If you are able to recall any pleasant writing experiences, make a note of them. Then remind yourself of these experiences whenever you think about writing.
Katie and I writing every weekend when we were in junior high. I can't remember how it started... probably had something to do with Mrs. Leesemann. I don't think we were in the same English class together, and I think that while Mrs. Leesemann was actively encouraging me to become a writer... Katie started writing because she liked it. We'd take turns spending the night at each other's house, pretty much every weekend. We'd go to the mall during the day, sometimes, or we'd hang out and watch a movie. But then came that time... it was writing time. I remember one time when we watched "Say Anything" at Katie's. We were so caught up in the movie, so in love with Lloyd Dobbler, so squealy happy how the movie ended that once it ended... we ran upstairs to Katie's room and started writing.
We'd write by hand. Pens and spiral notebooks. We'd write for stretches of time. I can't remember how long. But we'd take breaks and read what we wrote out loud. We never critiqued. We were too young to know what "critique" was. We were too caught up in each other's stories, too excited about what we were creating to even care about critique. Maybe we might've offered ideas. And then we'd write for another chunk of time. We'd do this all night long. I remember one time at my house... we did this until 7:00 the next morning.
3-Day Novel 2007. I remember I wasn't planning on doing it. It was $55 to enter the actual contest. I hadn't written anything major (Edison/Bauldner) since 2003, 2004. But someone on the 3-Day message board posted how God called her to do this. I don't know. It just set me off. I've always believed in something, but not necessarily a God. I remember thinking how God doesn't make anyone do anything; it's YOU who makes yourself do something. So I entered the contest to prove that to this woman.
I don't remember what happened around the midnight start time on that Friday night of Labor Day weekend. I probably worked at The Post. I don't even remember the beginning of Grant & Lauren being born that weekend. But I do remember it being SO MUCH FUN.
I wasn't even sure going into this that I'd actually finish.
I remember in the days leading up to the weekend, putting together Grant & Lauren's soundtrack, and trolling for Adam Levine pictures. I had an outline, but it was a sketchy one. Even the character profiles were sketchy. I remember walking to Starbucks every morning that weekend, listening to whatever specific song for the scenes I wanted to write on my iPod Shuffle, and getting a large pumpkin latte and a cheese danish. I remember the transition to appletinis and Papa John's pizza at some point in the day, every day. (I had gone to the Party Source before the weekend and got the biggest bottle of Apple Pucker and vodka they had. I figured I was going to need a lot of alcohol to get me through.)
It was the combination of the appletinis and just... just having a huge chunk of hermit time... I don't even remember really thinking about the story as I was writing it. Only have three days to write a whole novel (even if the average word count for a 3-day novel was 30K)... there was no time to think, to question, to doubt. I'd take brief breaks, pacing myself throughout the weekend, and read what I wrote. I remember being amazed at how there was a story coming out of me so fast. I remember the drunken excitement I had when I wrote my very first sex scene ever--and it wasn't cheesy.
I can't remember the end of the weekend, other than I finished. And that I was sick of pizza and needed to detox for weeks from the appletinis.
I remember printing off the manuscript, so I could read it before sending it off to the contest. I remember staring at the printer in amazement as the pages slowly spewed, amazed that I had written a complete story. I sat at the card table in the living room in my apartment in Clifton with a large glass of water, and read the entire story out loud. As I kept reading, I just got SO excited. I could see the story, I could see the characters, Lauren's voice really jumped off the page. By the end, I was crying happy tears. Crying because I had fallen in love with Grant & Lauren as people. Crying because the story came together so easily even though it was rough. Crying that I actually DID IT. I had written a complete novel.