Ice is terrifying. I woke up this morning, went outside to leave for work, and spent a solid twenty minutes freeing my car from the icy cage that had enveloped it over night. I’m going to be upfront: I’m scared of ice. I am terrified of the inevitable slip and fall that will spell the doom of my previously-dislocated-twice knee, or otherwise leave me injured and cold.
But, my car needed de-icing, and work needed working, so I buckled down and spent my time clinging to antenna, car door, nearby tree, and the hand of fate. A few slips, but no falls. PHEW!
Down to business:
I’ve been writing my book out loud (aka dictating the story into a recording app on my iPod and typing it up later). Over the past few days, while a friend crashed in my apartment, I’d been getting less of the typing-up-part done.
In fact, as of today, I have over 140 minutes of me talking to myself in the car to type up. Granted, a lot of that time consists of awkward pauses and the sound of my blinker click-tap-click-tapping while I sit at stoplights, that’s a bunch of words in need of typing. The following graph is how I’ve been tracking word count since NaNoWriMo ended (how to track your own word count).
As you can see, I’ve been almost flat-lining these past few days. Not for a lack of dictation, but because I haven’t glued myself to a chair or turned off reruns of Sherlock long enough to type it all up.
See, while there are reasons to write out loud (here’s a reason and another reason), I’ve been getting headaches this week, and I therefore can’t tolerate the sound of my own voice. This is an unexpected downside of dictating a novel. Now, there are a couple solutions at hand.
When you don’t feel like typing up the words that you’ve dictated (or handwritten):
Have someone you trust (and who doesn’t mind) type it up for you. I admit to having asked my twin sister to type an awesome must-be-typed-right-now scene while I drove the car. I also admit to asking my mother to type of some chicken-scratch handwriting in high school when she wanted to read what I’d written, but I was too busy handwriting new things to type up the old.
Wait until you feel like diving back in. Sometimes writing is a roller coaster. You may not be at the point where you can sit down everyday and write. Besides, even if you’re not typing it up, that does’t mean you aren’t writing. Have I been putting words in the word-counting Scrivener program? No. Have I still been dictating everyday? Yes. Even if you don’t write everyday, that’s okay. Sometimes our brains just need a break! Especially if we’ve been sticking to a schedule we’re not used to doing. That’s why workweeks have weekends.
Once my headache clears up, I will sit down and do some ferocious typing. This includes splitting chapter 19 in half to add in the character I forgot about for twenty chapters, and mad-dash-sprinting so I can meet my goal of finishing the first draft by the new year.
Back to the ice analogy!
Sometimes you’re afraid of ice and don’t feel committed or present enough to get the job done. But work needs working, and so you’ve got to chip away the ice with some elbow grease and a stern, determined frown on your face.
As for now, I shall concern myself with what I’ll dictate to my iPod on the way home of (approximately, probably) Chapter 37ish:
- A mild hallucination
- A thousand faces
- A startling revelation
- A confrontation of a blackmail scheme
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