Friday, March 25, 2011

The Only Thing to Fear...

I'm afraid of my novel.

Let me back up:

On February 10, I decided to blow the dust off my urban fantasy project, tentatively titled FOUR. Between then and March 10, I added a little over 30,000 words to the document. I let one of my critique partners read the roughness, and she liked it. She pumped me up with encouragement.

Then I joined the ninjas and was automatically part of a support group. High-fives and gentle butt-kicks all the way around--complete with weekly chats! Awesome, no?

I was holding pretty steady with an average 2k/day word count goal. I had the entire thing planned out, and I was excited to write it. I got myself to the climax of the second act, a part I'd been excited about writing since I came up with the plot points.

And then I went on vacation.

All good intentions of writing while away fell to the wayside. Vacation was stressful, but I bought Donald Maass's book The Fire in Fiction and have read most of it. Reading it made me feel part-validated, part-daunted. I'm on the right track in some places, and have a lot of work cut out in others. But it gave me some good ideas for immediate ways to improve the final third of my novel. So I was all excited to get back home and start writing.

But getting back from vacation is no vacation, right? First, it was a Monday, which meant I had class. And I also had to catch up on all the stuff that'd been left waiting while we were gone--grocery shopping, laundry, cat-related things, bills, errands. Not to mention hubby was still on vacation, so he was around the house to distract. Then on Tuesday, we were gone all day looking for houses. Ensuing house-related business totally sapped the rest of my energy.

To make a long story short, I haven't touched my WIP in two weeks now, and I'm a little scared to go back. I remember precisely where I left off, and it was a scene I was already a bit nervous to write--let alone come back to TWO WEEKS later. What if I was in a speed writing-induced haze? What if everything I wrote to this point totally blows and sucks all the joy I had for this novel out of me?

*headdesk*

Right.

Today I finally, finally have enough time to open up Word and check the damage. I've had my grapefruit, had my coffee, and the cats are napping.

Now or never...

20 comments:

D U Okonkwo said...

Oh I think most writers will be able to empathise with you. I've always been if the belieft that it's all about seasons. I started my debut novel in 2006 but due to life getting in the way didn't really touch it. I wrote just under 200 pages in three years.

Then I suddenly found myself freed from my job and crashed out the last four hundred pages in 6 months. Believe me, when it's time to write it nothign will get in the way :)

Teri Anne Stanley said...

Ack, I do the same thing! Once I am working on a project, it's all good, but then I put it down, and it grows horns and has toxic stuff oozing out of it's skin.

Put on your hazmat suit and some gloves and get back in there, you'll have that thing tamed in no time!

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

I know how you feel. Jumping back into a project you've left for a while is like taking a plunge in an icy pool. The good news is that with enough coffee in your system, you'll warm up in no time :)

Erica Mitchell-Spickard said...

Total empathy. I stopped writing because life demanded I do so, and when I started again...*shudder* it was cold and scary at first. But the good thing, it comes back and usually better than before..I know you'll get there :) Have a good one

Old Kitty said...

Be brave, be bold!!!! Get in there with guns blazing!!!!! :-)

You needed the break, your batteries are recharged - it's all go for you! Take care
x

Tere Kirkland said...

Good luck! Sometimes I'm surprised at how a little time off can help me look at the story in a more critical way. I bet if you go back and read the last few chapters, you'll be back up to speed in no time!

Have a productive weekend.

K.D.Storm said...

Hang in there girl! You have it in you. You can do it!

Sophia the Writer said...

best line ever: "Vacation was stressful"
lolol

I know what you mean, you come home all exhausted and needing a break from traveling.

Don't worry about your WIP - you'll pick right up!

RaShelle said...

Hi! I understand. I'm part of the ninjas, too. Go, girl!!! You can do it!!! I'll race you to the end of March. =D

Meredith said...

You can do it! The hardest part is just starting--once that's over, you'll be fine!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

I understand completely! I get so scared to go back to my WIP when I've put it off for even a week or so. It's funny how we get scared to write a certain scene too. My characters are just so intimidating sometimes! LOL

Good luck diving back into it! From one ninja to another, here is a swift kick! Hi-yah! :D

Jamie Burch said...

I know this feeling! It's weird because I love writing and the project I'm working on. Still trying to find balance with life stuff and writing.

Good luck to you! I'm sure that you'll get back to it soon. I bet you already did! Oh and when you figure out the secret to kicking these pesky moments, please let me know.

You're always an inspiration, Summer. Enjoy your weekend!

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

so i'm totally late on this, but how did it go?

DEZMOND said...

well, you should never force writing, you will sit down and continue when you feel the inspiration and yearning :)

The Las Vegas Writer said...

I've heard contrary advice, that you SHOULD force writing or you'll never get back into the routine. Depends on the WIP and the writer, I think, but I know I have to make myself work, or I won't do it!

yokohamamama said...

Well-that explains why I keep writing my Friday field notes post all in one go, instead of doing the obvious thing and starting on Thursday, sleeping, then finishing Friday. I must be afraid, somewhere in the back of my mind, that I won't be able to get back into it the next day. (And that's just overnight! As you can see, I'd totally suck as a novel writer--don't know how you guys do it!). I realize I'm no help here at all, other than by sympathizing!

The Words Crafter said...

I understand about life sucking all the energy out of you. House hunting is fun, but terribly stressful.

I have faith in you that, not only will you find what you've written to be good, but that you'll get back into the swing of things quickly.

Good luck with the house and with the writing!

Bekah Snow said...

Sometimes a break helps! Maybe it will be terrible, that happens, or maybe you'll go back and say, "this IS the best novel ever!" We've all been there : )

Linda G. said...

I know the feeling well. Inertia is a property of writing. ;) Once you've stopped, it takes a bit of effort to get that ball rolling again. But don't worry. You CAN do it. :)

Rebecca Dupree said...

I wrote a story title FOUR. Great title. Good luck with your manuscript!