There comes a point, “they” say, when you just have to call it. It’s not ‘finished’, it’s not ‘perfect’, but when the only way to get to the end is to decide that it’s arrived yourself – it’s a lot of responsibility to take on.
I’m feeling that responsibility right now, and lamenting how long it’s taken me to get quite honestly not very far with this novel. Because time does matter. It’s been two years of my life, give or take a few weeks, since I decided that I’d try writing this story about things I felt very unsure of my ability to write with respect and insight, and what took me two years to accomplish could have easily taken one, or even less, if I knew what I was doing.
I don’t know what I’m doing, is what I’m saying, and at this point it’s really grating on me.
These character-arc maps seemed like a good idea at the time, and I’ve learnt to roll with what seems like a good idea at the time because it’s better than nothing, and you can always learn from your mistakes. It’s just that, as much as it seemed like a good idea at the time, it feels like procrastination right now, and I don’t know what it is that I’m meant to have learnt from this mistake. Of course it’s also taken me longer than it could to get these character-arc maps done, and that’s certainly part of why I feel so uninspired about following through with it. I feel like giving up, and the frustrating part is that I honestly think the only reason I feel that way in the first place is because I haven’t tried hard enough to get it done to begin with, and the lack of progress is what’s dampening my spirits, a lack of progress that I have full control over. I’ve got nothing to peg this on but my own lack of commitment.
Writing is work. I talked a bit about how discipline isn’t what I should be striving for, just getting work done. Maybe that was a post I drafted and didn’t publish. Whatever; I did talk about that, even if only to myself, and I think it’s just that I need to reframe what I think ‘discipline’ is to begin with.
But more than that, I need to get this fucking revision done.
Perhaps these character-arc maps are a total waste of time, but perhaps if I’d gotten through them as quickly as I know I could it wouldn’t feel that way. I learnt the value of speed while doing the first round of revisions, and I know that if I can keep it up it all feels magical and amazing and basically gives me a sense of instant gratification, even though it’s only instant in the relative sense. But whatever works, right? Right. And speed does work.
I’ve got another 6 hours until midnight, which I’m going to call my cut-off point. I don’t function very well after midnight, old geezer that I am at age 26. I can get this map done by then. I don’t feel like I’m gaining anything by doing it, but this will be the test to see if that’s true. Speed is the key here.
And if it isn’t helpful, then I’ll find out quickly, and save time by moving on to the next idea which will, hopefully, work. It’s win-win.
And no, the irony of my taking time out of doing revision to blog about how much time I’ve spent avoiding doing revision is not lost on me, but I need to clear my head. And I still don’t feel clear.
All the more reason to get back to work – venting didn’t do the trick, so maybe speed will.
Only one way to find out.