Most days when I’m not working – so most days – I spend my time feeling guilty that I’m not working. Well, thinking guilty that I’m not working, which produces the feeling. I know full well that if I just did something that I enjoyed instead, the thought would never even occur to me. I also think, on these days, that I know for a fact that if I make myself do something, I stop feeling guilty.
Today was one of the days where that knowledge translated into action, and I have thus spent the past four-ish hours completing the final chapter of my Nano novel.
2 and a half chapters to go.
And these are the sticky ones, the ones that I really don’t want to write because they have yet to become interesting to me. But that’s fine. The build-up is always tricky to get right, and after ranting about ritual for 3k words the other day I’m sure I can find some inspiration.
But, as I was reminded by my good friend George the other day, it’s also about just getting used to switching off my inner critic. That’s what this whole ritual is about: cutting myself off from feeling ashamed when the idea that I want to go with is generic or problematic (and there’s a hell of a lot of overlap), because the most important skill for a writer to learn is, you guessed it, WRITING. And you can’t write if you keep cutting off your own ideas, so I’m trying to get myself out of the habit of doing that. Now I just have to apply that philosophy to the remaining stuff I have yet to write, because part of what’s holding me back is feeling like it must be a certain way, and I think if I just let myself do whatever it is that I want to do – which is the entire point of my writing this novel to begin with – I may happen upon the solution.
But it also has to feel like a story, because that’s also the point of writing this novel to begin with.
Anyway 8622 words in one sitting; I’m pretty damn pleased with myself, even if it is way past my now-normal bedtime of approximately midnight. Good work, me! Well and truly at the home stretch now.
More in the morning. Or afternoon. One of the two.