100-Day Novel Challenge: Week Five

This past week marked the first week in which I started writing the new novel proper.  (I’d been writing only notes during the first four weeks.)  One of the advantages of writing a novel this fast, under deadline, is that the so-called scary blank screen doesn’t seem so scary anymore.  Since I have to write something down, anything down, I start writing even if I don’t really know what I want to say at first.  I just let it rip instead.

When I wrote my first two novels, I found myself wasting lots of time looking over what I’d written before writing new material.  (I started “The Love Thing” in 2000 and didn’t publish it until 2009.)  Now I’m beginning to suspect that’s not only procrastination, but procrastination of the worst kind:  the kind that makes you think like you’re actually achieving something.  If I play Angry Birds, I know I’m wasting my time; but if I constantly re-edit the last paragraph I wrote, not so much.  So for this draft I’ve been writing all my material on one file, then cutting it and pasting it to a second file.  Every morning I face nothing but a blank screen.

Yet the screen isn’t blank for me.  Instead, I see the faces of the anti-gay marriage crowd, who will collect $100 of my hard-earned money if I don’t finish this draft by April 25.  When I picture their faces, trust me:  the words flow as if from a fire hose.

And how am I doing?  As of this morning, over 11,000 words written.  And with time to spare to write a blog post!  Thanks much for tuning in.


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