Getting into the rhythm with the new work in progress

I’ve started writing a new novel–a journalist uncovers a dark secret centered around his childhood church in the south.  When I wrote Bay City Runaway, once I got into a rhythm, I wrote the first draft in about a month.  That’s an average of 2800 a day. A little bipolar mania, nudged that along, and I’m pretty level at the moment, although my kitchen is extraordinarily tidy this week.  Hmmmm…could be on the way!  But I’m out of the habit of writing.

Although I have edited and published five books this year, I have not actually written anything.  I started this book a few years ago–rough outline (don’t like to over-plan), wrote about 8000 words, then put it away.  A few weeks ago, I sent the start of three projects to a faithful beta-reader to ask what she thought might be a good next project.  She picked this one–thought it could be my best work, yet.  I’ve begun dusting it off–reading what I have so far and trying to remember the seeds I had planted for suspense, polishing it a little (not a good idea for a first draft…gotta just write whatever crap comes to mind), and telling myself that as soon I was done with all that, I would actually write it!

I gotta say, it can be painful at first.  When you’ve just read the final, published drafts of books you’ve written, it’s hard to see the rough stuff that comes out on a new WIP.  I want it to be as good immediately, but that is a crippling idea!  I know so many would-be writers who are paralyzed by the idea of writing crap.  But that’s the KEY to writing for me.  Writing crap is a risk I have to be willing to take!  But when it is done, I never feel like it’s bad at all.  In fact, I feel pretty darn good about my writing!  Please check it out.