I started my current novel-in-progress, currently titled “Stepsister”, in October last year. I began by prepping a partial outline, so that when November 1 rolled around, I would be ready to blast off with NaNoWriMo – 50,000 words in one month. My target was 1667 words per day.
Day one, I was off to a good start, with 1666 words. Day two: 1667 words. Day three: 566. Day four: 238.
By day 13, I was over, with a total of 8,822 words. I had completely lost my momentum! I was so excited with my story idea: Cinderella, written as historical fiction from the period that the story originated, but with Cinderella cast as the antagonist and her stepfamily the heroes. I would read every line aloud to my husband, nearly as soon as I had written it.
But then, my perfectionism kicked in. Instead of just writing the draft, and ignoring any issues, I kept getting hung up on the research I needed to do to set this story in 17th century France (which I know absolutely nothing about, by the way). I began to be overwhelmed by how much I didn’t know, if the story was sounding good or if I was just rushing through scenes too quickly in order to get them done – at the expense of actually telling the story, if other people would like the story, which direction I should take the story… Pretty soon, it wasn’t fun anymore. It was a chore. And I avoid doing the things I need to do.
I’m picking this story back up. And I’m going to do it. And when I’m done, I’m going to write the story I started in 2007, “Hell’s Queen“. This was another novel I started with great enthusiasm, only to lose steam when trying to figure out the minutia. The one sentence summary:
When a good man is sent to hell for committing a cardinal sin at the time of his death, he leads the queen of hell to redemption in the land of the damned.
I just need to buckle down and work with more discipline. Instead of being intimidated by all the steps required to write my novel, I must simply focus on the part I’m currently working on. I can write! I will pull together all the pieces of my scattered ADHD brain, and do this.