Wednesday, September 16, 2015

When Plans Go Amuck


I had summer writing plans. They were huge!


 Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici @ freedigitalphotos.net

At least, they were big plans for me. I was actually going to finish writing a Young Adult Fantasy novel which I had started a few years ago. So, I shared this summer goal with my local writing friends so that I would be held accountable. I really had planned to follow through except....


I spent my first two weeks of summer being sick. So dizzy with vertigo that my eyes had to be closed more than they were open and instead of sitting or standing I had to be in a horizontal position much of the time. When I could keep my eyes open reading or staring at a screen made me queasy. 


 So I did some thinking about my plot and my characters...and bemoaned the fact that I couldn’t write or jot these thoughts down but hoped that I would remember. 


 Then I got better and life was good. I could sit up. I could stare at a screen and I could write. So write I did until....


I kept getting stuck. I would get my main characters into a predicament and then what? How was I ever going to get them out of that mess? 


 Problem solved and then I’d get stuck again. This time it wasn’t a particular plotting problem it was the demise of the blank screen, writer’s block. 


 What was my solution?


I did lots of reading. Reading about writing blog posts, writing books, how to expand your audience, how to write an ebook. I even spent time reading some fantastic historical romances which I had downloaded as ebooks from the library. 


I also just began writing. Nothing in particular. Sometimes journaling about my day; the kind of writing that is referred to as “freewriting.” The stuff that is pretty rough but may hold one or two gems. From this I culled some ideas for my YA novel, and for blog posts, as well as for another book I am thinking about.


Meanwhile, July rolled into August and I my first draft was only a little over half way complete. 


What happened next? 


 Insomnia.

 I kid you not. The first three weeks of August, I was struck with insomnia and I would have days when I couldn’t sleep and then one night when I would finally fall asleep. Without proper sleep I felt horrible and I couldn’t think clearly enough to string together a coherent sentence let alone a plot.  


There was definitely something going on and my personal, writing deadline was fading quickly as was my accountability. 


Self-doubt and fear waltzed through my mind. 


In my heart, God murmured, “I want you to write this book but first, you need to write about obedience. Then you will be able to write a bit more for the  book.”


So I did. The previous blog post, when everyone thinks you're crazy is what I wrote about obedience. Since writing that post, my YA Fantasy plot has started rolling again....slowly. 

Your turn. Have you had some of your plans go amuck? Please share in the comment section below and what did you do when things didn't go as planned?