Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Keep On Keepin' On

For the past month and a half, maybe two months, I've been working on my novel, pretty much non-stop. And for the most part, it's been going pretty great, considering the fact that the first novel I started took me 2 years and I quit after sixteen chapters. I won't go into the details with that right now, that's for another time, but suffice to say, I felt pretty good about this new one.

For one thing, I KNOW how this one will end, so obviously the going is a little easier. But yesterday, I ran into a huge problem. You might call it a 'complete work stoppage.' (I won't tell you where I heard that phrase, but I will tell you that as much as disliked that phrase at first, it really fits the bill here. And I hope the author of that phrase is getting a giggle right now.)

The problem was that I wrote a full chapter, my fingers on fire the whole time. I was humming, let me tell you and the writing was really good. You know how that happens sometimes? Where you are like, 'Damn! I am kicking ASS!' Right? Well that's what was going on and I was loving it. And then WHAAAMM! It hit me. None of what I wrote - and I mean NONE of it- fit in the story. It went in a whole different direction than it should have went. Which meant only one thing - it was going to have to go.

Do you know that feeling? The sinking of your stomach? The realization that every effort you just wrung from your pores was all in vain? Yeah. It wasn't good. So I was faced with a decision. Keep on even though I knew it wasn't going to work. Or - GULP! delete it all. So I did what any normal person would do. I froze.

I couldn't do anything. I stared at that *@!%*&$ page for about an hour, my finger on the delete button, wavering back and forth, gritting my teeth as I sat there. But then, I decided this was too big for just me. So I called on my Snutch Pals. Their encouragement and empathy was immediate and uplifting, just as I knew it would be.

And really, that's all it took. As soon as I vented my frustration, my lonliness, my ISOLATION that I felt, I realized what I needed to do, both to keep writing and keep my sanity - And that was a mixture of both possibilities. Instead of deleting it, I cut it from the book and saved it in another document. A simple solution, really. But the magical part of it was that AS SOON as I did it, the wall lifted. It was gone! Yeah, the 2500 words were gone too, but it didn't matter, I think because I didn't completely wipe them off the planet. They are saved in a little file called 'scenes.' I'm sure it's just a psychosymatic thing, but hey, it works, and that's all that matters.

And I found out one of my Snutch partners just blogged about the very same thing the other day - read his blog Hitting the Wall and you'll see what I mean.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm back to the grind with a lighter heart and the excitement's back. Which is good. Because I don't want to be 0 for 2 when it comes to writing a novel.

Till next time - Ciao!