“Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do.” Confucius.
So, I put myself on a blogging hiatus simply because I wanted to focus on finishing this draft of WIP2. At this point, I’m still far from The End, but I’m getting ever nearer.
I probably would have been closer to the finish (in fact, I was hoping this would have been a “Yes, I wrote The End!” blog post, but whatever), had I not burnt out sometime between last Monday and this past Tuesday. Sure, being mentally exhausted from the paythebills job didn’t really help me. (I needed to be a little more extrovert-y these past two weeks in my paythebills job, which already strains the limit of my introverted nature.) But, I honestly think I simply got hit with another stupid “fear of some kind of failure” panic attack.
I started to think too much about the story I’ve written so far; obsess too much about the work I’ll have to do to revise it; cringe about all the horrible writing that I’m going to be subjecting my poor crit partners to. So, that mindset just made me shut down and not have anything to write about whenever I sat down to write anything. I even started to entertain the thoughts of working on one of my many other WIP ideas rather than finishing WIP2.
But then…I decided to just plow through the actual storyline, even if that meant writing huge swaths of nothing but chapter summaries. At the very least, I was hoping to see images of scenes again, something, anything, to remind me why I loved this story. I plodded along and added a few pages here and there, but nothing amazing, and surely nothing I’d be proud to put my name on.
Sometime around 3AM this morning, I read a little blog post that Merrilee Faber shared. It’s from Janice Hardy’s blog: The Other Side of the Story. The blog talks about revisions, mainly, but what I liked most about the post were passages like this…
I knew when I wrote this draft that it was a bit “all over the place” because it was wrapping up the trilogy and I wasn’t sure how some things were going to pan out. I needed to write it and see what happened, and then needed to hear what folks said about it before I went back and revised.
I cut 10K words (four entire chapters) without batting an eye because I didn’t need them anymore. They did their job to get me mentally where I needed to be, but they hurt the story to leave them in.
I know it’s a little thing, but finding someone who had to write in weird, meandering ways just to get to the place where they mentally needed to be to get through the story was encouraging to me. (Also, that she sent it out like that to gain feedback from her critters before revising it herself.) It immediately made me want to open my WIP2 and add a few more words. (At that point it was nearly 5AM, so I didn’t add too many pages, but I added a few, and that was all that mattered to me.)
I wish I could say that I did indeed find those tricksy muses and voila, I’m hot on their heels racing toward The End. I clearly didn’t, and I’m still plodding. But, I’m here and writing out all the stuff that’s lodged in my mind, and not paying attention to that little internal editor that’s telling me that whatever I’m writing is wrong/useless/unnecessary/doesn’t align with the MC’s characterization or voice.
I’m writing, and as rambly and pointless as those words are, they are getting me closer to The End (much closer than I would be if I waited for perfection.)