I am supposed to be writing. This is not new, I have been procrastinating about my writing since college. I used to write for fun and then somewhere along the way I got concerned about whether what I was writing was any good. That was not a good thing to have happen. Once I started worrying about the quality of my writing then I was stuck. Writing was stressful, and not fun. I really wanted to write, but my inner critic was telling me to forget it.
My stories called to me, different scenarios filed through my head during the day and I would have vivid dreams about people and places I didn’t know at night. I would start stories and never finish them. I mean what was the point? I had already told myself they were crap so why continue?
My parents were very supportive and encouraged my writing but when you are in your twenties you are so damn sure that you know everything. I thought I knew better and pushed it aside. So, I would doodle here and jot something down there but nothing more than a few written pages. After I survived a horrid relationship, followed by a self imposed sentence of solitary confinement of about seven years, I got laid off and finally ended up working in a bookstore. There, I met my future husband and remembered why I loved writing. Sully and I were married in 2000, and had Boo at the end of 2001.
Fast forward a few years, I’ve been working up to writing. I’ve been talking about it, a lot. I bought books about writing and I even read some of them. I have a drawerful of notebooks, journals and legal pads. So, clearly, I’ve been thinking about it, my follow through was lacking though. I guess I was waiting for some motivating factor…
November 1st, 2009, Jennifer Crusie posts on Facebook about National Novel Writing Month. I read about it and think, yes, yes, yes. Within minutes I was signed up and I am committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days. At the end of November I had my 50K words and I was so excited. I was writing again…and then I stopped, it was Christmas and I thought for sure I would start again in January. This is where someone coughs *bullshit* in the background. Honestly, though I thought I would keep on writing but it just didn’t happen. Somewhere around June 1st I realized that my book was only half done and I needed to finish it to get my free proof copy. So, I spent another month hunched over my computer slogging through the last half of this not very thought out story. With a day or so to spare, I finish writing. I turn to Sully and promptly burst into tears. I’d never finished anything beyond a few short stories, most of which had been assignments for classes.
I then spent several hours formatting (and swearing) and finally submitting it for printing at CreateSpace. I check the mail everyday and grumble through July 4th and the lack of mail delivery. When my proof copy finally came, it was so amazing to see it, well worth the wait, and the work.
Since then I have started three more stories, two of which I have finished (mostly) and one that kind of fell flat in the middle. Not my fault, it was the middle of the Arizona summer and I honestly think my brain got fried, too many days over 110 degrees. Blah! The point is, though, I haven’t gone back to do editing and rewrites, that’s where I will have to face up to the truth. Mind you, this is where I can see what works and doesn’t work over the whole course of the story not just one scene or chapter. I think I am better prepared now after writing the other stories but it’s still a bit scary.
In November, I shut my inner critic into a closet so I could write, now I’ve got to let her back out. I really hope she isn’t a total bitch about the whole closet thing…