Writing, writing, writing

01 Dec

Fail RoadSo NaNoWriMo 2012 is over and NO, I didn’t finish and YES, that’s okay.

I started late and figured it would be a miracle if I did finish, but I started anyway. And I spent most of November writing furiously:

  • Half a NaNoWriMo launched novel
  • 2 short stories, 1 submitted to an online mag.
  • plenty of blog posts

More importantly, I’ve been writing everyday.

This writing gig is harder than I thought in some ways, and easier than I expected in others.

I think, having been a writer in one capacity or another for so long, that turning my attention on fiction has been a pretty smooth transition so far. I know the basics, and grammar, and the proper usage of punctuation, etc. So it’s just ‘different’ writing, and that’s comfortable, like pulling on yesterday’s jeans.

On the other hand the more fiction I write, the more things like form and theme are settling into my brain and it often feels like I’m wallowing in a fish net; I can see the other side, but am having a hell of a time getting there some days… okay, possibly most days.

I’m not a worrier. So I don’t and won’t languish over the fears that are a natural extension of this. I’m not worried about whether I’m good enough, or not – I have always assumed none of us are good enough anyway, and we should just keep trying to do better tomorrow that which we tried to do today.  But those fears are persistent, and they’re always scratching at the cellar door, trying to find a crack big enough to push through.

And I’d swear somebody has been feeding them.

Writing… bah humbug.

So, everyday, once I’ve convinced myself that I won’t dwell on those trembling fears of inadequacy, once I admit that I probably suck anyway, and once I remember that I want to write because I love the unfolding process, not because I think I have this incredible story that everyone needs to read, once I have all of that out of the way, I can finally sit down and write once more.

Life’s like that. I think. Not that I would actually know, I don’t know any other writers well enough to ask if this is unique or par for course, part of the sine qua non of writing (thank you Margret Atwood for that reference.) But I like to approach everything as if it is perfectly normal in that situation, whether I have any frame of reference for it or not. Firstly, it helps squash all that self-doubt (of which I have plenty) by reminding myself that it, whatever ‘it’ happens to be at that moment, it is perfectly normal and I should just get on with ‘it’. Secondly, every once in a while, it lets you do something extraordinary after you have convinced yourself that ‘it’ was ‘no big deal’.

I love writing though and the more I do ‘it’, the more I write, and the more I think about writing, the more I become obsessed with ‘it’ and the more I want to get serious about ‘it’.

Okay, enough with the whole ‘it’ thing.

So, in the spirit of getting more serious, this weekend I ferreted out the fact that there is a local writers group – The Barrie Writers Club. I had poked around a few times before and not come across them somehow. I sent a letter to the group to get more information and am really looking forward to going out and attending their next meeting.

Busy week ahead… my goal is 5000 word days, so I can get a draft of my novel finished before the holidays.

wish me luck!

Michael P.W.





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