Writing is about momentum.
You’ll usually hear this phrase a lot in WWE wrestling, especially leading up to one of their big Pay-Per-Views when supposedly big championships are on the line. Usually, one of their wrestlers has nothing really going for them, story wise, at the time the commentators who narrate the entire show will use this phrase, “They’re building momentum going into WWE BlastFest!” or, “They’re trying to establish momentum heading into this Sunday’s WWE Big Ball Smashers 2021!”
…I really gave two examples because I wanted to try and create two silly PPV titles.
Now, as ridiculous as that sounds to wrestling fans (and maybe non-wrestling fans?) there is some bizarre truth hidden underneath that corporate lingo. To accomplish any task, big or small, be it getting a project done around the house to battling for a gigantic gold cummerbund with significant value to a vast army of fans, you need to build momentum.
Momentum can manifest in a few different ways. Maybe that means you spend all day, the day before, thinking about it. You’ve done your measurements for the kitchen (in this momentum example I’m doing something to the kitchen), you’ve purchased all the materials on a separate day, you’ve discussed with your partner or spouse on another day what you want to do, then, finally, the day of the project execution comes and you get to work with your band saws or your hammer drills or your saber knives, finally putting that plan into action. You didn’t just think of remodeling the kitchen then do it later that day.
It required momentum.
Art is no different. Take me, yesterday, for example.
I know I wrote earlier this week about going back to full writing strength after nearly 4 days of self-imposed light work, but I didn’t expect to experience the speed bumps and icy hands like I did. Most of my non-freelance writing takes place during my boys’ nap time, meaning as of now I have about an hour-and-a-half to do any creative endeavors that are not currently paying me. A lot can be done in a that time, if you know what you’re doing, and I know what I’m doing…
…when I have the right momentum. See, since I hadn’t written in a few days my momentum was non-existent, dried up, missing, and on empty all at once. Even though I sat down with a head full of steam, thinking of which projects I was going to get to, I only managed a measly 600 words on one project. That’s it. In the full nap-time I only got out a page and a half of writing.
I tried explaining it away, like, “Oh, I’m adding on a whole new character to this section of the book and that takes some careful reading to make sure it fits,” or, “You wrote really, really, really, really, really, really, really, really good words today so, obviously, there weren’t going to be that many. Only so much can come from your brilliant mind you beautiful boy.”
But I don’t think it ended up being either of those.
I think the answer is much simpler than that. I think I hadn’t written for a few days, I tried to sit down and stretch some muscles I had been (purposefully, can’t stress that enough) ignoring, and ended up tripping on the track. There’s no one to blame. There’s no creative gods for me to curse for not gifting me with the power of word that day. No. It’s just I hadn’t written in a while, I hadn’t thought about writing in a while, and I couldn’t make the creativeness come out of nowhere.
Give yourself time to build up momentum. Soon, I expect I can get back to getting out 1k in 30 minutes before rolling into an outline edit then barreling straight into a blog post, all in one sitting.
But for now, on this day, I’m just happy getting this out and maybe getting another 500 words down on Project: GREY’s new draft. Forgive yourself. Work on your momentum in little ways. Build it up.
Then grab your saber knife and build that kitchen.
(For my thoughts on how to build up querying momentum, check it out here.)
Thanks for reading,