Whenever I’m writing I feel an almost overwhelming urge to quilt instead. When I finally get around to quilting all I can think of is the books I’m longing to read. In the middle of reading I’ll be wishing I wasn’t so tired so I could get off the couch and do some scrapbooking, and when I’m scrapbooking …
You get the idea. Whatever I’m doing, something else always looks more inviting. When God was handing out attention spans I must have been in the nose line.
About a week ago, it was nearly killing me that I hadn’t read a book since the beginning of November. The only book I wanted in my head was my own and besides, I know how weak I am. If I started to read a book, I’d just read till I was finished and let the writing fall by the wayside. So I was being strong, despite there being several books I was itching to get my hands on.
But then my husband suggested a trip to our favourite book store, Infinitas. Did I say, “no, I couldn’t possibly, I’m too busy writing”? Did I say “get thee behind me, Satan Husband”?
Of course not. I leapt in the car like a golden retriever being offered a ride to the park (although I didn’t stick my head out the window or pant and get drool all over the seat).
My husband promised to hide the books when we got home so I wouldn’t be able to read them till Nano was over, but unfortunately he had to go out straight away and forgot. So there went a large chunk of the next two days, while I devoured The Painted Man by Peter V Brett. (A brilliant read, but more on that in another post.)
But at least it got the reading bug out of my system for a while. I picked myself up, promised to do better, and got back into writing. Only … I started to have lustful thoughts about fabric. Buying it, cutting it into little pieces and sewing it back together. I bought half a dozen patchwork magazines in an effort to get my cravings under control. But by 45,000 words the urge to sew was so strong I could hardly bear to sit down to write. My story was crap, the writing was wooden, my characters bored me senseless. I couldn’t stand it.
The loathing was so strong it took me till about 4 o’clock this afternoon to actually start writing today. It even crossed my mind to give up the whole thing, which would be pretty ridiculous this close to the finishing line. But why was I was doing it, if I hated writing this much? I know plenty of writers say that they go through stages in every novel where they hate the whole thing, but is it really as bad as this?
After it took a couple of hours to write the first 200 words today I gave up on writing full scenes. I just wanted to get it over with, so I started writing down whatever disconnected junk came into my head for the next scene, thinking, I can always come back later and fill it out properly. Just get “the good bits” down. And after I’d done that for a couple of scenes it started to flow again, thank goodness, and I got over my whole I-hate-writing tantrum.
So now I’m at 48,000 words. Hallelujah! By this time tomorrow I should have my life back. On the weekend I can sew!
And by Monday I’ll be saying “I hate sewing! I am never going to finish this quilt!”
This made me laugh: “I leapt in the car like a golden retriever being offered a ride to the park.”
Also, the “lustful thoughts about fabric.”
You should have let Sven and Oleg take that inner critic away.
It doesn’t matter how bad you think it is, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”
Nor does it matter if you never read it again.
Two thousand words? Lurve scene, explanations (sometimes called an infodump) ‘and they lived happily – though not all the time, that would be boring – every after – or until one of them died in which case the survivor would through themselves upon the grave and wail at the injustice of it all…’
But you did it in the end! Congratulations.
Yes, I finally made it. Thanks for the encouragement and congratulations.
Didn’t have to resort to the lurve scene, which is probably just as well since my hero is more interested in eating hearts than winning them at this point in the story.
As for Sven and Oleg — too distracting! I wouldn’t have got a thing written.