This post by about novel issues over on Evolution caught my eye.
For me, I have shared an off-and-on relationship with writing. I basically stopped writing during the entire time I was with , and only got back into it when the two of us broke up. Not that she prevented me from writing, but with everything going on at the time (mainly, the time that I was spending learning tech stuff when I was working at iCi/WinStar/OSDN), I just didn’t have much left to put into writing.
Occasionally, I would dust off the first Luzon book (originally Sword and Staff of Fire, then Heir of Luzon, now Shadows into Twilight) and try to get going on it again, but I never got much further than a few paragraphs (if that) before it got relegated to the closet to collect mothballs again.
That changed with 2003. I came back to writing, and I started working on Luzon again. I drafted into working on typing up the handwritten pages for me, and then sat down to put in more words. I looked at the huge chapters and started breaking them up into more averaged size chapters. I started talking with and and ended up re-plotting the story arc of the book as I realized that everything I wanted to do in the book simply wouldn’t fit. The plot for book 1 turned into the plot for book 1 and book 2, and I re-arced book 1’s plot to be self-contained.
I went and added some 30+k of new words to Luzon over the span of the year. I got involved at Forward Motion, and I started working on some short stories (Wings of Love was started in 2003… wow, I didn’t realize that, heh).
What happened in 2004? Not sure what my word count for 2004 was, but it was pitiful (looking back through my blogs, I would have to say I think it was under 10k). I did do some work on Luzon through that year, and worked on some shorts, but it wasn’t close to what 2003 was. There were some major life events, though: car accident in January, being out of work for quite some time due to the reflux/month-long sore throat, leaving Brylane and getting hired at Vanguard, moving to Sharon in October, the second car accident in November. (Both cars were totalled in both accidents.)
What happened in 2005? In 2005, I ended with a word count of only 20k… most of that being pre-writing for the novel version of the Wings setting, A&B stuff, and misc short stories. Major life events: Boskone with in February, her moving in in March, and a lot of health issues throughout the year.
What’s happened in 2006? So far, I’ve already written 10k. Half of what I spent the entire year of 2006 doing… already done in two months. I have more ideas of things to work on, and a much better idea of how I want to go about working on things. In 2005 I took ‘s advice and set Luzon aside to work on other things. Ultimately, I found that I didn’t need to– I can’t. It’s my first project and it always keeps dragging me back to it. I can’t leave it undone, because it needs to be done. I need it to be done… and after all the years I’ve worked on it, I still want to do it.
Passion. I haven’t always had it… or I never would have been able to set writing down so totally for as long as I did. Luzon wasn’t the problem. Working on other WIPs wasn’t the problem. Nothing mechanically was the problem– I was the problem. Not just motivationally, it wasn’t just a matter of FOKAIC (Fingers on keyboard, ass in chair), it was a matter of finding passion in and for my work again.
2005 may not have accomplished much in and of itself. But it was the time period in which I discovered my passion for writing again. And that’s worth more than any number of words can equal.