Please welcome J. Carson Black to Getting Over The Hump Day. J. is the author of 13 novels and has lived in the traditional publishing and indie publishing worlds.
THOUGHTS ON BOOKS, FILLIES, AND THE OCCASIONAL DOMINATRIX
by J. Carson Black
As I come to the end of my fourteenth novel, it has become clear to me that all my books have something in common.
They are exactly like recalcitrant racehorses.
I think they’re fillies. Fillies are known for making their own rules.
Every one of my books has been hard to load in the gate. They break slow and loaf along far behind the field, no matter how much I scrub on them, kiss at them, or shake the reins. No matter what I do, I’m just the jockey, and I can’t exactly pick the damn thing up and carry it on my shoulders to the wire.
They put on occasional capricious spurts of speed just to confound me, before dropping back to take in the view.
Finally, though, when it’s almost too late–the pace quickens. We start to pick up horses, but the wire is coming up fast. There’s a deadline looming. Still, after thirteen previous books, I’m pretty sure we’ll get there.
Although it’s never pretty.
A few things that have helped me:
Writing every day. (Or trying to.)
Writing a certain number of words every day.
Getting up early and starting while still sleepy.
Going for a walk.
Not thinking about the book while going for the walk.
Not thinking about the book while I’m doing jigsaw puzzles.
“Written? Kitten!” has become my best ally. The little online app shows me a picture of a kitten for every hundred words I write. Best of all, when I’m in Written? Kitten! I’m not writing in Word.
When I’m writing in Word, I goof off. I change font colors or go back to look at Page 2, or Chapter Seven, or I write down my word count and calculate how much further I have to go today–constantly.
I understand there’s a mean-spirited dominatrix-type app called “Write or Die” which is popular with masochists. You can choose a strict punishment for not writing, or a lenient one. I think somebody wears a hood, although I’m not sure. Maybe you end up with a rubber ball in your mouth. If you don’t write enough, your precious words disappear.
I don’t respond to that kind of encouragement. I would just roll up in a little ball and cry like a baby.