Writing Through Chaos #writingadvice #TaraLain

Hi all — 

I just hit 50,000 words on a new book.

I will admit, this book will need more editing and revision than most of my books do after first draft, but i should explain. I’ve spent the last two months living in a hotel with my honey and a dog, the house i thought i was going to buy proving to be an impossible money pit and out of reach financially. That took a month to determine. Then everything i own was delivered by the van lines and had to be put in storage — while we kept living in a hotel. Then we thought we’d rent a house, but that was more than difficult at this time of year. Instead, we ended up putting in an offer on a different house — but that required another 30 day escrow. Meanwhile, our lender was wacko and asked for documentation in dribs and drabs, between 5 and 15 documents per day in a seemingly never ending process. During this, i’ve been doing my day job from a tiny desk and a plastic box, on my cell phone with my husband trying to do his work from his cell phone while the dog barks at every person who walks down the hall.

And i wrote 50,000 words. Not at my usual pace, but still writing. How?

That’s a question many writers ask me. How do you keep writing — during distraction? When life happens? When all you want to do is scream and sleep from frustration? During chaos?

The answer i guess is  that’s when a writer’s discipline shows. The discipline is best established when crap has not hit the fan — during everyday life.

  • Figure out how many words you want to write per week. Make it doable. I suggest doing NanoWriMo a couple times to push yourself and learn what you can do. Divide that total by 7. Or 6 if you need a day off. LOL.
  • Establish a minimum number of words per day that is your bottom line and you won’t go lower. For me that’s 1000 words.Whereas i like to do 2,000 or more ( i work full time at another job 3 days a week and i write for that job too!) i tell myself i need to do 1,000. Have i missed that any days during this weird patch in my life? Yes. (Like on the day i drove 12 hours from southern California to southern Oregon) But most days i’ve made it.
  • If you miss your minimum words one day, try to make them up the next.
  • Realize there’s only one kind of “muse” — the feeling of butt in chair and fingers on keys. Writing is its own inspiration.
  • The only way to write a book — is to write a book.
  • Starting is easy. Finishing is hard. Force yourself to the end. Completion is the key to success. Do it once and you can do it again and again.
  • As a friend of mine used to tell me, remember it’s not a hobby, it’s a job.

Writing is hard but also immensely fun. When life is in chaos, writing can be the one thing that helps establish order — and gives joy. I’m still not in my house, though i hope to be this week. Meanwhile, I’ll make that 50,000 words grow, hopefully into something worthwhile. Wish me luck!  : )