So my friend Sam and I have started this pledge to write 2k words per day, which was meant to start on Tuesday. I haven’t met the quota – or even contributed to it – for any of the three following days. I had some momentum with writing notes and generating ideas for certain of the Interim Projects, but today I just really wanted to rewrite Tallulah.
Hindsight is 20/20; I have yet to reread the draft and so whatever it is that I’m feeling about it is affected by this lack of perspective, but for all of today I’ve been obsessed with how I could make it better, more streamlined, more crisp – and less … um … I can’t quite think of the word …
Bad, basically. Less bad.
All I’ve been able to think about all day with regards to Tallulah is how messy this draft is, how indulgent, how un-progressive, how ‘not getting it’, how … well, bad. I’ve spent the whole day thinking that it’s bad.
And that’s not helpful; I was at least thinking of how to improve some things that I thought were really weak and regressive about it, but again, it’s all hindsight at this point; I tend to forget each chapter after I’ve written it and moved on to the next one, so who knows how much I’ve forgotten by this point? It also increases the importance of my moving on to these Interim Projects just to take my mind off of things.
But there is this compulsion, this seductive allure to take this mess and map it onto a far more generic and solid narrative. Something a little more YA. Only without the love-triangle, or even a love-line, because I am so sick of that tripe.
Also seeing a post about cliches in YA that should die on Tumblr shook my confidence as well, seeing as I hadn’t eliminated every single issue raised within my own work. So obviously I’m in a very sensitive state right now.
So basically I’m stuck here until I get feedback … back … and can get back to work on Tallulah – until then I need to make do with Interim Projects, and try not to upset myself over how god-awful my storytelling skills are, as evidenced by a first draft, which is not even a story to begin with.
And part of me wants to take copious amounts of notes about all of these ideas I’m having about how to fix what I think is wrong with the draft without having read it, and part of me says ‘no that’s a stupid and uninformed idea so don’t do it’, and the last time I did something like that I ended up taking so many notes that I actually couldn’t focus on the story itself anymore and got bogged down in revisions. True, going to university and not actually having the time to draft didn’t help any, but still, I’d rather ‘write properly’ than take notes, if I have to choose one over the other.
Then again, as Sam literally just suggested, it might give me closure. And note-taking is kind of one of my main principles of Being A Writer. So note-taking it is – practice what you preach.
It’s just …
I mean I do really want this story to work, so this is all natural and stuff. I guess it’s just frustrating not being able to touch it, and knowing that trying to change things right now, before getting feedback and reading over the draft myself, would probably do more harm than good, and so keeping myself from going back to work on it is really agonising. Denial of instant gratification degradation of social mores and values and all that.
Guess I should write something.
It’s a bit of a nothing post, this one. But this blog is about the experience of drafting, and this is part of it: having to put up with nothing happening, and for a very good reason – the big picture. The end product. Long stretches of unbearable but vital un-productivity will have to be managed and negotiated somehow, hence Interim Projects and having two blogs on the go at once and trying to make some videos to put up on YouTube just so that I can say I’m on YouTube and spending all day watching Nostalgia Critic reviews.
So when there’s nothing to do but wait …
Make something to do.
I guess that’s the moral of the story. Because I have to have a moral of the story in every single one of these posts. That’s what being productive means, yes?
Glad that’s settled.