a confession (soLs)

Many of you know I have a goal for my fiction writing of 1000 words a day. Even though I only meet this goal three or four days a week, there is rarely a day I go without writing any words on my current draft. And just so we’re clear, this is a goal I have when I’m in the midst of a zero draft — meaning, the first time I’m attempting to capture a story. When I’m not writing a zero draft, then my fiction goals change.

Right now I’m trying to finish a zero draft by the end of the month. My 1000 words per day are critical to make this happen. Guess how many words I’ve written on my zero draft in the last week.

I’ll give you some hints…

  • I feel like I’m in a mud puddle when it comes to figuring out the story.
  • I keep hitting snooze on my alarm.
  • I’m tired.

Go ahead and guess.
Lower.
Lower.
Lower.

*Hangs head.*

0

Unfortunately, I’ve written zero words in the last week. This kind of blatant disregard for my goals is unprecedented for me. Although I’m writing blog posts (kind of) and Choice Literacy articles and notebook entries, I still feel like my writing soul is falling apart. I set a variety of goals for my writing life.I love that it is diverse and vibrant. However, it’s the fiction that is the challenge for me. I have to fight to attain my fiction goals. I have to slay the monsters that growl in my head, questioning my ability, making me wonder why I think I can write.

The thin thread that I cling to is I’m a writer because I write. It scares me a little that I quit last week. I’m not a quitter. I don’t like to think that I have it in me. But like the characters who wrap themselves around my heart, stealing a section of my brain to weave their stories, I realize there is a little bit of the things we hate the most inside of us.

There’s a little bit of a quitter in me.
There’s more of a writer.

Which is why after I post this little confession, I’m opening my fiction and I’m clacking a few words onto the page. And then a few more. And then some more. Until I reach 1000. I can do it. I can finish the zero draft by the end of the month. Because I have characters churning in my notebook, wanting to be ready for November.

You do know what’s in November, right?

Nanowrimo.

Not only am I participating, but I will succeed.

Because I’m a writer.
Not a quitter.

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12 Comments »

  1. “There's a little bit of a quitter in me.
    There's more of a writer.”

    Love, love, love this! We all need a break. I took a break from running in the mornings…but I didn't stop.

    It still amazes me to hear you doubt yourself as a writer–I have so much belief in you, in your stories, and especially in your process as a writer. Now get back to writing! Word by word.

  2. I love this pair of lines:
    There's a little bit of a quitter in me.
    There's more of a writer.

    Especially when they are followed up later on in your last lines. Good luck with working toward your goals!

  3. I have not been able to find my fiction writing stride since the school year started and over the summer I was in a great every day stride! For me, I have to devote a lot of mental energy to my story throughut the day that I just don'tseem to have. I'm posting your post at my computer to inspire myself to get back to it! Thanks for the honest words.

  4. Don't hang your head in shame. Even though you didn't write the words down, I'll bet the ideas were percolating in your head, and isn't that a part of the process? I think sometimes the words just aren't ready to be read. They have to simmer around in your head until the ideas are ready to show themselves. Here's hoping they were ready to show up last night.

  5. At least once a week I talk to a friend about her work, or read a blog post about progress from a colleague, or catch an article about a prolific artist and I think, am I just a lazy slug? How do they get so much done?
    I'm going to take inspiration from your post, knowing that I can learn from you about setting goals and making a schedule and forgiving myself when I lapse a bit.
    Off I go, back to it!

  6. Sometimes we just need to go away somewhere else, & maybe that is the boost you needed, to get ready for what's next. It's amazing what you do, plus 1000 'other' words a day. I really do believe we change every day, & then we re-group & take the next step & the next–happily, grudgingly, sensitively, quietly–but we do step. Maybe today is that first step?

  7. You didn't quit. You took a break. Your break made you realize how important your goal is to you and now you are writing again. See, the break was part of the plan! 🙂