Thursday, May 22, 2008

What a Surprise

Want to know something? Writing is hard.

Take my novel, the one that was based off my very first 'story,' if you care to honor it with such a name. It changed, and changed, and changed again until it became a rather plausible story. And then NaNoWriMo came along, and lo and behold, my idea became a somewhat fully fleshed out story. 50,000 words, a beginning, middle, and ending, the works. I was so proud of myself. "Self," I thought, "good job. You have written a novel. Now let's the second draft."

This second draft isn't going so well. In fact, I stopped working on it ages ago, rethought some things, and am now starting a third draft even though I was only 42 pages into my second. I did that because my story, while still being the same in general, decided to go off in some different directions. And now I have a whopping two pages. Oh, wait - page and a half.

And then there's my other stories, most of which have yet to hit ten pages. Whenever I get excited about a story, I have to leave to go to work or take care of siblings or go to bed. Whenever I set aside an hour or two to type, I go from my story to story to story, occasionally adding some paragraphs, but usually just reading and thinking. Words don't come, I realize my character is a Mary Sue, I don't know where to go from where I am, I need to re-write a scene but I don't want to... my excuses go on and on. And suddenly my hour is up and I have added a whopping 500 words total. If that. Maybe more like 250.

In some ways, I can't wait until NaNoWriMo returns. I remember getting 500 words in 20 minutes, resting my hands for five minutes, and shooting off another 500 words in the next 20 minutes. I remember writing 5000 words in one day. I remember finishing homework quickly so I can write. I remember not wasting time online or with friends because I wanted to write, write, write. And now that same story is sitting like a lump on my hard drive, waiting for me to again glance on it with favor.

If writing is really one of the things I want to do with my life, I really need to learn to push through seeming writer's block and just bally well write something.

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