The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

Writing Through the Rough Spots

Rough drafts are always difficult for me. I constantly worry that the story isn't going the way it should or that things aren't ever going to come together. The more books I write, however, the easier it becomes to trust my process. SHADOW DEMONS is my fourth book in the Peachville High Demons series, but overall, it will be my sixth completed novel. I feel like after several years and all those manuscripts, I'm finally starting to get the hang of it.

But every day isn't sunshine and puffy clouds. I set a plan to write 2,000 words a day, but there are some definite rough spots. Today, for example, I had planned to write like crazy. I even set a goal on Twitter to write 8,000 words. It's now 4:30 in the afternoon. Guess how many words I've written today. ZERO. Well, not counting this blog and all the emails and chat I've sent today. It's been a rough day.

Sometimes I hit days where the writing is rough simply because I have no good feel of what the next scene is going to be. I sit down in front of a blank screen and start to freak out. No fresh ideas come to me, and I panic. Other days, it's personal and emotional issues that keep me from writing like I should. Today is one of those emotional days. I won't go into the personal stuff, but I will say that I found out some very upsetting news today x 3. Three completely separate things, all of which made me cry like a little baby. It's so tough to step away from that emotional side of myself and push aside the personal concerns in order to write about what's going on in Harper's world. You would think it would provide a much-needed escape, but for me, it doesn't really work like that. I've never been good at reaching a point of detachment between my writing and my personal life.

So how do I push through and keep writing? I think the most important thing is to just go easy on myself on days like this. Instead of beating myself up for not reaching my goals, I should give myself a little bit of a break. If I want to indulge in a little TV watching or something, I should go for it. No guilt. But the second part of that is to pick myself up and keep pushing forward. A break is good, but wallowing in self-pity or beating myself up over the little things isn't going to help me get this book written.

In a way, I guess it all comes down to balance. I have to learn to give myself the time I need to heal or deal with whatever's upsetting me or keeping me from my writing, but I also have to recognize when that time is up and the writing is ready to flow again. I'm not perfect, but that doesn't mean I can't reach my goals and strive to be a better person and a better writer. I'm going to give myself a couple of hours to read and relax, and then I plan to get back to my writing full force tonight. I still might make at least my 2,000/day goal. As for the 8,000 I was hoping for? There's always tomorrow.

And as Scarlet O'Hara would say, tomorrow is another day.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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