Between finishing Camp NaNoWriMo and realizing that Wynonna Earp season 3 started a couple of weeks ago, I haven’t been writing much. Also, those children. Those children take ALL my time. And work, I guess. Not sleeping, so much. I don’t do much of that.
But I had an idea for a something new–which always happens before I actually finish most of the old–and since the process of writing is a lot more fun than the process of editing or self-publishing, I think I’d rather dive into that than finish anything else.
There was a guest post on Chuck Wendig’s blog recently about the thrill of a new idea and slowing down when you have no deadline. It’s good advice from someone who wrote/designed “Iron Edda” which, honestly I have no interest in other than it sounding like the me I imagine myself to be every time I do three push-ups. But it’s a good reminder to the self-published and the hobby novelist that if this writing thing is for myself then I should just do what works for me and to hell with all expectation.
So I’ll just let those other projects simmer, especially the two super personal ones I’ve written in the last year. Let’s start something new for funsies and see where it goes.
A long time ago, in a suburb far far away…
Now… time to research some weird shit like… who invented mowing lawns and why?
It was touch and go there for a while. Not lookin’ too good this mornin’ when I still had 4,000 some odd words to go and a To Do List a mile long but… you know… you dig down deep and just like, totally blow off your To Do List and here’s what you get.
It’s only 20,000 words (20,031 if we’re being accurate) but that’s more of this story than I had a month ago and that’s something to be proud of.
Happy camping, writer friends. Maybe all your mosquito nets be undamaged.
I am just over 9,000 words away from meeting my adjusted Camp NaNo goal and it… doesn’t… look… good.
Unless I can write half of that today, in under 3 hours while multitasking some actual work stuff, I won’t make it.
So the question is: Readjust that goal again or take the fail and know that when my children get older I WILL have more time for writing again?
**UPDATE**: I wrote 4,339 words today which is almost half! This race ain’t over yet!
Geez Louise, Eda, why is your word count stuck at 23 today?!
Well, internet, given that “free time” is a precious commodity in my life and I’ve just wasted half of it restarting my damn computer, I’ve opted to go clean out my closet instead.
My computer doesn’t want me to write today. It’s not procrastination.
This is what I’ve written today:
I’ve got nothing doing. I had had a nice little fantasy about a Mexican actor I’ve had a crush on since film school.
Go go Na-noooooo!
I’ll tell you what: if Buzzfeed starts banging out the Mad Libs-style fun quiz, I’m never leaving that site again.
Here’s my favorite part of the dystopian YA novel Buzzfeed helped me write while I should have been real writing my Camp NaNo project:
The Chaperones began placing memory erasing coffee k-cups on the temples of all children. Rythe saw this and knew she must make her escape. She had heard a fable in her earlier years told by the children at her school, when the New Government was gaining control. Apparently there was a code to deactivate their android creations. What was that rhyme they used to chant around the schoolyard? Then Rythe remembered. She stood up and recited: “toenail, third rail, 001, jury duty, big ole booty, 001.” Suddenly, all Chaperones dropped their bottles and cans and stood up in unison, then left the room.
Toenail, third rail, 001
Jury duty, big ole booty, 001
Well, I certainly did try to edit my NaNo project into something cohesive and I’m not saying I’m ready to give up on it. But I do believe it needs some space to breath.
This is true for most of the things I write, that I need some space between the writing and the editing, but especially so for a mostly true story about a totally shit time in my life.
So I’ve started something new! Something fun! Something that started out as a merry jaunt through time and space, an attempt to recreate a nostalgic event in the lives of the main character’s parents… but then… my mind went to the dark place and so did the story. Now the main character will share her story with her mom who’s been reading a lot about the #TimesUp movement and following coverage of a fictionalized version of that scumbag gymnastics doctor’s trial and reexamining some of those nostalgic events through the lens of a more cynical and much more informed adult eye.
Also… woo! Road trip!
Happy last day of NaNoWriMo 2017! If you haven’t finished, may all the words unburden themselves from your finger tips and your editing brain take a little break until you’re done.
I’m proud to announce that despite a buttload of obstacles (and by buttload, I mean the actual unit of measure equaling a barrel of wine which I cannot drink because I am nursing) I got my 50,000+ words thereby making me a…
I mean, I’m a winner no matter what because I look my mirror reflection in the eye every morning and tell her so, but it is gratifying to accomplish a goal and get a t-shirt so I can brag about it.
What I cannot brag about, however, is having a finished manuscript. Far from it. I can imagine the chapter I’m currently writing as being the last one but I have the kind of ending that’s like… “the only change was in my mind and I still haven’t decided what to do about it. The End”
True to life, man. Because I think I’ve finally emerged from the dark cave of baby blues–or at least found the exit, if I haven’t quite made it through the gift shop yet–and I don’t know what the hell to do with myself now. This WIP, this challenge was the thing that was keeping me going. After today, I don’t know. I’ll just have to use “getting through the holidays” as my motivation to keep moving forward until I find something else to cling to.
Maybe I’ll put an effort into finishing my NaNo project. Maybe I’ll start something new. Either way, I’ll definitely be doing it from a better mental state than I started this month.
I started writing something new a few days ago–another coming of age type story that uses Batman Forever as a turning point in a young woman’s understanding of sexuality– but I’m still… you know, pregnant and not having much luck in not sitting on the couch ignoring my discomfort and pain with endless article-reading and Buzzfeed quizzes.
I just think that there are times when you need to let time pass rather than spending it wisely and late pregnancy is one of those times.
But I assume there will come a time when I can write again, perhaps with an infant strapped to my chest, perhaps about all the things I won’t be doing because… I have an infant strapped to my chest.
Although… I do have a WIP that involves a woman with an infant strapped to her chest who walks out of Target only to meet up with a mythical creature spouting nonsense rhymes at her as a call to action. She complains a lot about her husband not helping enough and not understanding how difficult it is to constantly be with your child with very little outlet other than weekly trips to Target. And if that’s not “write what you know” then there’s no such thing.
I discovered a new word today: liminoid. It’s the in-between place described by the word liminality but optional and secular because it doesn’t belong to a ritual.
It’s what I’m going to call this place between finishing an old WIP and starting a new one. It’s both freedom and lostness and it’s super uncomfortable.
I would like to be writing something new but as my free time is limited, and I would like to sell the book I just finished, I need to concentrate my effort on marketing, right?
Or do I?
I have no issue with considering myself a hobby novelist and while I enjoy the gratification of that sales graph climbing ever upward, making money has never been my goal.
Oh, but it’s nice, isn’t it?
When it comes down to it, though, I write for the pleasure of writing. I finish a story for the pleasure of seeing it through to the end. I self-publish for the pleasure of hoping my story means something to someone else. I collect a couple o’ pennies in royalties for the pleasure of a cup of coffee I didn’t pay for out of my day job paycheck.
All in good fun.
So maybe it’s time to start something new? To step through the threshold and find out what’s on the other side? To stop feeling guilty about not doing enough or posting enough or paying* enough to get my books sold and read?
Yes, I think so.
*Paying for advertising when you’re not 100% invested in making money on a thing is just a dumb waste. Hear that, Facebook? Please stop harassing me about “boosting” things. There will be no more boosting for you from me, thankyouverymuch.
My Muse is definitely a drunk girl in a bathroom.
What incredible inconvenience, my mystery muse, to give me an idea whose time has come just in time for me to have NO TIME for writing! I’m already juggling enough, my muse! How can you just slap a story across my face and expect me to comply?! Don’t you see those IKEA boxes full of children’s furniture sitting on my nursery floor? Can’t you tell my mommy brain is in full effect? Don’t you see my struggling to get up into my cafe table desk chair? Why? Why now?!
So good news, I have a great idea for my next book!
Bad news, I’m like… SO pregnant and so busy and so distracted that I don’t think it’ll happen any time soon.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a preorder on my last new book so… cool! Thanks, Mom. Or ladyfriend. Or… stranger?! Regardless, you won’t be disappointed. Lay Her Ghosts to Rest is the best thing I’ve written so far and I’m super proud of it. Tell your friends! Make them order it too. Momma’s going on maternity leave soon and needs some residual income, if only enough to buy a few more ice creams before the summer ends.
Cheeky preview of my next new thing.