Monday, January 20, 2014

I am afraid of my Novel


I keep trying to think of why I stopped working on the Novel. Yes, there was a case of too much too fast last spring. There was the play time that was the summer of 2013, followed by cat crisis, and the try to get back in the real world mode, which I am still struggling with, most of these are excuses and don't reflect on my motivations.

The project sits at 60,000 words of a first draft.  The target was set to be nearer 80,000 words.  Given time and energy this would not really take all that long, the core story elements are there it is the fine details and characterization that are needed to go on top of the plot that need applied.  None of this is news to me.  I know what needs written I know how it ends and I even know I would enjoy the process if only I could force myself to grind away at it again.  Yet I am seemingly afraid of ending the first draft, and I am not sure why.  Do I fear a poverty of imagination.  Am I afraid that this is the only story I have write, I know this false, I have other ideas just as old and a few newer ones hovering in the background.  Yet I doddle.  Or do I fear the more justifiable state.  Do I worry that it will suck me in and swallow my life for months at end.  

As near as I can tell the answer is both.  It is irrational, but I do worry about a shortage of ideas.  Yet I know that the best solution to that is not to hoard them but to cultivate them.  Yes I will run out of ideas if I only think about the ones I currently have, but my life keeps happening, I keep reading, it only takes a few moments of reflection and sentiment to find a new nugget.  These days I read a great many things about both the environment and the economy.  I have screaming in the back of my brain incomplete angry left leaning green pushing rants, because I want people ask and try to answer the question the 9th incarnation of the Dr put forward.  "What if we make it."  Yet these rants stagnate because I am so ignorant of many of the pieces that I don't know where to go beyond the thesis.  

The point is there are things to write, things that can be made big.  I should not fear the end of the first stage of a project.  Yet I do.  The rewrite sits in the back of my brain waiting to get out, its own set of massive changes, a whole cloth reweave of the tale.  It sits waiting, for me to give it the months of focus needed to rip things apart and add new substance.

Perhaps it is just that, I fear that lonely and hard commitment.  When I dug deep and worked every day I was different.  I could never fully escape it, social events would cost focus or sleep.  Time spent away required time spent getting focus back relearning where I left off.  And it was hard, with no prospect of getting easier.  I can't split my attention between writing and other things well.  

So I sit like a broody hen without any eggs, all cluck and no chicks not fully ready  take on the full load yet not able to give up on the idea.  I regularly flirt with the idea of packing up and moving to a smaller place with a slower pace of life, to submerge myself in a warm bath of isolation. Yet I don't know if this would help at all, a transporter beam would be the best, an instant relocation to a place away from things.  Would that help I don't know.  I do know that taking writing and rewriting a novel seriously redefines normal life and that can be disquieting. 

This post is brought to you by the first 2/3rds of An Astronaut's Guide to Live on Earth.    Which I started yesterday evening.  

1 comment:

Ien in the Kootenays said...

Too bad the cabin is doomed. It would make a good artist retreat and you are always welcome.On the other hand, not. The elements of this being a step back instead of forwards would detract from creativity.