Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Day 16? Yikes!

This awesome image, as many of mine do, comes from Stock.xchng. You should check them out.

I haven't been writing as much as I'd planned.  I'm definitely behind on my NaNoWriMo word count.  I'm not feeling worried about it, though.  I'm not so far behind that I can't catch up pretty easily, and I know the coming weekend is wide open for writing sessions.

I am feeling worried about something else, and I just realized last night that this has been going on inside my head for a while.  More than a while--probably for years. 

I went through a period of being afraid that I don't actually know how to write a whole novel, that I don't know how to finish one.  I've been working on that for a few years, and I think I'm at a point where I can make it happen.  We'll know for sure when I actually hit the end of this story (end of January, that's still the intention). But now that I'm feeling a bit more confident in my ability to actually write a whole novel from start to finish, I discovered that there's been a companion fear hiding back there all this time.  I learned that I'm even more afraid that, once I have a completed first draft, I won't know how or be able to revise it into something submittable.

There's good news here.  Not because once I recognized the fear I knew it was unfounded.  I don't have any idea if I will know how to revise my novel into something I can shop around. But now that I've seen the fear and recognized it for what it is, it doesn't stand a chance.  I usually only get completely derailed by amorphous, unnamed fears, and this one has a name now, and that means I own it.  And I will not let a fear that I can see, that I know is there, stop me from doing something I want.

This isn't a quick process for me.  It won't be "Oh, I see you, fear, and now you're out of here for good."  I know I won't traipse through finishing my first draft and then skip merrily through my revisions.  I know the fear will grab me and throw me down and hold me in the corner.  For a bit.  But then I'll shove it back in its box and keep going, because now I know it, and it can't control me, and I will win.


Tami said...

I know -exactly- what you mean.

I took a course from Holly Lisle called How To Revise Your Novel. (I could link the affiliate link, but I think that negates the meaningfulness of my recommendation)

She has a lot of free writing courses/advice available. If you like her teaching style and can in any way afford the HTRYN course, I cannot recommend it enough.

She's incredibly tough and hard-hitting, and worth every single penny. She promises to show you how to get the novel you want from the novel you've got, and she really does deliver.

Unfortunately, the htryn homepage reads like one of those garish, terrible infomercials (*sigh*) but the course itself is super high quality.

If you have any questions or want to talk about it, I'm easy to find. <3

Kim Switzer said...

Thank you for the info, Tami! I have taken some courses with Holly, so I know how the sales pitches can be misleading, no worries. I've found some things in her classes that have been useful for me.

The thing I've been finding the most useful for writing--and the thing I believe is going to help me finish my other languishing manuscripts--is your outlining process using the post-it tags. It fits perfectly with the Aristotle's incline & 4 part structure I've been working with, and I'm loving it!

I'm going to send you an e-mail to make sure you hear what I have been meaning to tell you all month! Just wanted to put it out here, too, so other people can see. Thank you!

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