Friday, October 29, 2010

What the hell am I doing?!

It's that time again...or, several times again.  Halloween is just days away; beyond the anticipation of dressing the Wee One up, another Halloween means another year of staring at a computer screen at the moment--Eastern Standard Time--that October becomes November.  November, of course, is National Novel Writing Month.

I do it every year, even when I shouldn't, like this year.  I've done almost no writing that wasn't academic since the semester began.  On the one hand, I've never "won" NaNo so what's one more time of not reaching the goal?   On the other, I need the pressure I put on myself during NaNo like I need...something more creative than a hole in my head.

And thinking about it has me back in this place of, "What the hell an I doing?  I'm not a novelist."

I am a writer.  We've established that, right?  I write great openings and decent endings, and shitty middles that never seem to get revised no matter how often I sit down to revise them.  When do I say enough?

...Apparently not now.  I had this great dream a few weeks ago; it was basically an introduction to a character--a woman who lets lost souls pass though her into...well, wherever they go.  I dig her, dig the relationship with her sister and the potential relationship with the man I dreamt her meeting in a dark alley before a rift in the fabric of reality.  All of my non-academic time has been spent between learning the Savage Mojo   material for a project I've been tapped for and failing to build a story around this woman.

I create enjoyable characters.  Sometimes, I string words together nicely.  Whatever made me thing that would translate into being a novelist?

In a week when I've carved time out from my studies and I'm writing, I'll feel better.  In a month when I've got a neat beginning, a character I enjoy with a pretty cool supporting cast, and nowhere to take them...I'll be right back here wondering what the hell I'm doing.


Anonymous said...

That was so honest and even though it's my first attempt at NaNo, I'm wondering the same thing. WTHAID? I haven't completed a full novel so this is scary for me too, and I'm sure for lots of others as well. Great hearfelt blog!
Maybe this time you'll have a winner An! I hope you do. :)

Anonymous said...

I can relate to this. I'm a full-time student so I know what you mean about having no time for NaNo and creating stress by doing it.

I also love the characters I create, but I can't finish a story. I lose my train of thought about 30,000 words in and end up abandoning my story. Why do I do this to myself year after year? Because I find it rewarding and some day I'll finish a novel. Some day, if I keep trying, it'll work.

Anonymous said...
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An Again said...

Sometimes, it's good just to know that you aren't alone. So here's to taking a deep breath and plunging onward.

Nicole said...

I don't really know what I'm doing, either. I'm doing NaNo (even though I haven't written a single word of my story yet), and that's about all I can say about it.