Santa Paula — The Road So Far # 4

The Road So Far: Part 1Part 2Part 3

Draft: 1.5

Months in Progress: 8

Word Count: 70K-ish

Estimated Final Word Count: 120K 130K (ish)

Named Characters: 9

State-of-Mind: *blows raspberry*

Number of references photos on my Pinterest: 84 194 228 255

Currently, yelling at myself: Peddle, Bitch. Peddle. 

I’ve missed my deadline. Of course, I write fanfiction, and I’m not signed up for BigBang or a challenge, so, technically, I don’t have a deadline. 

But, my internal calendar had one, and I’ve missed it. 

Before the four-weeks-turned-three-months renovation, I was on a creative streak turning out twenty-thirty thousand words per month. With the word-count I was producing weekly, I expected to have a finished first draft of Santa Paula by December—I don’t. 

Here’s the thing; some people can write in public—I’m not one of them. That writer, hammering away on their keyboard in a coffee shop that’s definitely not me. In a pinch, I can write secluded in a hotel room, or maybe, maybe, if I’m traveling and I’m sure I won’t bump into anyone I know, I can write at a cafe.

I write at home, in front of my stationary PC. I type out the words on my large gaming keyboard with the lights changing colors every few seconds and the soft, thick keys sinking deep into the board with a satisfying click. 

I don’t like writing in public. I don’t like writing on my laptop; the shallow, hard keys are annoying, and they make my fingers ache.

So, how do I write when I’ve been displaced from my apartment for almost three months, always surrounded by people? I haven’t.  

I honestly don’t understand how all you writers with families and partners do it, and you have my utmost respect. 

So, here I am, finally back home in front of my beloved PC and keyboard, all alone and able to write. But, I feel so frustrated; my body says I should have a first draft finished. It’s a weird feeling that I don’t know if any other writer reading this recognizes, but there’s an actual physical sense of frustration tingling in my muscles, a nagging, uncomfortable feeling in my bones that I’m late.   

It’s uncomfortable, even more so because now I’m procrastinating. 

For me, writing a long story is all about keeping up the pace, being consistent, writing, if not every day, then at least several times a week; it keeps the story fresh, the characters alive, and the momentum going.

Once I reach a certain pace, it almost happens by itself, it becomes a compulsion, and I can’t not write; I come home from work and head straight for my computer.  

The problem comes when I lose that momentum. When I do, I have to start all over again, and it’s a pain; getting a story in motion is like peddling a bicycle on the highest gear up Mount Everest. 

Once I scale that mountain, that sucker just rolls down the hill at a mind-numbing pace. But first, I have to reach the top, struggling against my urge to procrastinate and staying consistent when both the story and my motivation are fighting me.   

So, here I am, exactly where I left off three months ago, dreading that peddle up the mountain while feeling behind and frustrated. 

I don’t want to write another sixty thousand words; I want to start the editing process because that’s what my body is telling me I should be doing.  

But I can’t; I only have half a story. I have to, somehow, readjust my inner calendar, and get the second half-written. 

My plan was for Santa Paula to be posted somewhere in February or March, just like Newport; but, that won’t happen—I’ve lost too much time. 

Maybe, if I can get my shit together and get that momentum going, I’ll get it done for summer vacations, but I honestly have no idea how long it will take to find that effortless, bordering on compulsive writing pace again.  

The story is there, the characters are still alive, and the plot is vivid, but Mount Everest is very tall, and it’s going to be a pain getting to the top. 

One thought on “Santa Paula — The Road So Far # 4

  1. Pingback: Santa Paula: The Road so Far # 6 | Xenodike

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