like have a 12-step program for the .xls fearful?

  • About 3/4 way through my novel, I was screeching like a pregnant woman 8 months along. “I just want this thing out of meeee!” Novels really are like fetuses. You must feed it well. You must put aside bad habits, and it must be #1 in your life, or it will come out hog-nosed and encephalitic.

    Eggs are brain food. They have sulfur which is know to be good for brains. Ask any zombie.

  • OMG been there. There are these moments around the halfway point where it just seems like I’ve lost the way, the characters are too stupid to live, the big secret they need to find out is going to sound stupid to the reader, the climax is going to come too soon (or fizzle), etc etc etc… But yeah, I just keep plowing away and eventually the dominoes all start to fall. By the time I’m in act three I’m barrelling toward the end and you can barely tear me away from the keyboard… but it’s such an uphill slog to get there.

    I’ve learned to trust my subconscious though. It knows where the book is going even when I have no clue.

    The only part of your advice that hasn’t worked for me is writing first thing or early in the day. I do the opposite. I wait until every other demand on my time has pooped out and gone to sleep, leaving me a blissfully quiet midnight to 3am or so to myself. No one ever wants to schedule a doctor’s appointment, car repair, business lunch, house inspection, birthday dinner, or impromptu visit then!

  • If I were forced to write first thing in the morning, and by first thing I mean 10:00 or so because anything earlier is fucking obscene, I’d claw blindly at the blank screen until I had enough raw material to form fiery poisonous spitballs and then blast them through the interwebs in your general direction for even suggesting such a thing.

    But I’m part owl.

    For those of you with kids, I recommend sending them to college. Don’t wait until they apply and get accepted or until you think you can afford it. You know they’re going to end up there eventually, right? Pack up their stuff and move them into a dorm now, before they accumulate more than three carloads of necessities.

  • I write in the mornings, after I put the big “Writing: Only Disturb in Case of Copious Blood, Appending Apocalypse, or Elvis’s Ghost” sign on the door. I put on Pandora to the appropriate music to set the mood, set my alarm for two to three hours (I have kids), take out my book break down, and lose myself until the screaming beeps tell me it’s time to homeschool. I have had major issues with the whole eating thing; to be honest, I forget about food. Not that you’d realize it looking at me, but hubby has been known to risk my wrath to bring me a sandwich in a bid to remind me to eat. With this post, and all the responses to it, I’m now going to add a “breakfast/snack bag” to my routine. You are all right; what you put in is what you spew out.

    The big problem I have is getting my characters to act in the way that I have planned. Because Sun Tzu was so right about plans never surviving first contact with the enemy. Sometimes I’m taken right off the cliff of good sense and drowned in the sea of “wth???”, and yet I laugh like a giddy mad scientist creating Frankenstein. The characters like to just wander into places I’ve never consciously considered, and all my good intentioned plans are completed shot through like so much Swiss Cheese. Yet somehow it manages to get itself done, and I feel more like a biographer of the characters’ lives than I do the creator, which is ultimately pretty awesome. Hence, daily word count for me just doesn’t work. I so wish it would; it would make writing life so much easier.

  • This might be an old posting but it couldn’t have come at a better time, I swear to God. I wrote my first novel in the first half of 2011 and my second novel in September, 2011, and I’m working on the third, which I started last week. . .meanwhile, I think I’m losing it, right? And my poor husband’s running out of patience. He thinks I should see somebody, as if I have time to see somebody. I gotta write this book.

    I like to write but I didn’t expect to be doing it 24/7. I pet its little head and the next thing you know, it’s got me by the throat.

    Just kidding.

    Really though, I’ve got to get this novel out. It’s in there, it’s begging and crying and threatening me with bodily harm if I don’t release from its prison cell. What can I do? What choice do I have?

    I don’t do spread sheets, by the way. I wake up one day and I know what to write, pretty much. After that, it’s just a matter of getting it down on paper before my husband serves me with divorce papers, or I faint dead away from not eating and not sleeping.

    That could be part of the problem, not that I have one. I’m just sayin’.

    Looking for an agent for Weirdly Scary/Offbeat/Quirky Novel One, and Psychological Thriller Novel Two, as I write Number Three. . .not sure of the genre yet, but I’ve got time, right?
    At least two weeks; if I last that long, I mean.

    It’s a crap shoot.

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