Last night, after drinking some cider, I decided to do some writing. I am almost done with my fourth novel, but I also have a fifth novel that I find much more interesting right now – but only because I’m not supposed to be working on it until I properly finish the fourth one.
Anyway, I had already written over 1000 words on the fourth one during the day, so I decided to “reward” myself by writing a bit of the fifth one. An hour later, I had bashed out 1500 words. The thousand words I had written earlier took me about two and half hours (with lots of procrastinating in between).
Apart from the obvious fact that I’m further along in the fourth novel and only have the “not fun” stuff left to write, there was one major difference with how I worked during these two sessions.
For the first session, I wrote within the full manuscript at the point in time where that part of the story is supposed to occur. For the second session, I wrote in a blank Word document. And for some reason, that took away a lot of the pressure to get everything perfect. When you’re on the final stretch of writing a novel, you can get bogged down by trying to remember everything that needs to go into that particular scene. But sometimes, it’s completely new content, and you need to treat it like a first draft. Putting it in its own document helps free you from that feeling of helplessness that makes you think you’ll never finish your book in a way that is satisfactory to your vision.
(And while I do not advocate drinking to achieve your objective, I wonder if the alcohol might also have relaxed my brain enough to release my creative energy. I’m sure the image of the alcoholic writer of old has some basis in reality, although I personally advise doing everything in moderation.)