I sat down the other night and tried to outline a bunch of my story. I wanted to get down some of the subplots I had in my head and I made sheets for the main characters, magic system, and setting. I was going to centralize all my notes in one place.
Fuck that. I have better ways to use my time.
Thinking I was an outliner was one of the reasons I never started writing. I would get a great scene down in my head, and then immediately sit down and start taking pages of notes. But nothing of the story would ever get written. "I don't have enough information," I said, "I need to know more about the characters." A notebook full of notes on a story but not a single word written towards it, and I would get another idea and start brainstorming that one. The cycle would repeat over and over, and still I would have written next to nothing.
So I changed tracks. I would see a great scene in my head (as is the way ideas usually come to me) and I would write that scene. Finally. Words on a page. Then I would think of another scene, a beginning, and I would write that scene. Then scenes would start coming to me so quickly there was no way i could keep up with writing them all, so I would jot down a paragraph of notes for later and then go back to the scene I was working on, or quickly take notes on where I was going with the current scene and then write the new one.
The point is, I was finally writing.
And it's amazing. Sure, I struggle with weeks where I don't get a single word down, but that just how it is. I try not to let myself go to long. But everyone deserves breaks, otherwise you get burnt out.
I think I may have finally found a groove with writing time. I take my computer to work with me, and write on the train first thing in the morning. Sure, I'm still half asleep, in desperate need of coffee and more often than not don't have anything in my stomach yet. But I get at least 300 words down, sometimes 500-600 on a good day (it is an hour and 20 minute train ride, after all). But the best art about this writing time is not the 300 words I get in the morning. It gets me thinking about the story, and I can't get it out of my head all day at work, and by the time 5 o'clock rolls around, I'm on the train home and writing at a crazy sprint. IT'S WONDERFUL. =]
Look at my word count for just this week: May 30 = 470, May 31 = 530, June 1 = 1200, June 2 = 600, June 3 = 850. I think that speaks for itself.
"But Gina," you say, "it's only been a week. And come on, it was only 3600 words. In a week."
I know, I know. I'm trying not to get my hopes up. But it makes me really happy that I wrote so much this past week, and I wasn't pulling hair out every day to do it. My goal is still only 500 words a day, but I couldn't stop writing just because I made my goal. Don't be ridiculous. I had something to say! It's awesome. I actually thought last night, Friday night, as I was driving to the gas station at 11:30, that I was totally willing to go into work on a Saturday to bang out another 1200 words on the train. What the hell is wrong with me? THAT RIGHT THERE is where productivity needs to STOP. Haha.
I love bragging. I never got to do it before. EAT SHIT you second place fools, I wrote more than you this week! *grin*