Chaos

I’m writing this as an introduction to my writing for today.

So far, getting up early has left me a bit of a slacker today. For some perspective, the sky is just starting to brighten as I write this. But I’m worried I may not be able to move forward from slackerdom to productivity land.

You see, I’ve been distracted by a different set of ideas from the story I have been writing. The current book is over 2/3 done, and I’m turning up the pressure a little. NaNoWriMo approaches, and I want to be done with this rough draft before November starts.

During a chat with one of my brothers yesterday, the issue of not finishing the editing of different works came up. Its true, I’m terribly inconsistent as an editor. Perhaps I would be better served this November by editing instead of writing a new book. Yet, I like the community feel of engaging in NaNoWriMo, and I am loathe to abandon it this year.

That said, I’ve only achieved the NaNo goal once during November. Its usually a positive experience, but last year I got hung up on the story in the middle. Things just aren’t going to get better until I fix my editing process.

As of now, I think I can do both. I think I can edit some during NaNo and write to the 50,000 word monthly goal.

But will those 50k matter if I can’t edit any books to completion? I suppose not. Just like the 43,000 words I have for the current book don’t matter if I don’t finish the story and then fix the issues that will inevitably creep in.

I’ve got things to consider for November. Who knows. Maybe I’ll be better off focusing on the edits for a sustained amount of time. If I can’t meet basic quality standards I can’t sell work. And that’s important to me. Like I mentioned in the last post, I care.

I care intensely about getting work out there. The sooner I can be ready to do that, the better.

There is a lot to do, but I have learned a bunch this year. Life isn’t getting any easier, but things won’t get better by cutting corners. I won’t get better by cutting corners. It’s the morning. I’m positive now. I have no doubt that by nightfall much of my positivity will be gone. Apparently thats just how I am.

Time to strike while I have the focus and drive. But where do I put this energy? Current rough draft is a good place to start. I have more than one mission objective. Writing new words is important, but its no longer the most vital part of the world.

Every time I write this blog I feel like I vacillate between chaos and control. Part of me thinks I can’t tell the rest of you what’s on my mind. Another part thinks explaining myself is the only way to feel better.

If the answer is just to get to work and stop hammering on this post I think I’d be alright going back to the book.

But first I’m going to try editing a little bit. Editing is not an intuitive process for me. I never know if I made the work better. It’s like when I mix tuna fish and mayonnaise. Its as though I forget what its supposed to look like when I’m done. I know what I like to eat, but I don’t understand how to get to that point.

I know what I like to read. But I don’t know how to make my books read that way.

Inevitably I dig deeper than I need to go. There are Balrogs down there, in the idea hollows of the earth. I want to make a difference with my work (Doesn’t everyone), but I also want to write things I enjoy. I want people to love my characters, but what little enthusiasm I can muster is usually for weirdness in settings and ideas these days.

I think I’ve always been this way. I guess people don’t interest me as much as they probably should. I like people. I like characters. I like the idea of them anyway. In experience I just don’t understand how they work.

Apparently I’ve gotten crazy. Chaos has taken hold in my life, even though things never seem to change.

What is the point of this rambling?

An exorcism of sorts.

I want to remove the junk thoughts from my brain so I can replace them with useful productive ones.

Maybe this post is like Julia Cameron’s morning pages in The Artist’s Way. I want to empty myself out. And then I’ll find myself filled up with joy once again.

I’ve been trying for a few years to discover what I had as a teenager when I started this writing that I now lack. I think I hit on a few possibilities. Novelty. Enthusiasm. Desperation.

From my college graduation up until this year I think I lacked the desperation. Now, I think I can say I’m getting desperate. So far, that hasn’t made me want to write more fiction.

Cross that one off the list.

Novelty is something I’ll doubt I’ll ever be able to retrieve for writing as a skill, and I think my enthusiasm really came from that. So what else is there? There is one thing. Interest.

Once upon a time I was interested in writing, in a way that I only wanted to TRY THINGS OUT. Techniques and story ideas seemed to vary so much I could keep practicing forever. At some point I stopped being in such awe of things.

The sky is brightening here in southern Minnesota. There are still clouds.

Isn’t that a perfect analogy? I started out writing in the dark. Now that I have illuminated the skill before me, I have run into additional challenges that darken my view.

Maybe not a perfect analogy. I’m not the sun, and I’m not the clouds. Every problem I encounter in writing these days is my own damn fault.

When I step back I see an issue I really want to tackle. That is issue is that I no longer see the challenges of learning as interesting. I’ve lost my sense of progress to a degree. Learning did not seem so impossible in the past. Maybe I’ve gotten too focused on product. I think that’s true.

The journey is where I spend all my time, but I’m only focused on the stops on my way.

This post has rambled back and forth. I hope some of you are still with me, but I don’t blame you if you didn’t follow me this far. I want to focus on process, not progress. How’s that for a new goal?

Thanks for reading.

I’m off to the page, either to write or to edit. Have a good day.

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One thought on “Chaos

  1. Reblogged this on The Old Fart Online and commented:
    Tim’s ‘unsuredness’ echos my own! His is whether or not to write or edit someone else’s work. If he chooses to write, what does he write?
    In my case I am so tired of writing and not getting anything worthwhile written (apparently!) I just don’t know where to go from here. Every time I sit down (to write) my mind shoots off at a thousand tangents, I don’t know which to follow.

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