Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Reason to Keep Writing

Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at

I'm in a funk, a writing funk. I don't know why and I'm perturbed. The story was flowing along fine and I hit this wall that forced me to write backward. No, not that kind of backward. I had to go back and write a new beginning so I could move forward at the spot where I hit the wall.

It is all very confusing so I won't bore you with long explanations. Just think of painting a room and finding yourself in a corner with no door or window. In addition, across the room you realize you missed a spot next to the door. You have to walk across the room, painting over your footsteps on the way out, and then repaint the section next to the door. That's as close as I can get.

So, I did that and it helped a bit. But honestly, I don't want to do this. Really. Isn't that the darnedest thing? I want to just toss it out and forget the whole thing. I want to take a long winter's nap and wake up in the spring and go for a walk in the cemetery. I want to feel warm, awake, and alive. {sigh} I put that there because you simply can't write a sigh. I know. I've tried.

Now, here I am on Sunday, the 16th and I'm supposed to be at 26,667, more than halfway through my NaNo novel but I am 23,858. It is a widening gap if you stop writing. I would have caught up yesterday but I was really very tired after the library write-in, where I'd managed to get caught up to Friday's goal. Now, I've missed yesterday's goal and if the trend continues, I'll miss today's.

I don't really know what the problem is and I'm not inclined to delve into it to any great degree. I just want to stop.

Here's the thing. NaNo isn't one to die easily. It goads you and twist your mind inside and out. It calls you in the night, wakes you in the morning, and stares at you across the table, any table. It becomes this siren luring you to your destruction. If you don't write, you'll never escape the memory of it. You'll have another blue dot in your row of purple dots. You'll have a missing year in your certificates. People, NaNo'ers, will shake their heads in pity. "Oh, you didn't win that year? Wow."

Then, if you happen to be the Municipal Liaison... not only do you not win but you face public humiliation as the leader of the group. "OH, YOU didn't win? OH NO!" Yeah, sort of like that. But much worse in person.

So, you keep writing, even if you hate the story. Even if it goes in circles, at least it's moving. By the 30th you hope you've got 50k words and the draft of a good story.  A good story is much harder to come by. Failing that, you hope you have at least 50k words because that Winner's Certificate is more than a piece of paper with pretty designs. It's proof of a lot of gnashing of teeth, pulling of hair, wringing of hands, loss of sleep and hours of writing, sometimes with friends and sometimes alone in the dark.

By November 30th, if you pull it off, you'll know what you're made of and you'll wake up on December 1st feeling a bit like a lottery winner, but without the money.

Unless... you know... if I edit this thing, tweak it there, maybe cut this... yeah... you know, maybe... just maybe there's a best seller in this thing.

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