Monday, June 02, 2008


This is the first time I've written a sequel and I'm being plagued by a terrible case of a lack of confidence. To be honest, this is normal for me when I'm writing and I stay that way the whole time (in fact, it affects everything I do which means I'm often a basket case)--I DO NOT know why. I also don't know why my husband hasn't pulled the plug on the computer and put me on prozac. I don't think I could live with me in this state . . . or someone else who's like me or . . . you get the idea.

However, this time it's about something very tangible: pacing.

Normally I begin slowly--introducing characters, building scenes, layering the plot with tensions and unanswered questions. This time it only made sense to jump in with both feet, but I'm constantly fretting about whether I'm in the right place at the right time doing the right thing. In other words, the inner editor is fighting for the upper hand and I don't have enough money to send him off on a cruise this time (or even get him drunk on really cheap $2.00 Strawberry Hill Wine). Consequently I'm only about five thousand words into it.

So I'm telling myself:

You're not writing anything you can't rewrite later.

So just trust yourself to write the story.

So stop watching You-Tube and write.

So stop dancing around the office to the sound track of the Fighting Temptations and write.

So stop reading other people's blogs and go write.

And now I'm telling myself. End this blog entry and go write.

At least that seems to have worked.

Edited later: I wrote two thousand words today, which is a vast improvement on my progress so far. Amazingly, the cure seems to be keeping one's butt in one's chair and refusing entrance to all distractions. And typing. Lots of typing. Somewhere in there, I found an old familiar rhythm and I left it behind in good conscience at the end of the morning.


alice said...

" So stop watching You-Tube and write."
Haha :)

Dennis Bryant said...

The sequel aspect has given me fits as well. You have to introduce the characters for those who read the books out of sequence without boring the ones who read them in order. In fact, that struggle has slowed progress more than any other issue. I guess I'll find out before long how successful I was dealing with it.

Ray Veen said...

Ratcheting up the word count is like exercising: you'd rather do anything else but 'get started'. Once you do, you get into a rhythm and feel great.

Mary O. Paddock said...

Glad you liked that Alice.

Dennis, I am just dying to read what you've got at this point. How far have you gotten? The struggle wasn't visible in the first chapters, if that helps.

Hi Ray. I've been adrift for months without writing to wake up to. Though relearning to focus in an unbroken fashion was a challenge, I'm grateful for the challenge.