Monday, March 21, 2016

Always Incremental: How Dieting and Writing a Novel Are Alike

Mmm cream puffs... what diet? Photo © Pixabay
My Sunday morning ritual is to go to a Weight Watchers meeting and then write my young adult fantasy novel at a coffee shop. For the first time, it struck me that the process of losing weight and writing are alike. Both are incremental, and no one really notices until you're done.

At my Weight Watchers meeting, a lot of the meeting is pop psychology about how to stay motivated and keep on track. I figure that applies equally well to writing.

For Weight Watchers, I've lost 10 pounds and still have 25 more pounds to go to reach that elusive pre-baby weight.

For my novel, I've written 4,000 words and still have 51,000 more words to go to reach a standard length for the genre.

Starting out on a new diet or a new writing project is always exciting - this time, it's going to be different! I'm always pumped up and full of enthusiasm, but sometimes I get carried away.

I daydream about being a size two, not just a svelte size 10. My debut novel gets turned into the next "Hunger Games" franchise, not just gets published in the first place.

The long slog in the middle is where I usually give up because setbacks happen, and then I end up questioning the wisdom of the whole endeavor, whether it's a diet or a novel.

But this time I'm trying to stick with it, aided by an inspirational quote cribbed from my last Weight Watcher's meeting.
I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.
-- Thomas Edison
Nina Snyder is the author of "ABCs of Balls," a children's picture book that makes learning the alphabet fun for toddlers. Follow her on Twitter @nsnyder_writer.

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