I returned back to work from a stressful and jetlagged short holiday this Monday and not only feared what was waiting for me in my inbox at the office but was also terrified at the thought that I really had to get started writing again.
Terrified and excited at the same time.
Terrified because I’m afraid I won’t be able to find the inspiration to start the sequel to my last novel, which I submitted two weeks ago. Afraid I won’t have the guts to do it all over again.
Excited, because I really want to relive that feeling of accomplishment every day that I can cross out my word count for the day and especially to celebrate the day a few months from now that I can say : Yes, I did it again!
Then again scared shitless that I’ll be sitting here in front of my computer and NOT be able to say just that exact phrase and feel disappointed with myself because I failed.
So in between this rollercoaster of positive and negative vibes, I pulled myself together and put up a schedule. As I might have already mentioned, I’m quite a lover of notebooks and visual timelines. If I can’t see it in front of me, the physical to do list, or word count to achieve that exact day, I’ll just pretend it isn’t there and not do anything about it. And so I spent two hours to schedule it all and all the way until May 2018.
Yep, you heard me alright, 2018. It’s kind of a symbolic date for me as I have decided that before one particular date, I want to have achieved a couple of things in my life. Not because after that it won’t be possible, but just to give myself a kick and try as hard as I can, for a given timeline, and see what happens. Two years in total aren’t such a long time after all. And if none of it works out, so what? No one will have been hurt in the process and I might have really learned a couple of things in the meantime.
And now that I look at my schedule that I felt so proud about a week ago, I’m panicking. Really. What the hell was I thinking? Seriously, a novel written and edited in 4 months? With a full-time job, kids, family, household and all the other crazy stuff?
But then again, I guess we need to be a little bit crazy from time to time…
Last time, I started with a writing calendar that called for 1000 words a day, only on weekdays, because I knew I wouldn’t manage to get any writing done on weekends. In the end, during the last months, I managed to push it up to 5000 words a day. And finally, I managed to shorten the period by two thirds of course. I was so excited about being able to finish the novel this quickly, that I wrote 5000 words every week day. It was great. It was tough. But at least, the pain didn’t last too long (that was before I had to edit the whole thing…).
And this time, I’m planning on repeating this scheme. 5000 words a day, and added to that, 1000 words on weekends. Yes, it’s slightly insane, but knowing that I will have to endure this horrible schedule during 7 weeks only, is my carrot stick for the long road. In 7 weeks, I’ll have my next holiday with the kids, and I just know for sure that taking a week off from writing is going to wreck my momentum and will risk plunging me into this deep hole of “Ugh no, I can’t write another single word.”
So, the challenge is taken, tomorrow’s the big day of getting my first 5000 words done, once again. I guess I’m in this for the long haul, after all…
Read more on the authors that inspired me to start writing here. Who knows, maybe you’ll get a sparkle of inspiration as well?