Second Act Slog

So, it turns out that even an outline can’t save you from the second act slog.

I was writing yesterday and things just got…hazy. Like, I’d lost my way. The writing didn’t feel as good. I wanted to quit. I was procrastinating by reading one-star reviews on Amazon.

It’s been a month since I felt that way.

What happened??

It was a motivation problem. Not mine…theirs. <shoots dirty look at characters standing in a cliquey group in the corner>

Like a bunch of method actors, they started throwing up their hands and whining about how they weren’t sure what was motivating them to act the way they were and demanding Perrier instead of off-brand bottled water. Bunch of…

I digress.

I shut the laptop, put on a Creative Penn podcast and spent an hour cleaning the bathroom.

I felt better after that (and not just because the bathroom got cleaned) because one of the things that were talked about was how we shouldn’t just count the time we are actually typing words as writing time.

I guess I’d lost sight of that in my push to finish this book (and my goal of being able to publish 3-4 books/year). It’s easy to do, too, because ultimately, getting the words into Scrivener is what creates the end product. Thing is, all that work I did before one word went down counts too. That’s three days of “lost” work if you go by the number of words on a page as your only indicator of progress.

When the podcast (and bathroom) were done, I sat down and checked Rachel Aaron’s blog. She wrote a great post on GMC (seriously, go read it) and turns out it was just what I needed.

I acted on it right then – sorted out the GMC for all of the characters so far – and things are starting to click again. There’s some clunky stuff that had to be gotten past, but I feel confident that an editing pass can sand those rough edges down.

None of that work yesterday counted towards my end word goal. But, it did count toward the depth and quality of the story I am trying to tell. So, it counts.

We’ve got one more week in Camp NaNo and I want to blow that goal out of the water. I’m almost there.

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