Wait! Come back! Close that search window… close iiiit.
Perhaps the title should be – Take a Break from What You’re Writing.
I’ve discovered the wonders of writing short stories. Now, like many writers out there, I am well and truly submerged in my ‘first real novel’. And by that I mean I’m writing something that I could imagine being published. It’s something that I’ve been working on for AGES! It’s hefty.
But in all this time I’ve never tried to get published in other ways. I’ve never seriously sat down to write something that could be submitted to a magazine. In essence I’ve been hiding behind my novel.
We’ve all been guilty of it ‘I can’t split my focus, I have to work on my novel’, and then what? Typing a couple of hundred words in the early hours of the morning?
Do you remember when you didn’t look at the word count? Do you remember losing track of the time because you’ve spent it all typing?
I lost that feeling for a long time. Then I got a kick up the ass to write a short story just to have something to submit for a magazine. I plunged in – with limited word count there’s less stress to have everything planned out. You really can go wild without the danger of plot holes (I favour sci-fi, plot holes are commonplace).
I’ve been flying through it! It might never see the light of day but everything is in perspective now. Once I’m done with it I’ll return to my novel with fresh eyes. I’ll submit it. Who knows, I might even get published before I’m published…
So if you can’t keep your eyes away from the dreaded word count – if you’re not as scared/excited of the events of your book as your protagonist is – maybe it’s time for a break.
Write something fresh, a little window into another world. Flexing your writing muscles doesn’t drain your creativity, the more you write the more you CAN write.
So stop writing, and start writing!
– Zero Nine