2019 Novel-Writing Challenge, Week 6

I broke the rules. I took the entire weekend off.

Part of me is wringing her hands and staring in the mirror, crying “YOU FAILURE!” Another part of me? Surprisingly chill. I put thought into this decision. I wanted to give my brain a moment to relax. I also wanted to give my writing some time and space to breathe.

First, it’s been a crazy week. Last Sunday, I flew back from Philly and went straight to a dodgeball game. On Monday, I switched teams at work, which is exciting but requires some getting used to. Later on, we had a fun hack night for Inclusive Tech Lab, Boston’s new organization for women, non-binary folk, and other marginalized people in tech. And, finally, this weekend, I hosted my sister’s annual — and traditionally large and epic — Galentine’s party and clothing swap.

It’s all awesome, fun stuff. But, being an introvert, I’m rather exhausted from the non-stop whirl of activity. I’ve also been hurting a little for sleep, in part because I’ve been staying up late to get my 555 words in. I need to catch up on rest.

Second, since I’ve been focusing on writing, rather than outlining or doing research, I feel like I’ve gotten away, a bit, from what the story is supposed to be about. Its core.

So, this weekend, rather than writing, I’m spending time thinking about my characters and their motivations. I’m also watching a docudrama, recently released on Netflix, that’s relevant to my subject matter — and giving me new ideas.

Crafting a novel, I’m learning, isn’t purely about getting words down on the page. It’s about building a world, giving thought and care to the people in it, and, sometimes, about stepping away and practicing self-care.

Stay tuned.


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