The Weekly Re-Motivator: Soldiering On

A short SOCS post today, because I’m totally fried from this murderous week at work.

I’m back in the swing of my novel this week, despite the crazy hours at work. I got probably about 2400 words written — not quite what I aim for, but considering the loss of planning time and how scattered I’ve been, I’ll take it. But I’m not here to kvetch about word count (or lack thereof).

See, a few weeks ago I suffered what I could only, at the time, call a catastrophic setback: the loss of my un-backed-up flash drive, and hence the loss of a good twenty- to twenty-five thousand words on my latest project. That’s about two months worth of words, if you’re counting, AND I CERTAINLY WAS.

And, after the storm and the swearing and the self-abuse subsided, what was there left to do? Either quit the project, accepting the loss as too great to recoup, or soldier on and keep writing on the project anyway. And considering that this novel just happens to be one I’ve wanted to write for about three years, throwing in the towel was not a thing I was willing to swallow (argh, too many cliches).

So I took a day to outline the story I had written so far from memory, and then I started fresh with a blank page.

And man, that first day sucked, because returning to what was an essentially blank page was intimidating as hell (the perfect white expanse of the unblemished page — or, okay, word-processor window — is a thing you can only screw up with your first draft word-vomit). But a few days in, the momentum kicked in again, and all of a sudden I was churning along just like before I shot my foot off.

And the weird thing is? I actually feel really liberated. Losing the old project has allowed me to divorce myself from some of the preconceived notions and lame patterns that had cropped up in the writing. Now I can not only pretend they didn’t exist; they actually, literally don’t exist any more. I’m messing with new POVs, experimenting more with the narrative sequence, and generally having a lot more fun with the project than I had been for a while.

What’s that thing they say about relationships? Sometimes you have to lose something to learn what you really had? Maybe that’s a little too trite for the current situation, but one way or another, the project is moving ahead at a healthy clip again, and that’s damned encouraging.

Tomorrow: a third and final entry to the October horror flash-fiction challenge that’s kicking around over at Terrible Minds. (I hope.)

This weekly remotivational post is part of Stream of Consciousness Saturday. Every weekend, I use Linda G. Hill’s prompt to refocus my efforts and evaluate my process, sometimes with productive results.

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About Pavowski

I am a teacher, runner, father, and husband. I am an author-in-progress. I know just enough about a lot of things to get me into a lot of trouble. View all posts by Pavowski

9 responses to “The Weekly Re-Motivator: Soldiering On

  • Rosemary Carlson

    I would shoot myself if I lost so many words. I, too, am working on a novel and I’m also participating in Wendig’s flash fiction challenge. Good luck to you!

    Like

  • Covert Novelist

    I can certainly agonize with you as I have been in your shoes on 5 occasions as someone attacked my computer and blew it up, fried the hard drive completely and I lost all my novels. It’s taken me two years to recover and dare to begin again. Fortunately I did, and I even found this wonderful community to hang with and I’ve enjoyed every moment. Congratulations on beginning again. I wish you all the best

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pavowski

      What else could we do but pick up the pieces and keep going? Quit? Not bloody likely!

      But seriously, an attack? Yikes.

      Like

      • Covert Novelist

        Yes, they destroyed 5 hard drives in total. It has been a nightmare. Fortunately I’ve moved, and they haven’t found me. It wasn’t me they were after, but it was me they kept hitting. Expensive and frustrating. Mostly that I lost my writing. That was what hurt most.

        Like

  • Mythreyi

    Oh! But you really do inspire me! 😀
    About 5 years, I was in college, and I heard about the NaNoWriMo for the first time. I was absolutely smitten with the idea. I had always wanted to write- and this just seemed to be the perfect outlet. Well- I tried. And I failed. And I couldn’t bring myself to read the 45000 crappy words I had vomited out just for the heck of it. And I realized that the romantic notion of writing a novel in a month apart, I wanted to write something that I could actually palate reading once I was done.
    Quite sadly, I didn’t soldier on. I pretty much abandoned my writing (and even my reading!) for the longest time. It was only recently that I have even started considering a fresh start. (The thought has yet to materialize into action though.)

    Liked by 1 person

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