The Internet Is Killing My Novel
Hello. My name is ER Arroyo and I’m an internet addict. Please feel free to hold the following information against me, as it’s to blame for my second novel, the sequel to Sovereign, not yet being finished.
Almost one year ago I published my debut novel. I knew then that I needed to write the sequel, but I was very focused on getting the first one ready for publication, and by the time I did that it was November, National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). A month in which a challenge, or contest if you will, is issued for novelists to write 50,000 words in the month of November. I had another premise I was very excited about working on, and I’d already written the first chapter and done all the planning and plotting, so I did that book for NaNo instead of book two of Sovereign. Of course, I didn’t finish that book, nor did I even hit the 50,000 to “win” the contest. Somewhere during that month I realized people really loved Sovereign and were begging for the sequel (we’ll pretend it was a ton of people). I really needed to write the sequel, so I switched gears.
For whatever reason, I couldn’t get into book two. I was pregnant at the time, too, so I had a lot on my mind. Not to mention my day job, hairdressing.
So over the last year I’ve had three distinct things about which I was quite passionate: babies, hair, and writing. And I happen to be one who craves information. Information which, lucky for me, is readily available on my Facebook newsfeed. I follow tons of relevant pages on Facebook, all of which post awesome articles all day long. And I’m so hungry for information, I want to read all of it.
In the time that I was pregnant, I must have read hundreds of articles on childbirth, breastfeeding, and parenting. Hundreds. And I even read quite a bit about writing. And watched tons of hairstyling education videos and read how-to articles. But what I did not do was write my sequel, which had I been smart, I would’ve done before my little guy was born. For all the information I was so hungry for, for all the exhaustion, inability to sleep, and not being able to get comfortable, for all my hormones and general displeasure with being hideous and oversized, I didn’t finish the book.
So I thought, it’s okay. I will write it while I have my newborn all snuggled against my chest in the awesome ring sling my birth doula made for me. No problem! Newborns sleep a lot! I’ll crank this book out in no time!
Do you think that happened? No.
I’ll spare you the woes of mothering a stubborn newborn…
I now have a sixteen week old handful of a momma’s boy, and a 46,000 word half-finished manuscript. Seriously, I’m lucky to write five hundred words a day. Not nearly enough.
And I’m STILL an information junkie. Whoever created the ability to open multiple tabs on an internet browser was a genius. But he was also a productivity killer! Because I can now scroll through my Facebook feed and open twenty articles to read “later” and by the time I’m caught up on my feed, read most of the articles, plus kept myself and baby alive for another day, it’s bed time! And each night I set out to stay up after I put him down to write, but wouldn’t you know I’m just completely exhausted by this point? So I write a few hundred words and call it good.
Well, folks, a few hundred a night isn’t good enough. Typing two words while baby is napping prior to getting distracted by something on the internet is just not cutting it.
I’ve got to finish this book! That mean’s I’ve got to disconnect. Does that mean I’m taking Facebook off my phone? Well, don’t get crazy. But I am turning off my notifications, and I am actually going to CLOSE out my internet browser during the day to get work done.
Am I going to miss out on some amazing, life-changing, mind-blowing information? Definitely. But when that sequel gets published, it will be worth it. And I certainly think Sovereign fans will appreciate it!
Whew, here goes nothin’. Wish me luck!