Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Unfocused

X Marks the Focus
I've been hiding. From you, from my blog. Not blogging meant I didn't have to admit to the fact that I've been slacking. Unfocused, slouching, making excuses.

October has gotten away from me. National Novel Writing Month starts in less than three weeks. And Monsters of Lawrence still isn't done.

August and September had structure. I had specific goals, and when October hit, I thought I could keep with it without the strict regime.

I was wrong.

That's not to say that Diana and her world haven't been on my mind. I've been thinking about her and the rest of the gang a lot. I've done a lot of brainstorming, and sketched out the rest of the scenes I need to write. I've even started thinking beyond the first book, and how her story fits into the bigger story of the world I created.

The trouble is, like most of my stories, the rest of the book is written in my head. Unfortunately, that doesn't do anyone any good.

I just need one or two intense writing sessions to knock out the rest of the first draft. Already I see lots of places for changes and improvement, but those are second-draft concerns. That's also been part of my problem, though: a loathing for all the parts that are bad, which has discouraged me from moving forward.

But I need to do this. I need to finish a book. And I need to finish this book before November hits, because the longer it sits unfinished, the more it slouches towards the Novel Graveyard.

It's time to sit up straight again.

And fast.

Because I'm already starting to hear the voices of characters from my NaNoWriMo idea. They are just whispering right now, but I find myself leaning in to hear them better. Taking tentative steps in their direction. Before I step over the boundary line between worlds, I really need to finish Monsters. It won't be easy to cross back once I'm on the other side.

This blog was designed to keep me on track, and help me towards my writing goals. My current goal is to finish Monsters before November. I need to be more specific. I need to have wordcount goals, or some sort of timeline. I originally thought A Touch A Day Keeps the Graveyard Away would be a good one for October (graveyard, October, Halloween?), but I never committed to that goal. This Saturday, I'm going to block the whole day for writing. At the end of the day, I'll see where I stand and set my specific goals for the rest of the month.

I found some old notes I took from a panel of writers at ConQuest, a local science-fiction/fantasy convention, and one of the tips they gave stood out: treat writing like a job. Figure out your five year plan and stick to it. I have the vague plan of getting a novel published in the next ten years, but that doesn't keep me accountable on a year to year basis. I need a goal each year, and I need to break down that year into months, as the case may be.

Let's face it, folks. I am obsessive-compulsive. I am also a writer, which makes me an emotional wreck when it comes to my art. In order to contain that hot mess, I need structure. It is the responsible, OCD part of myself that needs to channel my creative energies into something productive.

I do have it in me to be a successful writer. I just need all of the parts of myself to work together to get there.

Anyone know a good therapist??

2 comments:

  1. Recognizing what needs to be done is a beginning and setting realistic goals is the next step. It sounds like you are taking those steps one at a time and you will suprise yourself when you look back and see what you have accomplished! Let me know when your Monsters book has been printed!!! Kay

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  2. You are so right, Kay. Sometimes I forget to look back to see how far I've come. I'm not sure if Monsters will ever be printed, but believe me, I'll let the world know if anything of mine ever is!

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