Zero forward progress has me feeling down.
I’ll have to trunk Sharp Edge if I can’t get these rewrites moving. I don’t want to do it. I REALLY don’t. I’ve promised it to people. I have Rhiannon’s beautiful cover art. I have paid good money for fantastic, insightful edits, and I have plotted out the changes I need to make this already @#%$! amazing book absolutely %!&@$ AMAZEBALLS.
But none of that matters, because I know how the story ends, and writing new scenes into a story whose ending I already know is like trying to tow a loaded ore boat up a canal by hand, all by myself.
Once I’ve dug into a job I’m a strong and steady plodder, but right now I’m slogging through mud where I can’t get any traction, hauling away ay a massive DONE thing that’s sunk in place.
Stubborn determination keeps me sitting at this computer day after day–but every day I find myself working on ANYTHING ELSE during my creative time (like, oh, writing this blog post…) and I finish single paragraphs in Sharp Edge, if that.
If at this point you’re feeling the urge to share pious, sugar-mouthed chirpy cliches like “Just write for yourself/you have to want it bad enough/motivation comes from within,” please keep them to yourself, thank you very much.
I don’t write for myself. I never have. I’ve completed a half-dozen novels not writing for myself just fine, ditto for a dozen shorts.
I only put the swearing and sweat required to squeeze my non-linear thoughts into writing so I can tell stories to OTHER PEOPLE. Therein lies my problem.
At this stage with past books, I hadn’t worn out the few friends who liked seeing the raw pieces as I wrote them. I could convince myself they were urgently waiting and wanting the story. Believing I would disappoint them if I didn’t have something new FOR THEM was like having a whole team of helpers tugging away at me from the other side, countering the weighty DONENESS of the story I was revising.
I don’t have that any more.
Everyone is patient. And understanding. And busy with their own lives and problems, and honestly if anyone said they DID want to read my raw progress, I would have to be convinced. Several years of experience with Support & Encouragement as Vague General Concepts have taken their toll. I now suspect it all as coming from a place of kindness rather than objective excitement about the story itself, and that’s quite the anti-motivator.
(Hi, my name is Karen, and my writing kicks ass, but the way some friends get all tense around the eyes and swiftly change the subject whenever I talk about my books makes me sad…)
Anyone out there craving the next scene from this book I am utterly unable to work up any momentum on? Anyone willing to convince– as in NAG– me and insist on being given material to read weekly? Daily?
Anyone love Elena’s whiny teen angstiness and Valerie’s nervous conflict-avoidance that much?
I’m not expecting a positive answer. But I’m working up to facing the reality that if I can’t find someone to help me haul this load, pretty soon I’m gonna have to drop this rope and go find a different towpath.
Even if it breaks my heart to do it.