And so it begins.
I’m going to run the gauntlet. I’m going to do a trial by fire. I’m–going to write. And I will hates it.
I was challenged to do a Camp NaNoWriMo this month by my bestie Owen. I think it’s because he loves me and wants me to succeed but it might be a little bit because he’s tired of hearing me whine. “I want to be a published author wah wah wah! It’s hard to write waaahahhaah!!” Poor guy. He’s my unofficial editor (and psychologist) and he only gets paid in gratitude.
“SO WRITE.” <–passive aggressive voice of Owen.
Wha…? His demand startled me out of my latest tantrum.
“You’re going to do another NaNo in May.”
“Whoa wait! What?!”
“Fifty two thousand words. Thirty one days. NO complaints. NO getting out of it. DO IT. (Rewards and punishments to follow).”
Owen doesn’t make demands. Ever. So of course I had to do it. And it will indeed be a trial by fire because on top of this I have to deal with deep emotional crap from just about everyone I know AND allergies AND my exercise routines. Yee haw. I’d better come out of this rock hard and ready to be a savvy published novelist .-.
LETS DO THIS THING!!!!
As I thought about this challenge though and May 1st was drawing nearer, I realized that as simple as the challenge was, basically 2k words a day, I wasn’t going to be satisfied just writing short stories or flash fiction everyday. I mean, it would definitely give me a leg up on my blog but it wouldn’t put a stop to my whining. I needed to complete something; beginning, middle and end. So I added the challenge to my growing list.
As we all know, however, first projects are usually crap. There are a few exceptions that have published best sellers right out of the gate but so many authors I know have misses because it’s their first. They haven’t found their voice yet or locked in the secret to a successful plot arc. Whatever the case. I kept this in mind as I perused my story ideas and realized I didn’t want my first rough draft, the one that would be my first guinea pig, to be a story I cared deeply about like Silver Sun or Hourglass.
Okay, I care deeply about all my stories. Don’t get the wrong idea.
I care enough to want to write them, after all. This was different. The stories that have stayed with me for years I wished to give my best and most honest effort to. I want them to be the best versions I can make them and that requires more practice from me. So I chose something instead that I haven’t outlined to death but has a good strong foundation. (I’m a pantser at heart. My best work comes out of that.) It was a plot bunny story that wouldn’t leave me alone a few months back.
So far, I’m sure you’ll be happy to hear, this has been working for me! Within the first two days I wrote 5K in this plot bunny story and I like the hook. It starts out with drama and eases the reader into the strange world the book takes place in. (Apologies for being vague. It’s still an ugly baby story and I must protect it!)
Day three I finished a 4K blog post short story
Day four I had four different visitors to my house and wrote in between conversations.
Day five I had…a very big development in my personal life that confounded me so I only wrote 600, understandably.
Now it is day six and I am trying my very hardest to get back on track, in spite of my turmoil. Because that’s what writers do, don’t they? Which brings me around to the title of this post.
This is perhaps the first time in my writing career that I have forced myself to write when I didn’t want to. Yep. I’m pretty much the adult version of a child throwing down her toys and declaring in a screechy voice that I WILL NOT be doing my chores today.
C’monnnnn we’ve all been there! There’s shopping to do, cars to wash, kids to wrangle, toe nails to clip…no time to write! Or we’ll use one of those excuses given to us by the writers that have come before us. “Yes, it’s okay to take a little break. Recharge your brain. Go relax and come back when you’re ready.”
Yeeeep. Legit “get out of jail free” cards from the Pros. BYE! Netflix and popcorn. Just one or two episodes….or binge watch 13 Reasons Why. It’s okay. Go for it.
Writing is hard. It’s especially hard when inspiration has left you and you have to pound out one word after another, hating every damnable letter. These are the moments where authors have to dig in deep. You and your novel are married. You have to sit down now, have a long talk, and muscle through it. You have no other choice because this is your dream.
I have to put my big girl panties on in times like these. I need to get serious. Think of it as practice for when I have a REAL deadline form a REAL agency. Getting paid to write books. Have to develop good habits now while I’m still a tender young thing, ready to be molded and taught. I know this now so I’m going to force my way through it. Even if it takes many shots of alcohol, three walks a day and a full hour of exercise to get my frustrations out, I will write gawd bless it! I can always go back and edit the crap that I wrote but I can’t edit NOTHING.
So I will writes, but I will hates it. One step closer to the big leagues. I hope.
You too! Keep going!