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Beginnings

Yesterday I woke excited, filled with glee because ZOMG I was going to start writing my new novella, “Shell and Bone”. I had been waiting for December 1st for what felt like a very long time, even though it wasn’t until fairly late in November that the idea resolved itself fully enough to actually start writing.

It struck me as odd, that I would wait for such a specific date when I had the idea, and I could have started any time, but once again I am writing alongside my writing group and there is just something about that, something that adds to the whole pure joy of a new draft.

And it IS a joy. After my initial realization that I didn’t even know how I was going to start the story, I just sat down and ran with something that I knew happened. And I think it turned out alright. In fact, I love this story already and the words are coming. I’ve only had to stop and remind myself a few times that first drafts are meant to suck, and quite frankly, I don’t care if it does – because I am having fun. And that is all that matters.

Which gets me to the point of this post. I’ve been angsting for a bit about starting over. Oh it takes so long to find the voice of the character, arg how am I going to write knowing that it’s all crap, woe is me. I’ve been editing and revising for too long and I can’t seem to just WRITE without constantly judging the quality of the words.

What a load of bollocks. I’m half convinced that I actually just enjoy the angst that comes with being a writer, because when it comes down to it, I can sit down and get on with business if I really want, and when I’ve set a deadline, a time line, a goal, whatever, 9/10 times I follow through (unless of course life slaps me in the face, or I have a writing related epiphany, or its just not the right time, and lets face it, some ideas just need longer to percolate than others).

And so I have begun. I crossed the 1k mark on day one, and I am sitting just below 2.5K on day two. I’ve thrown all my writer angst out the window and am thoroughly enjoying the thought of a month of writing. Enjoying this new beginning.

Which makes me think that perhaps this is what I need. A month off here and there. Time to recover, time to catch up on life and just let ideas sink in and develop without me hovering over them, obsessively poking sticks at them to see if they are ready yet. No one can work full tilt all the time, or at least not to their full potential, and if I am writing constantly, I am no doubt ignoring other facets of my life. And I don’t want to do that.

It seems to me that over the course of the year I have had almost as much time off as I’ve had writing, but that the words and stories I’ve been putting on the page have been better and in need of less fixing than things I’ve written in the past. It might just be that I am the kind of writer who works in chunks and who takes breaks now and then. The very idea of taking time off used to scare me because I was always afraid I’d struggle to get back into the habit, but the last few days have totally blown that belief out the window.

Anyway, I better finish up rambling on this rainy Sunday afternoon and get back to putting some words on the page.

What’s happening for you in December?

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