in which I flirt with total madness – a (re)writing update

It’s almost October, which means… dun dun dun… NaNoWriMo is right around the corner! Which REALLY means, I’ve been working on Anúna for a year (I also may have hit on a potential title, but that’s a story for another day).

A YEAR.

Just let that sink in.

Though, in all honesty, I shelved it for well over 6 months while working on Cassiel, but a year is a year. That’s a lot of time spent in front of a screen/in my head developing this project. And it’s still in a fairly rough, messy, first draft state. There are days when opening my printed copy just makes my chest hurt… there’s a little twinge every time I think about having to rewrite/rethink/redraft another chapter. Writing is hard, lonely work, but re-writing just feels ten times more soul-crushing. This is when I see what I’ve written and think Gah! What was I thinking? (Though there are some moments when I’m skipping along going Tra-la-la, I’m a literary genius. Admittedly, these are few and far between–there is a lot more anguish than happy skipping.)

I love writing. There are stories inside me that need telling. But there are some days when I really question my sanity. Days when I come home from work and the last thing I want to do is open my laptop and stare at a screen for another 2-3 hours before going to bed.

It’s hard.

It’s hard to write and even harder when I don’t.

I really am my own worst enemy in this. No one can make me feel as guilty as I can when I don’t write because, when all is said and done, I’m the only person who really cares whether or not I meet my goal. I’m the only one who can own this thing.

What I’m really having a hard time with is balancing writing and everything else. I can’t write for hours at a time. I physically can’t do it. There are only so many hours I can take in front of a screen, cramped up into whatever position I curl myself into, trying to make my fingers go as fast as my thoughts, before I feel mentally and physically exhausted. It just doesn’t work for me. There are too many demands on me–from work, family, Didymus (the cat rules all)–and no matter how well I manage my time, there just isn’t enough. I would love to be able to shell out more than a couple thousand words a day (and those are the good days), but I’m more of a write-in-bursts sort of person. I guess it works for me right now, but there I still have this uncomfortable feeling that I should be doing more… it’s a terribly cycle of trying too hard and tearing myself apart because I didn’t try as hard as I should.

So what I’m saying is… I have no answers… but I don’t think anyone really has it all figured out. It’s a messy business. I’ll just keep shuffling along.

For now, I’m off to do some more research on Celtic mythology. Research counts as writing, right?

Camp NaNo… here we go!

getting ready…

The day is almost upon us… Camp NaNo lurks just around the corner with its frantic writing goal. I’ve got my “plan”–which is really just a list of ideas I’ve been plotting for Cassiel Draft 2 (or, as I like to think of it, taming the wild beast). I printed out the first five chapters of the original draft (written oh so many moons ago) and realized it’s damn long. And I mean loooooong. As in, nearly a quarter of the length of Anúna Draft 1–and that one clocked in at around 80k. Seriously, when I say this is an exercise in wrangling my word story into something neat and orderly, I mean it. It’s way too involved. Unless I break it into several parts, it just doesn’t work as a YA length novel. My goal is to get around 20k works down in April and have a solid start at a new draft. Entirely new. I was toying with revising and reworking what I have, but I feel that the second half is stronger than the first, so a solid first half should be my greatest priority for this one, at least for now. I love my characters and I love my settings, but I have to get my plot under control. I kind of wish I had more time to research some of the elements I’m uncertain about, but it’s been a mad month. I’ll work with what I have.

In other news… I haven’t reached my editing goal for the month 😦 . I have two more chapters before I finish the first round of revisions on Chapters 5-10. Mad month, after all. Not that April will be any better…

Ah! Writing!