I’ve been in a writing funk for, gosh, let’s just go ahead and call it three months.
I’d been beating my head against the wall of the edit of my novel and… it’s just so exhausting. Reading the pages over and over again. Checking for continuity. Evaluating the language. Fixing this. Tweaking that. Blasting holes in the drywall and going back in with a blowtorch to re-weld the pipes. The most tedious and thankless of work.
Yeah, WORK. Who ever thought this writing thing would be WORK? It turned into such an ungainly mass of WORK that just like real work, I was hiding from it, finding excuses not to do it, stretching it out, and basically procrastinating myself into a corner, and teaching myself to hate it at the same time. Seriously, if I didn’t love it so dearly, I could almost say I hated the project right now.
But it’s out of my hands now. I’ve passed it on to a few beta readers and I have feelers out for a few more, so now it’s time to cut the cord and let that one fly away (birds have cords, right?). I started thinking about the other novel ideas I had kicking around in my head from a few months back. I stopped stressing about the details of the “finished” work. I began thinking about what sort of deadline I could impose upon myself for a new project; how many words a day I could write, how many months it might take. I started dreaming up characters and themes and plots and motifs and a hundred other little things I want to include in the next story. I cobbled together some notes and a ghost of an outline in Evernote (god I love Evernote, it’s like a personal assistant I don’t have to pay or buy lunch for).
And then last night, the craziest thing happened. I cracked the seal on a brand new word document, breathed in the heady aroma of that blank page, and started writing. Originally I only planned to get a couple hundred words down — just the introduction of a character and a place — but before I knew it I was back in top drafting form, slinging words with abandon, hastily leaving notes to myself, swearing at myself in the margins, in short having a ball of a time. Within just forty five minutes, I’d penned a thousand words, and it had felt as effortless as falling off a toaster. This, I reminded myself, is what it’s supposed to feel like. This is why writing is awesome. Creating people, giving life to worlds, unearthing plot devices from the raw soil of my cerebellum… ahh yeah, that’s the stuff.
The months of ennui fell away like a cobra’s skin. Underneath was the churning engine of creation that so wrapped me up and carried me away at about this time, one year ago. Still purring like a kitten, still snarling like a junkyard dog to chew up some words and spit out some copy. I felt glorious; I felt renewed. I guess this is the start of the next chapter.
When I started my blog last year hand in hand with my novel project, I had a simple system for organizing posts. Everything I posted about the novel here on the blarg last year, I tagged “the project” and/or “commitment 2014”. I had promised myself that I’d get the first draft written before 2014 was out, and I fargoing did it despite my own expectations that I wouldn’t. I’m on Twitter now, so I guess it’s only right that I start the tradition anew.
#Commitment2015 is here.
Fasten your seat belts and hide your children.