April 23, 2012

writing funk

I am currently in the process of going through the early chapters of The Guild Conspiracy, the second Chroniker City book, and adding relevant story details—foreshadowing, character motivations, character relationships, location descriptions, etc. that I didn’t think of at the time of writing those scenes. It’s a tedious process, and a lot of the time, I wonder if what I’m doing is really necessary, or if I’m just finding a more productive way to procrastinate.

For the last several weeks, I’ve been in a sort of writing funk. I’m slowly starting to crawl out of it, but my average daily word count for the last three weeks has been a mere 300 words. I would really like for that to jump up to, you know, 1200, or maybe 1500. Heck. I’d be happy with 1000. For whatever reason, I haven’t been productive. It’s not for lack of trying. I sit in front of my computer for at least four hours a day, attempting to make progress on my book. But usually, when I get into one of these funks, it’s because something is wrong with the book. Either the scene I just wrote, or maybe the plot, a character’s motivation, or something in the first chapters doesn’t add up to what’s happening in the tenth. And so on so forth.

So, while it feels like I’m procrastinating from writing any further in the plot, maybe going back and seeing if something is wrong with the earlier chapters will help. Maybe it won’t. Who knows? I’ve already added about 2000 words, and I’m hoping to add just as much before I finish polishing what I have. It’s possible I’ll go back again to make sure I didn’t miss anything (I have a handy revision checklist to help me keep track of what needs to be changed, but sometimes I forget that the list is there), and through that, I may add another few hundred words. The way I see it, I’m making progress on the book. It’s something I would have to fix later anyway, so I might as well fix it now. If it will help me move forward in the plot, then it’s worth it. If not, well, I won’t have to fix it later. I just hope that it will help. If it doesn’t, I don’t know what the heck to do to get myself writing properly again.

However I do it, I need to get out of this writing funk soon. I have a deadline to finish the first draft by May 31st. So this whole 300 words a day isn’t going to cut it. I still need about 37000 words to reach my goal, meaning I need to write like a fiend, clocking 1300 words a day. Minimum. I might work on the weekends and evenings too in order to meet that. If it weren’t for this terrible writing funk, I had planned to finish the first draft by March 9th, writing about 1500 words a day. Throwing in unexpected days off, being sick, and the husband’s sudden need for several mini-vacations, that day came and went. Sigh.

I now have a super strict deadline now. I will finish this book by the end of May. I will put it aside for a month, and then toward the end of June, I’ll do a major revision, then send it off to betas. Around the end of August or mid-September, I ought to have the beta draft finished, and then late October, I should be finished finished. Writing a book takes a long time. I just wish I wasn’t behind schedule by two-and-a-half months. I was hoping to have the final draft finished by the end of the summer. Oh well. That’s life. And being a writer.

What do you do when you get in a writing funk?

I’m terrible at blaming myself and feeling guilty for not doing better, which quickly turns into a downward spiral of self-pity and loathing and not writing. So, probably not the best way to go about it. And chocolate doesn’t help either since I’m on a diet. Double spiral of doom at that point. What about you?


  1. When I get into a writing funk, I work on something else for awhile. Or maybe just do something else. Coming back to writing after a break, I see it with fresh eyes, and it's usually easier to get back into it.

  2. Maybe this summer we can help get each other out of our writing funks. I bought a couple of books for research today. It's gonna be an interesting summer. I'm looking forward to it!