Wednesday, November 18, 2009
We've passed the mid-way mark of NaNoWriMo, and I really felt the burn this past week. The words were not interested in me or my novel and tried to avoid me. All the fun went out of town. I got mired down in scene after scene and slogged, slogged, slogged. If there was an Olympic slogging event, I think I would have qualified five times over.
A couple of times my mercenary self (a bit like TssVar from StarDoc, but with more teeth) tried to reason with my writer self (a lot like an exhausted hamster lolling in a wheel, with less teeth.) The money-hungry lizard self kept asking, "Why keep doing this when we could be 100% focused on the stuff we do for money?" My little fuzzy squeaky self was smart, though, and hid under the bed until my mercenary self got tired of poking at the dust pellets and slithered off to balance the checkbook and conquer some helpless planet.
If you writers out there are where I was, this is a wonderful time to laugh at yourself. Writers are never as funny as we are when we're frustrated. We do crazy stuff, we say ridiculous things, and occasionally we find inspiration in the most unlikely of places.
To cope with this slog-fest I've been stuck in, I went to see the same play twice in two days, made myself fish for breakfast (after everyone left the house) and cleaned out my laundry room (you could now comfortably dine on any surface in there, including the ones inside the machines.) I also worried and fretted and meditated and wore my ugliest pair of socks and at one point considered stopping by a tattoo parlor (fortunately that last impulse was defeated by the memory of my mother's life long threat to chop off any part of my body that I ever have tattooed.)
Writing is glorious. It's also heart-breaking. But somewhere in the middle it can get a little ridiculous, too. So can we. In those times, the best medicine is laughter, directed at yourself, at this rather insane calling of ours, and at everything we do to cope with it.
The highlight of this past week was when I shut off the computer, went into the kitchen and baked a big batch of cookies that I really didn't have time to bake. It reminded me that spending time doing something frivolous and unnecessary, just for the joy of it, is always a good thing. Kind of like NaNoWriMo . . .