When you start a new manuscript everything is very exciting and it’s all new, and my the roses are smelling delightful today and it feels like every word typed tastes milk and honey and honestly we are practically done 60 000 words by lunchtime is totes doable. Let’s just publicly announce how awesomely fast we can type for historical reasons.
I think I’ve forgotten what that’s like — to find something entirely new in my head and just write it. And I think this is both a good thing and a bad thing. I live for what makes me happy, so it’s difficult to continue writing when I don’t feel like celebrating my utter genius (hahaha what genius hahaha the other day while in the shower I forgot whether or not I had already washed my hair) over a pop tart and impromptu dance party every fifteen minutes. I have to find a different motivation, and that’s new for me. That’s maybe a little more adult that I knew I could be.
But it’s okay, because I know this means I am finishing things instead of flitting about in an endless sea of OH GOOD ANOTHER THING, THAT LOOKS SHINY. I’m not dabbling in a hundred stories at once (at least not on paper). I am writing. And I am writing a story that’s been in my head for the better part of a year now. And I think it’s okay, even if it is driving me a little crazy. After all, all the best people are mad anyway.
When you’re stuck in the middle of edits, or revisions, or even that grotesque thing that is a first draft there are a lot of highs and a lot of firsts. There are also a lot of lows. Always, when I am watching a film and the hero is in the midst of some impossible struggle I find myself siding with the writer first. The writer had to think up the bad guy, and the impossible situation, and the improbable escape, I think as I munch on biscuits. The writer had to be all things at once. Sometimes I can’t even get my head around that simple fact. Sometimes it seems impossible to me that we ever finish anything, because stories need to be complex and complex things are hard. Stories need us to be this omnipresent voice that both knows and sows the seeds of doubt all at the same time. Stories need us to be both exude confidence and leak paranoia all at the same time.
I think the difficulty is a good sign, though. I’d be petrified my stories were accidentally stolen if they always came as easily as the beginnings. I’d get paranoid that I was actually writing about somebody’s real life even though that sounds insane and I’d be scared I wouldn’t know what to do when the words just stopped. Sometimes the right words are easy, and they just tumble from my fingers to the page. But sometimes they’re not, and that’s okay too. I need to realise that it is okay. Also, figure out a way for people to get me food when I am knee deep in a scene. That too.
How is your writing going?