I refuse — refuse!! — to say that I’ve failed at my goals with regards to writing, this year. The end of May is staring me in the face, and I realize that the first draft that I wanted to have finished by the end of April is still barely started. Since I want to be nothing but honest with myself, as I try to figure out what works for me, I will point out that it’s not like I haven’t been working steadily on it. It’s not as though I don’t have something like 35k words written on the book. So they imploded and I can’t use but hardly any of them? That’s not failure, it’s just, um. Not super-efficient.
I can think up excuses, right? I work full time. I have animals to snuggle with and dote on. My partner is going through some medical issues. I have other interests besides writing that takes up time, too. I’m reluctant to give up all of my reading time. I’m easily overwhelmed and prone to depression, and worse, migraines, and migraines make writing . . . interesting.
And, really, these are all true.
Once upon a time I wrote a fantasy novel, from beginning to end, with story-building and world-building as I went. It was amazing, and it took me the better part of a year, and I loved it. I still love it. And then I wrote another book, but I never polished that one up like I did the first one. And then I wrote a lot of short stories, and discovered that I really love writing short stories.
But I miss writing novels, and I have an ohmygodIcanttakethepressure!! boat-load of novels waiting for me to get around to writing them, and that’s where this “Will get a rough draft done in three months!!” goal came from.
But, I’m discovering that writing like that? Makes me absolutely miserable and makes me hate writing.
Am I writing to get published? It’ll be a neat side benefit, and certainly I’ll want to work on getting my stuff published. But when I focus on that as the goal? I don’t want to write. The stories suffer. I’m too busy looking outward rather than inward.
I’ve picked up Lazette Gifford’s first three sets of the 2 Year Novel writing courses. I’m not planning on taking the full two years with them, but — so, back when Angela’s story stalled out again (been working on that one in various incarnations for three years now and I do NOT WANT TO GIVE HER UP) I decided that once I finished the current WiP, I’d work through those workshops with her material and see if I couldn’t shake myself free of all the baggage that’s coming with them. And I read a bit of the first set, and discovered it was going to be fun. It was going to remind me of the joy and wonder of story-building.
So, I’m using them, now, at least until I get caught up with the three sets (if the rest aren’t out by then) with the current WiP. Because how I wrote The Fosterling isn’t working for me right now, and I need to stop thinking it will.