My Word Counter Broke…Or, Maybe I Did.

After a torturous journey on what I should write next.  I came to a conclusion.  Write the thing I am running way from fastest and hardest because that’s the one.

So, I am writing the ancestor generational book as I like to call it.  I started it on January 1st of this year — 2015.  I wrote some more on January 10th and haven’t touched it again until today.  But, in the meantime, I wrote, edited and proofed a nonfiction book, Making Dollars & Sense Work.  So, I guess I wasn’t slacking…ahem.  But, you and I know very well that while I was still writing that in-between book was to give me room to “work” while still running away.

subconcious mind_image

My subconscious mind at play trying to run away while I stay still and…do no writing.


So, my first step was to review my outline and make sure I have it at the forefront of my mind what I am setting out to do.  I have a full outline of over 6 pages.  I know what the story arc is and the major emotional and plot points.  But that’s the scary part, some of the emotional beats are not quite what I want them to be.  My writing mentors, Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah, have helped me to flesh out the reasoning behind the actions in the outline.  Jean specifically said my subconscious was feeding me all the right beats but my brain was misinterpreting the whys and the motivations making the story muddled.  So, Jean helped me sort that out.  However, she made it that much more scary for me to write it out.  Why?  Because the emotional arc is overwhelming to me as a person.

So — I ran.

But, my second mother asked me if I was writing.  Answer: NO.

A new tweep asked what I was writing.  I gave an evasive answer about promoting my new book just published last month.

A new comment on my About page encouraged me to keep writing.

Are you sensing the pattern here??!?

Yes, I am slow but goodness.  Not that slow.

This meant write.  The what was easy when I looked at it.  What am I running from?  The why was not so easy but I get it.

So, I write this AM.  Revised what I had and added 486 words.  Went to my counter Excel doc from my last book (finished in March, mind you).

Pasted it over, like I’ve done several times before.  The damned thing DOESN’T WORK.  What the hell?!?#@_!!?

Try it again.  Same problem.  I enter my word count for today and it gives me a negative number!  A message?  Nope.  Faulty formula.  Which my brain cannot fix right now.  It seems tracking my word count as diligently as I used to is not something I am supposed to do for this book.  I am to write it and let if flow.  I don’t need to know how many words I’ve done.  I don’t need to obsess over how I’m doing.  It seems this book does not have a timeline.

Actually, this book was already a book that I published in 2012 but it was the wrong POV character.  I pulled it down and revised the outline and realized a character I have showing up in the middle of that other book was the POV character in actuality.  That was 2012.  It’s 2015.  Timeline?  What the heck is a timeline??  This book clearly has its own emotional arc. 🙂

So, yes.  My Excel counter is broken and I will not attempt to fix it today, tomorrow or any other day.  I will just feel out how this book wants to be tracked.  All books are different.  This birthing is difficult.  We’ll see how this book-baby will emerge.  It will probably be many moons before this one’s born.

Have a very bookish week!

Ta-ta for now.



6 thoughts on “My Word Counter Broke…Or, Maybe I Did.

  1. I really relate to this because I’m facing similar difficulties with writing my own book. Have you ever tried/heard of Scrivener before? It’s what I use and it has some really cool features that help you stay organized. I’ve considered going back to notebook and pen, because that’s how I first wrote and it’s less judgmental than a blinking cursor. I hope your blocks resolve themselves soon! Thank you for sharing. 🙂


    • Hi Nadia! I have heard of Scrivener and actually used it for a trial to see if I liked it. It felt so box-y to me that I did not move forward with it. Staying organized is not really my issue. The issue with this book is more of an am I ready to write the difficult emotional scenes. Am I ready to face the challenges and the demons of the past during the research aspect of this book? This book scares me because there are many topics I don’t want/didn’t want to deal with are going to stare me dead in the eye in the middle of the night. Can I handle it? Rather, how will I handle it? So, running was not writers block — I wrote 3 books in the interim. Maturing as a writer is most definitely what is being asked of me now. But, thank you Nadia for your insight and for stopping by. I will look into Scrivener again. Maybe I’ve matured into it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • I completely understand running or avoidance with writing the difficult scenes. I’m dealing with the same. I suspect that, like me, you still believe your story is worth telling in spite of that. Scrivener isn’t for everyone, but I’ve heard from some that one they understand better how it works that they are able to better benefit from it. You’re welcome 🙂 Contact me anytime!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Just to stick in my two cents worth, I love Scrivener. I can’t say enough good things about it. I think it’s the best tool a writer can have. However, if the problem is not organization, as you say, perhaps you need to consider that you are again writing in the wrong POV.


    • Thanks for the Scrivener vote! I will look into again. And I am absolutely positive this is the correct POV. I have two writing mentors with over 40 years of writing between them backing this as well as my current writing group. This is just a difficult subject. I am doing a timeslip in areas that have experienced great racial turbulence echoing what we are experiencing TODAY in Baltimore. The similarities of what happened then and what is happening now is haunting. It makes me think that I am definitely on the right track in terms of subject area. This week’s Time cover makes it totally clear — America, 1968 (with the 68 crossed out in red) and 2015 written in above it. I will push through this section of the book! I know I will. Thanks you for your comment and for stopping by! Hope to see you again soon. 🙂


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