I didn't fully realize it until today, but getting rejected so much has really made me afraid of writing. Afraid of writing something new and just getting a bunch of rejections again, anyway. It's helpful to realize that this is largely what has been holding me back over the last couple of months, but it's something that I'll have to deal with as best I can over the course of writing this novel.
Rejection is just a fact of writing, and since I never expected it to have this sort of effect on me, it took me a long time to realize that it had. I guess this happens to everyone in such a situation, but I've never had such a lack of confidence in something that was really important to me before. Oh, sure, I've had tons of situations where I've had low or no confidence--I was a pretty decent tennis player back in high school, but I always completely froze up in tryouts and so never made the school team, even though I played top spots in the (admittedly lesser-ranked, but still good) city teams.
I've just never had a problem with freezing up when it came to writing or programming, or anything else purely intellectual or academic. Now that I know what the problem is, hopefully it will be easier to control. I wasn't sure exactly what the problem was until now, and that made it hard to do anything about it. For the rest of this book I'm going to try to keep to a better writing schedule so that a) I actually get some writing done, and b) I don't spend every waking moment fretting about why I'm not writing. So far with ALDEN RIDGE, I've been failing both pretty routinely, though I have had some nice bursts of real productivity.
At the pace that I've maintained over the last two months, it would take me a full year just to write the first draft of ALDEN RIDGE. That's reasonable, in itself, except that would mean I would only be writing for a day or two each week. I'm not okay with that, except when there's a really good reason for it.
So, here's hoping that I'll make much better progress coming up. Tonight I actually did really well and wrote a full 1,667 words. It looks like less if you compare to the graph of last time, but that's because I cut some 350 words from last session. I don't have a specific wordcount goal for the near future, but in general I want to keep to a pace that will have my first draft done in six months or less--at this point, that really should be more than enough time if I'm able to overcome my fears. I guess we'll see how well that goes.
18,173 / 95,000 (19.1%)