In a previous blogpost, I said that I live to write, instead of writing to live. I suppose this is fortunate in that I don't have to churn out stories, articles, or poems on a daily basis to earn my bread. However, it's unfortunate in that writing is not a Top Priority. I don't have to do it, no matter how much I want or like to, and that means it can be shunted to the background in favor of more immediate, pressing activities. Mainly, schoolwork. I know, I know--this means I'm not really a writer, right? Just a college kid with writer pretensions (or, as I prefer to think of it, ambitions. Can I get a cheer for Slytherin?).
But school's out for the summer, and The Book has been chugging along remarkably. I just passed the 200,000-word mark...and was torn between doing a victory dance and killing myself. 200K is acceptable for epic fantasy, since the genre practically demands a multitude of characters, complex plotlines, and paragraphs upon paragraphs of world-building. So I wouldn't be upset with 200K as a finished project, but THE BOOK ISN'T FINISHED. In terms of plot, I still have about a quarter of the way to go, maybe 50-60K words. THAT'S A LOT OF FUCKING WORDS.
As they say in acting, though, it's easier to start big and then pull back. If you don't have the high emotion/lot of fucking words in the first place, you can't dig deeper because you're always struggling to build up. My writing tends toward the flowery (I blame my 10th-grade English teacher for introducing me to Faulkner), and while it's not bad writing, the flowers need pruning before they take over the yard.
First I have to actually finish. Despite my best intentions and summer productivity, writer's block keeps cropping up. Sometimes I'll finish a section and be too mentally exhausted to do anything but edit what I just wrote. Sometimes I need a while to iron out exactly how I want to start a chapter or introduce a character. Either way, there are these dead periods where I don't write anything new...until now. Until I had another IDEA. *bright lights and angels singing*
Many writers scream NO NO WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!?! to people who work on more than one project at once. Since I started this second one in earnest, I've actually made more progress on BOTH projects than if I'd kept slogging away at just the one. Maybe it's a personality difference--works for some, doesn't for others. I've always been good at multitasking. However, I think the biggest help has been having something to fill the dead spaces. I'm stuck on The Book, so I work on the Other Book until I get stuck there, and then come back to the first problem refreshed and ready to think about something else. It at least gives the illusion of productivity, and I never have an excuse not to write.
In other news, I'm participating in Teen Writer Summer Blogfest (TWSB). Expect the posts to start in July!