So here's the deal. I write books fast. The no-holds-barred, gonna-write-this-draft-or-die-trying approach. I know other writers do it even faster, like 12 hour days writing. I'm not that intense, but basically, I write first drafts of books in a month. This was a habit I developed when I was in grad school and only had time for creative writing on summer or Christmas breaks.
After not having been in Writing Mode for awhile, it takes me about a week to get back into the groove. I start out by telling myself I only have to write 1,000 words a day. Which lasts for a few days until I start getting antsy about how tiny the over-all word count is. I know I'm starting a book that needs to be around 60-70k words for the first draft, and when I only have a paltry 6-8k, I feel the weight of all that has yet to be written.
I have the patience of gnat. I think that's really what my crazy drafting habit is about. I get to 10k and I start thinking in fractions. Okay, I have 1/6th done. So then I start writing 2k in the morning, and another 2k in the evening. The thing is, it's gets more and more comfortable. I don't have to fight as much resistance when it's become habit. It's daunting at first, but eventually, I get into the groove of: I'm going to sit down and write. I'm going to write through this scene and this scene.
Oh, and I'm stubborn as hell. That's probably why I just take the No Matter What I WILL Write Each Day approach (at least during the drafting phase). I have a big outline for the whole book before I start, but each day I sketch out the basics (goal, conflict, climax) of the scene I'm writing. If the blank page starts giving me resistance, then I start writing w/ pen and notebook. If I'm really not feeling it even then, I skip to a scene I'm excited about and can have passion writing (though this is a last ditch solution, I usually force myself to go through chronologically). But there is so NO stopping until I have a book!!!
I imagine we'll be getting lots of tips about how to fight resistance this week as we all talk about our writing neurosis, ahem, I mean, patterns. ;D
Heather Anastasiu is the author of GLITCH (St. Martin's Press/Summer 2012) Glitch in three words: Dystopia, Superpowers, & Love :) Check out my website for more news and updates.