Trying to meet a deadline for the Nocturne Cravings pitch at eHarlequin.com has taught me a few valuable lessons about writing.
First, I'm a very slow writer, even when I'm trying to free write. When I was younger, words flowed out of me like a river over a waterfall; those days are apparently over. The river has dried to a trickle. I can accept that as long as the water is still there.
Second, writing can be fun, but it can also be work. Before this, I had never had a real writing deadline. I wrote when I felt like it. If it wasn’t fun, I didn’t do it. To make this deadline, I must write for several hours every day on one project. It’s like having a second job. Don’t misunderstand; it’s hard but it feels good, like I’m seriously accomplishing something worthwhile.
Third, where once I was a one draft wonder, I am now a layered writer. I’ve discovered my mind can no longer see/write everything at once. I now need to layer my stories in multiple drafts. My first draft consists of description and action. This is how the characters look and this is what they do and say. In my second draft, I work in thoughts and emotions. These are the reasons the characters do what they do and say what they say. My third draft is for mechanics: grammar, spelling, style. And, so on.
So, even if I don't get my novella done in time for the pitch, I have discovered a renewed enthusiasm for writing. After the writing hole I've been in for so long, it feels amazing to actually enjoy writing and to look forward to it instead of avoiding it.