I’m feeling intimidated by the novel I’m working on. It’s sad but true. The novel in question is currently titled ‘See The Sky Again’ and so far its got an interesting ‘life story’. I started writing it as a NaNo novel a couple years ago and then stopped because I realised it could be a really good novel if I gave it some more time to develop in my brain before writing it. So I stopped working on it, but not thinking about it. My subconcious has been chewing away on it ever since.
A few months ago I started working on it again, then I enrolled in a novel-writing class with Candas Jane Dorsey. The class, it turned out, include a lot of critiquing (both giving and recieving). I don’t usually show my work before I’ve got the entire first draft done. History has taught me that this is for the best, however, I mean, this was Candas Jane Dorsey. If I was going to get a critique from her on my work I was going to get it on the project I cared the most about. That was StSA.
I got fantastic feedback on the first two chapters which I then revised the crap out of, turned into one chapter and submitted for new feedback. The second round of feedback was even better than the first, so another revision ensued. Then another after I sent the first chapter to my regular critique group to make sure some parts I wasn’t sure about worked.
Here’s the problem. Chapter one of StSA is the best piece of fiction I’ve ever written. Ever. And now I’m intimidated by it. It feels like a betrayal almost to add on to it with a crappy first draft. I know I have to. I know that the first chapter is like version four and that the stuff I’m writing subsequent to it will eventually be polished and revised to be good. I know that the first draft of anything is shit and that I have to let it be so and just get it out. I know all these things, but I’m still paralyzed. Knowing things and knowing things are entirely different.
I’ve decided that enough is enough. I can’t be held hostage by this block anymore and I’m going to write. 1,000 words a day. The plan is threefold. First, I’ll use willpower. I know I have it, I just need to channel it into this and really stick to it. Secondly, Jo is making me a spiffy word count program with pretty graphs and stuff, that will help keep me motivated on the especially hard days. Thirdly I’ve discovered that I write better outside the house. Now that it’s warming up around here I’m going to be going to coffee every morning, taking a notebook and writing long hand while I’m there. The link between coffee and writing will be a good one, as will setting up a routine and getting out of the house.
Wish me luck. I may need it.