The NaNo sends out a storm of cobwebs and crickets to blogs. I’m not complaining, just making an observation. 🙂
Hopefully lots of writers are furiously meeting daily goals. And if not, I sincerely hope there isn’t any self-flagellation going on. The NaNo is supposed to free up the creativity, open the mind to unrestrained ideas. But for some, it instead creates a clock ticking sort of pressure which can result in feelings of failure.
Especially when you have days like mine yesterday. I’m sharing because these days can happen even when you’re in the middle of the month long frenzy whether it’s a self-imposed goal or even a professional deadline, and that angst can slam all confidence out of the park.
So, yesterday, my frustration levels topped out. I typed in the longhand additions I made to a scene over the weekend, then moved onto the next.
And the staring game began.
Me against a blinking cursor, then me against a printed page when I decided fresh surroundings might help. I looked over words that seemed “okay” the last time I read them. But yesterday, those words kept swimming in these muddy, repetitive puddles and acid kept surging up my throat because I had this goal and I wasn’t coming close to it.
I KNOW I can ring more emotion out of these characters.
I KNOW I can write a setting that plays an integral part of the story itself.
I KNOW I can do better!
Polishing is usually my favorite part. I love the challenge of fleshing out a scene, adding ambiance, layering realism… but yesterday, I didn’t do a good job of silencing my ugly side. That ugly perfectionist side. The side that reads the words of a favorite writer and whispers, “You can’t be that good, so settle for your own best.”
For the record, do not listen to that voice. Stick it in a box with a lock–or burn it in a ceremonial fire, I don’t care, just ditch it. The comparison game will slow creative flow faster than anything else.
I know this and I’ve grown pretty good at avoiding the situation. But for some reason, yesterday, I couldn’t separate myself enough to really see the words, to see what the scenes needed. I couldn’t focus, my mind wandered off constantly.
All these perfectly natural occurrences did what they always do. Created the perfect balance in nature for the birth of true procrastination.
Procrastination happens because we want to avoid this inner battle. We get frustrated, knowing we are capable of better and in order to avoid the self-depreciating thoughts, we find something else to do.
So, I watched Close Your Eyes with Goran Visnjic and Shirley Henderson. (She’s really a fantastic actress–have you seen Dirty Filthy Love????) I’d share more about the very cool concept for this thriller, but this post is about bad writing days.
Thought taking a break for the movie would help. But no…. all I did was shove the angst into the backseat. It climbed to the front later last night and had doubled in size. I was such a grouch, I removed myself from my family and nursed a massive headache before going to bed early.
Apparently, I needed sleep. Woke up refreshed and guess what? The damn scene made sense again this morning. I can already tell today is gonna be better.
Bad days happen to good writers. Repeat that to yourself and move on. Make the next day yours. 😉