I strive for consistency, but I fail.
I spent weeks gearing up to start revision, and nothing. It’s not writer’s block (something that I don’t really believe in; I mean really? No one ever talks about Sculpter’s block, so why should writers be special like that?). But it was less productive. There were things that I dreaded, so I didn’t start. Once I started, I moved at a slogging, tummy-turning speed. That first day I called myself awesome for making 200 words (go wonder writer!).
The next day it was another 300 words that got me the pat on the back.
Then I turned out 3000 new words, just like that. And since then, I’ve been flying. Of course, it’s a revision, so not everything needed to be rewritten from scratch, but the first 10,000 words are brand spanking new. This is pretty typical for me. Super slow, then super fast.
Getting started was the hardest part. For the beginning, I felt like I’d never get going. I felt like there was no reason to get started. It was like the very idea of working on the project was stupid. I have a Shiny New Idea, surely I should be developing that into a novel instead of wasting my time revising. Does any of this sound familiar? I’m neurotic enough that I know I’ve talked about this before, but sometimes I feel like we have these ideas about how writing should work.
When I draft, I have an idea of how much I should be able to write in a week, a quota if you will. But how I get to those words is a jumble of sprints and flares of note taking, punctuated by long hours of not getting stuff done, doing laundry, and doing the day job. I wish I could say that I really have the discipline to just sit and work, but I don’t. I work hard, and then I don’t. I have stretches of incredible productivity followed by absolutely nothing.
I’ve come to accept this about myself because if you set goals for yourself that you can’t (or don’t) reach, something happens. You get down on yourself, and then it’s harder to make any goals. I know people talk about having a daily quota. I can’t do that, I have to have weekly goals so my goals are flexible enough for me to get lost cleaning out closets or grading exams without going through the I’m-not-getting-work-done crazies.
What works for you, slow and steady wins the race? Or do you take off like the rabbit only to find yourself napping at the end? I always thought it was funny story since they both ended up at the finish line at about the same time…