Wednesday, April 1, 2015
How Many Blog Posts Does It Take Me To Finish A Chapter?
Today is April's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.
Why am I an Insecure Writer this month?
Because I didn't realize this was the first Wednesday of the month until about 2 minutes after I posted this. But that's okay. I didn't have to make many changes. This post is just as much about my writing insecurities as my usual IWSG posts.
Patience is a necessary virtue for writers. At least it is for slow writers like me. Hey, what can I say? I’m a plodder. I edit extensively during the first draft. I jump back and forth between chapters as my muse takes me. I restructure the story several times throughout the first draft. Everything I’m told I shouldn’t do. Finish that first draft quickly, they say, before I get bored with it and run out of steam.
I’ve never found that to be much of a problem. Once a story has grabbed hold of me, nothing short of Armageddon will keep me from finishing it. All I need is patience, and I have plenty of that. Still, that patience can be tested at times when I see my writer friends releasing books at rates I could never hope to match.
Overall, I can’t complain about my progress so far this year. In fact, I’ve never been more productive. But every once in a while I hit a chapter where progress grinds to a halt. Like my current chapter, for example. What I thought would be a relatively simple chapter has turned into a major hurdle as I keep re-imagining the scene in order to make everything happen in a logically believable way.
I can always gauge my progress (or lack thereof) by checking the number of blog posts at the beginning of my chapters. You see, I tend to write my blog posts at the beginning of whatever chapter I’m working on at the time, bouncing back and forth between them and the story as my muse dictates. If my chapter is progressing along at a good clip, then I might write only one or two blog posts before moving on to the next chapter. But if my progress is slow, there'll be more. My current troublesome chapter includes five posts—two I’ve already posted on this website, two partially finished ones for the future, plus the one you’re reading right now. And to be honest, I have no idea how many more posts I’ll have added before this %*#@$& chapter is finished.
Takes deep breath…
I’ll eventually get past this chapter—I always do—but every time I glance at the calendar, I’m reminded how much longer it will be before I’m a published author. Patience is my most important attribute.
So what do you do when you get stuck on a chapter? Do you stick it out and grind through it, or do you jump to something else for a while?