Friday, July 11, 2008

Frustrated

This summer has been about me trying to get my life in order. It's slow going to say the least.

So far, I have written about 10 chapters on a new novel. This is pretty good for me. I'm making progress at long last. They're not great chapters, in fact, most of them kind of suck. But, I'm working my way through the story. A writing friend of mine told me this part is called the "puking process" when you just puke everything up, get the story out there in all its ugliness and then go back later to clean it all up and put it out there for everyone to look at.

That's where I am in my writing right now. Puking. But, its actually working this time as opposed to all times previous when I'd write a really good scene and then nitpick it to death because I had nowhere else to go in the story. I had a good pace going with Sidney (the new story) but I've kind of faltered lately and it's getting me frustrated. For the first time in this book I'm not really sure where to go next. I have a few scenes planned down the line, I just don't know how to get there. Up until last night I was at a dead end. Now, I find myself at a crossroads with about five different directions to choose from. I don't know which is worse to be honest.

I'm thinking probably the dead end. At least with multiple possibilities, I can write my way out of them, or go back and start over if I don't like the direction it has taken. This is what I have slowly been coming to realize over the summer. Nothing in my writing has to be perfect the first time. If I mess it up, or don't feel like it's working, I can always go back and change it. I don't want to jinx myself, but so far I've felt like I've had a pretty good sensibility about where things need to go, what the characters would do, how they would react and feel about things. So far that seems to have been leading me in the right direction. I've also been reading Laurell K. Hamilton's blog. She has mentioned how her characters live in the world of her novels and it's not for her to decide what happens there, she just listens to her muse and her characters and lets them write for themselves. That's generally how I feel most of the time. I have a hard time planning out a story down to its last detail before I write because I never know what's going to happen when I sit down to write it. I've been writing in a notebook and on the computer and I've found that anytime anything goes into the notebook, when I sit down to type it into the computer it changes completely from one draft to another. Not in a bad way, just different directions to get to the same point. I have no idea if that makes sense or not.

Anyway, I'm sitting here blogging instead of writing on my story. This is okay with me because at least I'm writing. At this point, any writing I can do is progress. I really want to make this work. I need to find a good balance in my life, doing the things I want to do and doing the things I have to do and being able to enjoy all of it. It's taking a lot of time, but I feel like if I try to change all at once it's not going to stick. I keep hearing Dr. Phil's voice in my head "How's that workin' for ya?" It's not.

Turning on the TV was a mistake and I knew it when I did it. Now a Maroon 5 concert is on and I'm blogging instead of spending time with Sidney. I also need to learn to quit beating myself up about stuff like this. I need to quit wasting time. I need to do a lot of things.

One step at a time. I have to be grateful for my small accomplishments, and focus on one tiny thing in its own turn. If I take a look at the big picture, I feel like a 30 foot wave is looming over my head about to come crashing down and wash me away completely. So, instead, I'll focus on the pretty seashells at my feet and try to keep my head above water when the big waves do come.

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