Day 62 – Slumber…

Slumber calls me several times a day, tempting me to settle on the couch, on the bed or anywhere I can close my eyes and rest. I’m stuck in this repetitious cycle and have been for the last few weeks. As much it takes me away from my writing, I cannot complain. The cause for my constant desire for sleep is my new prescription. A prescription that has finally given me freedom from pain, which could be temporary, but regardless, it has brought me normalcy, which I craved for more than a year. I can speak, eat and move around without cringing from pain. Pain caused by Trigeminal Neuralgia. The shocks that used to frequently torture me slowly dissipated. Now I’m challenged by this medication’s side effects. I battle with drowsiness and grogginess throughout the day, while I force myself to write and attain my goal of writing my second novel in 100 days. 100 days is fast approaching and the pages appear blank in front of me. Instead the sheets on my bed call me.

Day 45 – “Pause”

I haven’t been able to jot down my thoughts in weeks. I wanted to. I was itching to, but couldn’t. I didn’t fail to, I just couldn’t. I wasn’t well enough and I couldn’t function properly. But let’s skip the sob story and go straight to the good news—I feel better now! So I’m back to writing. I know I’m waaaay behind with my second novel and my goal of completing my first draft in 100 days, but I’m optimistic about catching up or at least trying to.

I made a deal with my creative side a long time ago. The deal was, if it decides to dictate ideas, like plots and dialogues and I am unable to write them down, that I can simply press “pause” and then go back to them when I am able to. This way I don’t entertain the thoughts and I don’t lose any of them.

I am about to press “play”. I hope it still works.

Day 23 – Writing my novel in 100 days: When you’re on a roll, keep writing.

It’s rare when ideas start flowing and you just can’t stop it.

For the last couple of weeks, I haven’t been writing enough to get me going with my story.  I spent a lot of time reading and rereading the first 3 chapters and editing the 3 chapters that came after that. Something didn’t feel right. I was clearly satisfied with the first 3, but the other chapters just fell flat.

And then yesterday happened. I sat down late afternoon, doing the same thing I’ve been doing for days now—reading the first three chapters. Suddenly, new ideas started flowing in. I started to write and I couldn’t stop writing. Things began to make sense. Everything seemed clearer. I ended up rewriting the last few chapters.

Today, I’ve spent most of the day writing and it feels good. It’s been a while since I’ve had a moment of like this, where writing almost feels like I’m reading a good book.  I can’t help but want to keep turning the page.

Day 20 – Writing projects…

I’m making progress. Slowly, but I’m making progress. So far, I’ve got 6 chapters. I wrote 2 chapters since I last blogged, which is better than nothing. I keep changing my mind about certain things, but I’m pushing myself to just keep writing. I find myself editing a lot. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I write. I can’t move on to the next chapter unless I know the other ones worked.

Aside from writing my second novel, I’ve also been working on a personal memoir/essay that I’d like to enter in a competition for Writers Digest. I’ve done a couple of drafts already. I just need to edit it. I’ve got a couple of weeks left before it’s due. That’s all for now…

Day 20 – Writing projects…

I’m making progress. Slowly, but I’m making progress. So far, I’ve got 6 chapters. I wrote 2 chapters since I last blogged, which is better than nothing. I keep changing my mind about certain things, but I’m pushing myself to just keep writing. I find myself editing a lot. I can’t help it. It’s just the way I write. I can’t move on to the next chapter unless I know the other ones worked.

Aside from writing my second novel, I’ve also been working on a personal memoir/essay that I’d like to enter in a competition for Writers Digest. I’ve done a couple of drafts already. I just need to edit it. I’ve got a couple of weeks left before it’s due. That’s all for now…

Day 11 – Getting back to writing

Wow, it’s been 6 days since I last blogged. I would’ve preferred to keep writing but I had my radiosurgery last week. It was an interesting experience. And while the frame was being screwed on to my head (yeah, I’m not kidding), the only thing I could think of was writing my next chapter.

The next day, after my outpatient procedure, I got up at 6 am and went in front of my computer and started writing. I had to. It felt right.

I realized that writing isn’t just something I love to do. It is something I need to do.

 

Day 5 – Chapter 4

Today was quite productive. I wrote a poem in the morning, edited a few things in my book and ended up writing two full chapters. In 5 days, I have written 4 chapters I am pretty pleased about.

I’d love to write more but I’m exhausted. It’s been a long day.

Day 4 – Making time to write…

I wrote so little today. I would write all day if I could. But there is so much going on and sometimes the only time I can write is when I make time to do it. This was why I wanted to do this writing challenge—finishing my first draft in 100 days. I knew it was something I had to commit to and it would force me to make time to write.

I must admit it’s been tough to write the last couple of days because I keep thinking about my upcoming radiosurgery for my trigeminal neuralgia. It’s not that I’m even nervous about the actual procedure or the recovery time, but I’m just anxious to feel no more pain. Anyway, I won’t bore you with the details.

Back to writing…

 

Day 3 – An incomplete outline…

It’s really late. I haven’t written much today.  Been busy doing chores and catching up with sleep.

I wrote a little in the afternoon. I wasn’t satisfied with the results. It felt like I was just writing to write with no real direction. So I went back and looked through my old files and came across an incomplete outline I wrote a year ago. It only covered chapters 1 through 8, but it was enough to get me back on track with my story.

I’ve mentioned before that it took me a while to finish my first book because I was distracted and I didn’t set a deadline. But now I wonder, could it also be because I didn’t have an outline?

An outline never crossed my mind when I wrote my first novel. I simply typed as ideas flowed. I knew how I wanted the story to begin, the conflict and the resolution, but that was all I had. The rest of the story created itself as I wrote. It was exciting that way. I surprised myself. But now that I’m writing my second book and have a set deadline, it feels appropriate to have an outline. A guide. A map. Something to keep me focused and organized.

I’m beginning to think outlines and deadlines have to go together. But does having no deadline necessarily mean you don’t need an outline? I guess it all depends.

I think I will spend the rest of the night completing my incomplete outline. I hope following one will not make it less exciting to write. I hope to still surprise myself in the process.

What about you? Do you believe in outlines?

Day 2 – Defining my protagonist

It took me a while to fall asleep last night because I kept thinking about my protagonist. I knew what I wanted the story to be about, but I knew so little about my main character. What is she like and what makes her unique? After contemplating for hours, I fell asleep and woke up with the same question. It was really bugging me, so I decided to revisit what I had written yesterday. Hoping for something to come to me.

I always write and edit as I go along. It makes it easier for me to move forward when I know what I had just written worked and made sense.

In the middle of editing, my protagonist came to life. It was suddenly clear—what she looked like, who she was and why she was the way she was. I defined her. Because of this, I was able to rewrite and edit my quick draft from yesterday. And because of that, I can move forward.

Now back to writing…