Update: Showing Up and Getting a Novel Done

Winning resistance

About five weeks and two days ago, I set out on a campaign to overcome Resistance.

I started getting up a little earlier. I set aside time each morning for writing. I defined that time as sacred, refusing to give it up for anything else. In short: I made a pact with myself to just show up.

As of today, this draft of the novel is 75,699 words long — the most progress I’ve made on any fiction project in the past ten years. 

Morning after morning, the chain of working days grows longer and longer … and as it does, my dedication to not breaking the chain grows, too. Writing in the morning is a habit now. By the time I’m up and in the shower, my mind is turning toward the story. What’s missing? What do the characters need to do now? How can I ratchet up the tension in the elevator scene? Why am I having so much trouble letting my villain be as evil as he wants to be?

To be clear: Resistance hasn’t been vanquished. She still shows up, too. She’s a trooper. She likes to whisper things in my ear … things like, “What will your family think of this book?” or “Shouldn’t you be updating your food review blog?” or “You really could use this time to get ahead on some projects from work.”

I take this as a sign that I’m on the right course. This book’s important for me to write — otherwise, Resistance wouldn’t show up for the fight. 

I still have anxiety. I have many pieces (though they’re fairly well organized). I am missing some connections between scenes (though I can handle that at any time). I think I have maybe 10,000 to 20,000 words to go before this draft is through. 

But I’m winning. And it feels very, very good to be winning.

What do you need to do, right now, today, to win your own battle with Resistance?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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Who Wrote This?

Mark McElroy

I'm a husband, mystic, writer, media producer, creative director, tinkerer, blogger, reader, gadget lover, and pizza fiend.

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