In Writing

Happy Tax Day for those of you in the U.S.

Three things are inescapable in the life of a writer: death, taxes, and dissatisfaction with how much one has written.  Today, at the halfway mark of National Novel Writing Month, I find myself at over 14,000 words in novel # 3 (I’m not even going to mention novel # 2.  It’s more than that, but I’ve made less recent progress by comparison).  This is good, right?  Especially taking into account that it didn’t exist at all 2 weeks ago and that I’m having to do research for it.  For example, I am trying to hunt down my town’s police chief to ask him police procedural questions for some background details to make something that happens in the novel sound authentic.  So far no luck, but I’ll keep you updated.

Anyway, my dissatisfaction comes from the fact that reality, my old nemesis, has made it so that I’ve downgraded my daily word count goal from 2,000 words to 1,000 words.  I noticed that all last week, when the goal was 2,000 words (which takes me about two hours, give or take), I had several days when I didn’t write at all.  But since I downgraded to 1,000 words I’ve written every day.  It’s probably because I know I can hammer out 1,000 words anywhere… on the bus, during a break, while watching the kids play video games.  It’s almost embarrassing not to do 1,000 words, but shirking away from 2,000 words sounds reasonable.  Sane, even.

Ugh, psychology.

Ms. Perfection hates this of course.  1,000 words a day means I won’t have the novel done by April 26th, when I will see my editor in New York for a panel we’re both on.  But, in view of the fact that no one cares about this but me (and my editor didn’t even know I was going to spring this news on her), Ms. Perfection is just going to have to suck it up and realize that 1,000 words a day for an estimated end-of-May completion date is better than the lofty 2,000 words a day goal which means a completion date of never.

So that’s where we stand.

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