Do you ever have those days that you just feel like setting aside your story for something else? Those days when you figure you can just catch up on what you are missing the next day. Those days when you just feel like reading a different book for a change…
I hate those days. They seem so kind and inviting when you are looking at the bookshelf. And then when you come back to work, there are piles and piles of words to be written and edited because you are so far behind.
Sometimes these are just days. Sometimes they are weeks. Either way, I’m going to give you a better way to pave a detour path from your novel.
Writing a book is a marathon. Just bare with me for a moment. If you run the entire time that you are in the marathon, you are going to burn yourself out. Or at least, that’s the case with writing. Writing goes fast; that’s just how it works. The parts of the run where you slow down to a walk for a few minutes would be those days.
We all need to stop and catch our breaths for a moment during our story writing process.
Instead of falling behind and having to make up for the lost word count, try getting ahead and having a little bit of time saved up. Say you are having a really good writing day. Say you are at the end of a chapter and still have the momentum left to write another. Or you have those precious few minutes between the plot points that make up your day, and you can do a little bit of editing there.
Instead of falling behind and dreading coming back to writing (because of all of the work ahead), just go ahead and get a lot of that work out of the way. If this week you needed to edit x amount of chapters, and you edited two more than that, then that means you have some time off next week to kick back and relax.
I’m always looking forward to long weekends and counting down the days to breaks from classes. I look forward to that Friday off and think to myself that if I can just make it to Friday, I can catch up on my sleep. Or, more likely, lose sleep over a writing marathon. But in the case that the writing is the work, use that break of relief in the distance as incentive to keep going.
My challenge for you is to not wait until the last minute. I have work due at the end of the week for English that I already have done. You know why? So that way I don’t have to keep that on my inner-checklist for the rest of the week. It makes the work load a lot lighter.
The way I see it (the reformed procrastinator part of me, anyway), waiting until the last minute to do something isn’t doing anything to help you. In the end, you are still going to have to edit that particularly terrible chapter or rewrite that unbearably awkward scene. Why add in days worth of dreading it? Just get it over with.
So try to get ahead. Save up those vacation days for when you really want to use them. That’s my opinion, anyway.
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Thank you for reading, and don’t stop writing!