So far, so…far.


I’m up earlier than I want to be because my two year old son decided to punch me in his sleep. Cracks to the face with tiny instruments of pain tend to jar you from sleep but not to fully awake.

Yesterday was an exciting day for me if you consider mental torture and molar grinding “exciting”. I’ve been doing remarkably well with my current WIP…until yesterday. I’m not sure if things are like this for you, but while I was cleaning out the cabinets in the bathroom I got slapped silly by a new story. So many details were uncovered I had to to write it down.

I wanted to work on it immediately, this new person with her new problems called to me to write her. But I have this WIP, I’m trying to be a serious writer. I’m trying hard not to be derailed by my fickle muse. I’m trying not to do what I’ve always done, which has always got me the same, nothing but piles of unfinished manuscripts. I want a finished one.

And of course, this new story pops up at a time where the shiny story newness is wearing off and writing is becoming something I have to work at. That magical word count that falls between 10-12,000 words and since I rarely outline a story, I flounder. It was hard, soo hard but I posted it on Twitter with my #ROW80 hashtag that I was about to flounder and got some great supportive responses.

“You have a 750 word count goal,” I sternly told myself. “Make your goal first, then you can go play with the new demons.”

I also read this article about removing writer’s block. Oh my word! I put this on a post it behind my computer so I remember it, always:

Detach From The Outcome.

Then I was lead to this article (again from Twitter) that talks about listening to characters beyond what you type for them. To let them tell you where they are going. Quite eye opening stuff, this is.

Once I stopped thinking about where I wanted my characters to go and started listening to what they were saying and removed any idea of outcome, I was able to get those 750 words yesterday without much trouble. I’m still about three days ahead which is good because tomorrow my face-punching son has an appointment with a speech therapist. I’m a wreck over it so either I’ll have an awesome, emotional writing morning or I won’t look at it all day.

After I was a good little writer, I got to play with the new characters for almost 1500 words.

This morning I’ve already made half my goal but breakfast calls as do children that are screaming at each other. I’ve made myself a goal chart and bar graph for the new story. I think it has some worth and I’d like to stick with it. I gave it only a 500 word goal but I’m promising myself to work on the current WIP before I even touch it.



About C.M. Cipriani

Crystal is a thirty-something mom of five. Super overachiever, bookworm, fabric hoarder, homeschool teacher, wife, gardener, and writer all while trying hard not to be a short-order cook.

16 responses »

  1. Awesome job! Cleaning and baking are two activities that almost always give my creativity a boost. I guess because my hands are busy, lol. I can relate to hitting a certain point where the newness wears off and then it’s time to sit down and actually tackle the thing you just started.

    I hope you have another goal busting week!


  2. Ugh, I have the same problem. Good for you on forcing yourself to hit your goals before you get to play with your new friends. I try, but sometimes the new story screams so loud that I have to drop everything and say “FINE I’LL WORK ON YOU.”

    Characters are needy little things, aren’t they? 😛

    Good luck with the rest of your week!

    • Yes they can be quite demanding. I think anyone that isn’t a writer that heard me talk like that would secretly be calling for medical intervention.

  3. Oh, I know how you feel. New stories just come to me when I try to finish something. And they beg me to write them too and they’re so new and bright and… ugh! That’s why I have a collection of unfinished novels.
    So well done so far and try to stay focused on the task. 🙂

    • I am considering revisiting some of my other unfinished works for the next ROW80. But who knows. I’ll probably start six more things by the end of this 80.

    • I’m really looking forward to starting Margie Lawson’s Empowering Character Emotions workshop that I downloaded a few days ago. I think that will help me create more concrete characters that scream loudly at me to finish them.

  4. Hi! I also happen to be mom to five! That’s great.
    I, too, have that pull toward new stories at times. I actually like to have a few projects going at once. When it gets tough, I set a goal for word count on the less-than-shimmery-project, and say that after I’ve reached it, I’ll allow myself to work on the shiney-new-project.
    Silly, maybe, but it has worked for me. Maybe it will work for you, too!
    Let me know….ha ha.
    ~ Nadja

  5. Nice work staying with your goal, Crystal. We have to be persistent to achieve. That said, there is an online program I use called 750words(dot)com. This is a free write program, morning pages some call them, but you can do it at any time. I often use this program to write first drafts of blog posts, write about a character for my WIP or a situation or outline a plot detail.

    I’m thinking this might be one way to either ensure you do your 750 goal or a way to work out of “shiny new projects” aspects so that you can concentrate on the current WIP.

    Just a thought. Keep pressing forward, you’re doing great!

    • I’ve looked at that site before. If I do my WIP do I type it there and then paste it into Scrivener or copy it from Scrivener to make the goal?

  6. Good job on your word counts. I both love it and hate it when the muse dumps a fantastic concept in your lap. The WIP I’m working on during ROW80 is actually one of these (my previous novel sits 3/4 done on my computer). Good luck for the coming week…

  7. I do the exact same thing. With my current book, I was 30k words in and then I went and changed the entire story! Who does that??? 🙂 There’s nothing wrong with working on 1 WIP and having a few other stories on the side. I have two other WIP’s in progess that I’ll get back to after this book is released.

  8. Crystal,

    In my mind I already commented on this post! However, since I don’t see it here it is obvious the comment never left the Jenny Building.

    This is a great post – thanks so much for including me in it. Love your masthead on this blog!

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