Blog Post No. 441
The time has come. No more dragging my feet. It’s the first week of may and I have only three months before I’m planning on starting the fifth novella (and last one for a while). I have to start the second draft of the Invasion Novel. I had intended to spend the time between releasing Break/Interrupt and now working on short stories, but I found myself struggling to do anything productive in the last few weeks. Maybe it was burnout from the final push of getting the novella out. Maybe it was the stress from the inevitable mistakes that I had to scramble to fix at the last minute. Maybe it was distributing the book to folks around the county in the middle of a pandemic, or the cost with no chance of making the money back in the current climate, or the general weight of being isolated.
It was probably all those things and my inherent laziness (that I’ve been working against since childhood). One of the big reasons for my lack of motivation was not being able to meet up with the Writing Wrecking Crew. I’ve said it many times before, but there is something about getting together with other writers and sitting across from them in a cafe that keeps me working. Partially it’s just being out of the house. If I take the trouble to get there and buy a coffee, I may as well get some work done. (Starting is perpetually the hardest part for me). It also helps to chat about what I’m working on (or want to work on) creating a bit of accountability with each other and building my own excitement.
To top it off, seeing people type away at their own stories is a big source of motivation for me. It could be from the inherent competitiveness that comes with siblings and good friend. The good natured kind of rivalry where you want to see your friend succeed as much as yourself, but you certainly don’t want them to be too much better than you.
I was also really disappointed with the short story I had tried to write during the Virtual Writing Retreat. The idea wasn’t fully formed (which isn’t all that unusual for me) and I struggled to get what was in my head down on paper. The half of it I’d managed to write was really not that good. I probably could have worked on it, but I think the idea wasn’t worth it in the end. I have come up with some exciting short story ideas since then, but the motivation wasn’t there. I was torn between finishing the one in the works, or abandoning it and starting a new one.
Either way, I didn’t do much writing or editing in April and I don’t have the time to keep waffling. I need to start working on the novel again even if I’m terrified. It’s way too big and needs so much work, but it has to be done. There is a good story in there (somewhere) and I have to chip away at the rough marble to find it. Maybe I’ll try writing a short again when I make some progress. Like maybe after the second or third draft. With my track record, though, I don’t want to make any concrete statement right now. I just want to feel productive again. So, with trembling fingers, I’m about to start the long and tedious process of editing (as soon as I’ve finished writing this). Wish me luck.