It’s no secret that I have commitment problems, at least when it comes to writing. In fact, (honesty time) I haven’t finished a rough draft of a novel idea since I did NaNoWriMo in 2006. The closest I’ve come is 10K words on a WiP that was lost when our hard drive crashed in 2011. (At least I’d already abandoned it. Always back up your work, friends.)
I tried every which way to overcome this problem until I reached the point where even trying to write or thinking about writing made me sad and tired. So I took a break. I’ve done this before by going on a complete hiatus from writing, but this time I assigned myself a Goof-Off Project. I’m writing something that no one will ever see and has no hope of being adapted into something professional. And you know what? IT’S WORKING.
At this point I’ve written over 20K words, which breaks down to about 9K of background scenes and 13.5K of actual novel-like story. And I’m not to the end yet.
Is this a waste of time? I don’t think so. Like Lilith Saintcrow says,
“The first million words are practice. They can be as bad as they want to be while you’re learning. It is not important WHAT you write. It is important THAT you write, and write consistently, and keep looking for ways to make your writing better.”
I’ve learned all kinds of things about what my writing strengths and weaknesses are, I’m relearning that I CAN do this, and I’m starting to get a picture of how I can do this again when it counts. I couldn’t ask for more at this point.