Hmm. Hmmmmmm.

It’s been 13 months and my shitty YA werewolf novel still isn’t finished. But it does stand at 69k words, which is an accomplishment in and of itself.

More to the point for my sense of accomplishment, though, is the fact that it really hasn’t registered at all just how much work I got done with this thing. This completely impulsive, relatively shallow writing experiment that, while I’ve been “working on it” for 13 months, that’s really been 2 periods of intensive writing with huge, months-long gaps between them. Basically, I wrote 69k words in 3 months. And considering that I’ve been doing my Masters for all of that time …

I mean seriously, that’s a pretty fucking big achievement.

I am going to try and acknowledge it.

And also, given some rather exciting – and slightly terrifying – news that I got today (yesterday whatever fuck you am/pm threshold), I’m going to really try and believe in my capacity to multitask. To believe that I can do my MA, and write a novel, and do this other thing that I’m going to be doing that I will say more about when things are more finalised and official and shit … all at once.

The shitty YA werewolf thing – the reason I keep calling it that is because it is shit. It’s bad. It’s un-good. But the process of writing it has been awesome, even after the novelty wore off. It’s the process that I fell in love with, and as much as I’m on the edge of being very anxious about this new life-event stuff, it’s also an opportunity to dive head-first into another process, just this time a much more complicated and consequential one, because it doesn’t only affect me. This is an opportunity for me to push myself, to see how far I can take my dedication to process for the sake of process, and to really start to enjoy it. I think I will. I am just worried that I’ll hold myself back and lose momentum and … well, all the usual crap one thinks when one has anxiety.

But I’m still excited. I’m so excited that I’m considering going back to Tallulah, just because I want to get it written, I want it to work, I might be able to make it work idea-wise now – so all that’s left is the process. And if I’m going ham on process for the rest of the year – discipline, I guess, is the word I’m really looking for – then I would love it if Tallulah could benefit from it.

A lot could go wrong here, but that’s also kind of why I’m excited, because this is a chance to get it right instead. Put one on the map for my self-initiated anti-anxiety treatment. And to be honest, I have wanted for so, so long to just go really full-on with something challenging. Too long, maybe. But I guess so long as you get there eventually …

In the meantime, I’m going to try and start off with my current writing project and see if I want to stick with it – if not, welcome back Tallulah. And hell, maybe welcome back Tallulah regardless. Because I think I’ve got it as well worked-out as it will ever be without it turning into another ROTM, and much as I want to get it right, I also want to get it done. The process is what I’m going to take with me – at some point, I’m going to have to leave every single one of my stories behind. I’m going to have to be done with them. And I think I’m finally getting okay with the idea that Tallulah might not be as good as I fantasise about it being. It could just be done. And that would be brilliant in and of itself.

So yeah. Excited. Doubtful, hesitant, but that’s to be expected at this point. Comes with the territory. And it doesn’t stop me from feeling excited …

Almost like being a teenager again, when I still cared about things, much as it pained me. Only in a good way this time, because I’m not actually a teenager. Silver linings.

Got To Be Starting Something

I have started writing … something. I don’t know if it’s “for” Camp Nano July, but it’s happening. Mostly in notes, but not only in notes, and I’m happy about that.

I’m also happy that it’s really not good. Like part of what I’ve written is me talking to myself as I write, and that’s fine. This isn’t even a first draft; this isn’t even a zero draft. This is like a pre-zero prequel proto-draft. My biggest issue right now is that the story I have in mind is most effective in terms of how it looks in my head, rather than words I want to write, so hopefully I can put my brain to work on that front.

Regardless – it’s a thing, and it’s getting written. Colour me excited, whatever colour that might be. Hopefully an exciting one. More updates as they come.

I Need This

It is July. Camp Nanowrimo July has started.

I need to write.

I’ve worked it out, I think: I need to write not because I particularly want to, but because I’ve totally forgotten what it feels like to want to write at all. I just want to get good at it. In a way I almost feel like I’ve gone back to the drawing board with writing, where I almost don’t even know what it is anymore, the experience of writing, having a history of doing it – it feels like I’ve reset. And that opens up the opportunity to go through all the fun stuff about writing all over again, to rediscover why it is that I like it – or liked it. And I really think I need that.

Well, I want it anyway. I think that’s actually probably better.

So now my task is to write something that engages my interest. I don’t necessarily have that right now, but I do know that I never got anywhere back in the day, when I just started out, by forcing myself to find something interesting in order to give myself a project that I was permitted to write because it would be productive of me to do so. That’s how my writing process has become, and I need to unlearn that shit ASAP. I think this Camp Nano could be a fantastic opportunity to get that done.

I did say a while ago that Realm of the Myth was dead – well, it might be dead, but like I just mentioned I have reset. The continuity of my writing career has been retconned. And I think I can write a dead story. What always put me off, really disheartened me about RoTM was whenever I would actually have the clarity – or sobriety – to think about it in definite terms, to put limits on it, to restrict it to being only one particular thing instead of all possible things. It felt disappointing. And it also felt scarily real, like “holy shit, that could get done“, and the reason it was scary was because if I followed through with that, what I’d end up with was something that wasn’t enough. Something that wasn’t everything.

I think that most of all, I need to unlearn my habit of striving to make anything everything. And in reality, it was only ever RoTM that I did that with. So maybe if this is a reboot of my writing career, it’s best that RoTM doesn’t exist in this new canon.

I will consider. I’m not jumping into this because I have no idea what I want to do, and I stress the word “want”. I have used that word as a synonym for “could” or “should” for far too long, and I know that I want to do Camp Nano with a project that I want to write. So until I find that, I ain’t writing shit.

Other than my thesis, which I don’t want to write, and for some reason I’m very tired today. I was tired yesterday as well, but that’s because I actually did stuff. Today it’s more just … being tired. Not good timing.

In any case … I am indeed going to do Camp Nano. Just as soon as I figure out what it is that I want to write. And for the first time in what feels like a very long time, I’m just going to wait for that to happen, however long it takes.