For Want of Perspective

No big surprise to anyone, I’m sure, but the novella is finished. Second Thoughts is now sitting in a drawer, waiting for it’s turn to be edited. I fear its in for a bit of a wait, from the look of my editing pile. There’s so much of it, and yet this is what I tweeted this afternoon when I got home from work:

I’m not sure I’ll be getting to much editing in the next couple of days. I’m busy playing with Reah and Spire of Time at the moment, even though I know I should be doing a few other things.

For one thing, I promised myself another read through my first novella, Through Windows and Hearts. There’s part of it that I’m not sure I’m happy with. Somehow, I’m simultaneously afraid that I’m being too hard on myself and that I’m being lazy. The being too hard on myself, well, that’s possibly true. I’m never entirely pleased with my own work, because I can always find some flaw. Only, sometimes I think some of them are imagined, or at the very least, not as much of a flaw as I think. Then I decide I’m just saying that because I don’t want to fix it and I harangue myself to get off my lazy ass and make it perfect. You can imagine, I’m sure, how quickly this because circular in my head until I can’t take it anymore. That’s usually my cue to send it out for feedback, because it’s obvious that I’ve lost perspective.

To be honest, I look at all the things I’ve been thinking and feeling in the last few weeks with regard to writing and I realize I’ve lost my perspective in a much broader sense than the state of just one story. I’ve sort of kept this under wraps, but I’ve spent a lot of the last three weeks dealing with some serious writer angst. About what? The fact that it’s this late in the year (late only in my asininely perspective-less view) and I haven’t written a novel yet, nor do I have an outline for one so far. I felt like I was screwing around, wasting time.

Before anyone starts throwing popcorn, tomatoes or anything else at my head, please keep in mind that I know I’m being stupid. It’s only a week into March! That’s not late at all. Just because I’d finished a whole novel by this time last year and was building the next, that does NOT mean that I’ve done nothing so far. I’ve done a ton of stuff! And yes, that last sentence was really more directed at myself than any of you. But seriously, I will admit that I’m being unfair to myself. I proved it just yesterday, actually. I was talking with a friend on Twitter and was trying to remember how much I’d written this year so far. I guesstimated then and was pleasantly surprised. When I totalled it just now though, I wanted to smack myself for ignoring a pretty spectacular total, one that was higher than my original estimate even. Ready for it?

123,393 words

Why in the hell was I getting angsty about how much I’m writing? I mean, seriously. For the curious (You never know, someone might be), that includes the portion of Unmasked written in January, two short stories and both novellas. Yes, I know that I wrote the first draft of Through Windows and Hearts in December of last year, but I practically rewrote it in the first round of edits, so it seems a bit more fair and less draconian to count it, especially since that total doesn’t include any of the outlines I built for stories I haven’t written yet, or the quantity of notes I’ve written so far.

In any case, clearly perspective and I are having an on-again-off-again relationship. I’m not good at it. I knew that, really, but this highlights the problem in neon. And, if I’m being really honest, the perspective I’ve regained from totalling that up isn’t much and feels very transitory. I’m still driving myself hard. I’m not sure I know any other way to be, really. I’m staring at the calendar, at April’s Camp NaNo next month and remembering my original thought that I might have to skip it because I’d have just written a book in March. *shaking my head* Obviously that didn’t happen and worse, now I’m not sure I’ll have everything ready to start one April 1st. I can already feel the anxiety from typing that, like I have to be ready, like I must write something for NaNo because I can’t get to the end of April without having written a novel, especially since part of May will see me on vacation and not able to write in my usual fashion.

That said, I’m through trying to rush myself to do everything just because of some arbitrary deadline, an internal screaming bitch that I know for a fact won’t be satisfied with ANYTHING. I’m going to either burn myself out or get into some other sort of trouble if I do that. As it is, I fear what rushing into writing Unmasked has done to that story. I’m not quite ready to face it though, so I’m not going to worry at the moment.

Instead, I’m going to try to keep a rein on that heedless push to race ahead and practice a little zen and patience. I may have to get back to meditating, really. I’m NOT going to rush myself with Spire of Time. What Lies Beneath is showing some hopeful signs of turning into something good, maybe even great. It’s going to be a challenge, but I do like those, even if I complain a bit about them. I’ve had some neat insights today so far and a few good ideas. And in between those, I’m going to try to sneak some of that editing past the harpy called my writer brain. I’ll let you know how that goes. 😉


About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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