This year’s nanowrimo is proving far harder, I think, than last year’s challenge. Maybe it’s not, maybe it’s exactly the same, but this year feels harder.
Maybe it’s because I’m two days behind in my word count. Maybe it’s because I only got two hours of sleep last night. But maybe, just maybe, it’s because I don’t know what happens next in my story and there is no time to mull it around like I normally do.
Writers need time to think, and that is the one place where Nanowrimo has always failed for me. I know the idea is to write with ‘literary abandon’ but sometimes we also need a second to THINK about ‘what happens next.’
It’s frustrating because I find myself struggling. And with the struggling, comes the doubt. Fearing that everything I’ve worked on this past month is nothing but garbage (as all first drafts should be), but garbage so smelly, that it won’t have anything left in it to salvage come December when the edits can begin.
It may seem like writers have the life of luxury, working in pajamas and drinking coffee all day.
But it’s more than that. You’re trying to tell an engaging story that no ones ever heard before. That’s hard…
I’m not giving up though. Far from it. I’m just stuck, which is why I’m blogging and not writing.
As I look at my wall full of inspirational writing quotes, I come across my favorite, and ironically, reading it now, I feel renewed.
From Monica Wood’s ‘Pocket Muse’
“I once heard a college student in Waterville, Maine, ask a visiting writer Ron Carlson how one knows if one is really a writer. Ever the showman, Carlson delivered an entertaining riff about the distractions writers put in their own way, all day, all the time: leaving the room to get coffee, walk the dogs, go to the bathroom, get coffee, look something up, get coffee. Then, dead serious, he summed up the whole enterprise in a line I have never forgotten:
‘The writer is the one who stays in the room.”
Excuse me. I have to go back into my room now.