Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Failed Goal

September twenty-eighth, two-thousand and ten. 

I convert the date into letters because it seems so much more harmless when spelled out like that.  I can hear a young lady with a British accent speaking it aloud in my mind, and it sounds nice that way.  If I just blurt it out in numbers then the end of the month seems so much closer, and somewhere inside me a little writer cowers in terror. 

I told myself that I would have the rough draft of Evanescent Moonlight done by the end of September at the latest. 


...it sits at 65,283 words, nowhere near done. 

So I am forced to re-evaluate my situation.  Very well, I don't have it done.  And I do know several reasons why it isn't done:

  1. Procrastination.  (Might as well get that one out of the way first, no?)
  2. My laptop still doesn't work, so I am sharing this desktop with two other people.
  3. I have been reading a lot more.  (Yay!)
  4. School.

But enough of making excuses to myself.  I have to face up to the fact that, little by little, I have become one of those 'writers' who talk and read and think about writing but never actually do it.  I know so much, but what have I done? 

I believe that if you truly love something, you will make time for it.  And I have made plenty of time for reading writing blogs, listening to writing podcasts, talking about writing, and writing blog posts about writing.  I have also spent much time thinking about writing, thinking about interesting character traits or story twists, stealing ideas straight from history, imagining how I could use fiction to convey the things I feel most passionate about. 

So I'm not sure I understand this stranglehold that apathy has on me. 

Is it just another form of my recurring struggle to get things out of my head and into the real world?  That I could very well believe.  The darn beasty came back.  It latches onto my human nature, trying to drown out the voice of reason that says that anything worth doing is bound to be hard. 

I have learned so much in the past six months.  So much!  I look back on the things I knew about writing a year ago, and the difference seems hard to comprehend.  But the gulf between what I know and what I can do has grown so vast that now I am afraid of trying. 

But I know that I can't stop here. 

So I extend my imaginary sword (you know, the one all writers carry, whether they know it or not), and cry that I will do hard things!  I will not stop!  I will remain fully aware of the difficulties facing me at all times, and I will not avoid them! 

And above all, I will not allow how little I have accomplished at this point to keep me from trying.  I am competing against my past self, and no one else.  Productiveness is not always measured by word count, and one cannot judge the success of a multifaceted life based on one single area. 


  1. Keepin' on keepin' on is all you can keep on doin'.

    Good luck fighting off the self-doubt and self-recrimination. They are the dragons at the door of almost every writer I know. I can tell you have the strength to defeat them, though.


  2. How much longer do you anticipate your MS being? I don't know how you write (if you tend to "overwrite" first and prune later in the drafts, or do the opposite), but 65K is something to be proud of. It's right in the neighborhood of shorter published novels, like chick-lit or romances. Fantasy (which I'm assuming yours is, from what I've read and the title) does tend to be slightly longer than any other genre, but even then it's hard to sell anything over 100K.

    So you're over halfway done! Maybe focus on outlining whatever you have left until NaNoWriMo, and then return to where you left off for NaNo? If you don't worry about physically writing it for a while, it should be easier to write it in a month.

    Good luck!

  3. Awesome attitude, Cherise! :D I seriously need to make more time for my fashion - after my room is finished. Because a) That is my big project at the moment, and b) I simply CANNOT function in the mess it is in now. :D

    Good luck on your book! I shall shower you with confetti as soon as you finish. :D

    ~ Katie

  4. You have no idea how much this encouraged me! I know exactly how you feel. I may not be anywhere close to the writer that you are, but I definitely have my areas.

    For example, I'm in charge of everyone's laundry (!). I have been fairly faithful about washing and folding it, but my downfall is that ever-growing pile of socks (they fill a whole basket now). I blame it on my large family, my school, my health problems, but the little terrors still don't get handled. Guess I need to extend that sword that all laundresses carry, even when they don't realize it.

    Thanks again for the encouragement. Praying God helps you in your areas!

  5. You can reach your goal, Cherise.

    Maybe you've been spending too much time learning and you think you have to make the first draft that perfect, so even though you don't realize it, that's the reason you make no progress. I don't know much about the rules of writing in general, but I know a few, and they make my speed-typing slow down sometimes. (Limited contractions! Not too many gaps! Don't make sentences too long! Stick to the diagram! Midpoint! Climax! Word count limit!) And seeing as you've been reading so much, it's probably a ton worse for you.
    My advice is to just forget the rules and write. Write with freedom, like you did before you started learning. Write for the sake of writing, like when you wrote your first novel. Write like you're the only one who's ever going to see it. You'll see all the progress you make then. And yes, there'll probably be errors in your manuscript, but look at the bright side--you'll finally get the chance to edit a book! *grins*

    Love you, and praying for you!