Shame Has Its Place

CheneyOn Writing6 Comments

 Why is it so hard? Because it’s a white piece of paper. ~ Sam Seaborn

For the last month or so, despite what I may have told anyone, I haven’t been writing. I haven’t written anything since the last part of the Hannah Sketches, and I though I have started and stopped so many times, nothing has happened. Well, I can’t even say that I’ve started and stopped. I’ve tried to start, and then I stopped trying. Yesterday was the last straw. Seriously, I can’t take this crap anymore.

Yesterday I slept in since Elise was at her grandma’s and I wasn’t picking her up until the late afternoon. In that time, I skimmed through the entire novel that I wrote last year around this time, The Eternals, I’ve been calling it. It comes it at around 64,000 words (as if I can pretend I don’t remember that it’s actually 63,396 words and I’m just rounding up to make myself look better), proper novel length. It has a beginning, a middle, and a cliffhanger ending. It has characters that I sort of love, and some characters that I don’t know probably as well as I should, but I think they are interesting enough to want to get to know. It has a plot that plods along like an old person on a Sunday morning, lazy and slow, and for a while you can’t really tell which direction it’s going in.

I wrote The Eternals in 46 days. Wait, you know what? Let me quote from my old writing blog about finishing the Eternals:

Writing a book, the entire act of writing and publishing one, whichever route you may choose, is fucking hard. Excuse my curse words, dear friends, but it’s the truth. This is fucking hard, and I have an embarrassing little fact to reveal:

I never thought it would be this hard.

I finished writing the Eternals on May 29th, just ten short days ago, after a whirlwind of 46 days of pounding out the words and trying to make them resemble a book. It took seven days to realize what I had was NOT in fact a book, but just a pile of words printed on 232 pages of pristine white paper – paper that didn’t necessarily deserve the punishment or the printing.

So there it is. 46 days to a completed novel. Technically completed. And you know what? It was fucking hard. But it was also exhilarating. I only wrote at night after Elise was in bed, and usually was armed with at least one can of Monster, and I stayed up until 3 or 4 in the morning regularly, on purpose. I wrote and wrote and wrote, and I had no outline. Just ideas flying around in my brain that came through my fingers and ended up in a document that was eventually printed and left to get dusted up on a shelf. 

After finishing it, I thought that I hated it. I thought it was total crap. I didn’t look at it or think about it or touch it until November when I failed at my first NaNoWriMo attempt in three years and I picked up the Eternals where it left off, sort of as a consolation prize to myself, but that didn’t work. I wasn’t inspired, it fell flat, I didn’t know where Leila’s story was going. There was a whole bunch of other stuff going on this year – short stories, a couple of which I successfully published and got paid for, my zombie epic which has also gone stagnant, also because I don’t know where it’s going and I can’t outline because outline kills my love of writing nearly instantly, and of course, there’s been the Hannah Sketches. But none of it has really felt like enough for me. I’m busy all the time with projects that involve extensive writing, and I’ve been reading more than ever (and unfortunately not keeping up with my book list) but I haven’t had a spark.

“They” say that you don’t need to be inspired to write. You just do it. And I do, I do it, but I don’t love it and I don’t cherish it and it’s not getting me toward my final destination. Well, everything is I guess, but this is not the time for prolific sentimentality. 

Yesterday, I re-read The Eternals, the whole shebang. And oh, it was crap. But in that pile of crap, I swear to god guys, there were some diamonds. There were bits that just frankly SHINE, and I’m not afraid to say so. Maybe you or you could read The Eternals and just dismiss it as crap, but I know I’m on to something here, I know it, and I’m not ready to give up on it – I’m ready to move on and I finally get why.

When I finished the Eternals last year, I felt like a rock star. Seriously, I felt on top of the world, I felt like I had slayed a motherfucking dragon. And now, almost exactly a year later, my self loathing has reached the tipping point. Funny, no? I finally hate myself enough for not writing to start writing again. I don’t really have an excuse or an explanation for it, but it just works. Last night, I SHAMED myself into writing, and what came out of me was sort of miraculous. 

On another note, I haven’t blogged much in a month. I suppose that’s because I made the crazy decision to share my blog address with the world, which may or may not have been a good idea, but then today, after the blast I had last night, I say, FUCK IT!! I’m signing up for NaBloPoMo again. It can’t do anything but good for me. 

6 Comments on “Shame Has Its Place”

  1. I so agree. That is why even on the days I haven't felt like writing, I have pushed myself to. I did the same thing with running and within a year I am up from less than 2 miles to 20. Sometimes you just have to make things important to you, your routine.

  2. I so agree. That is why even on the days I haven't felt like writing, I have pushed myself to. I did the same thing with running and within a year I am up from less than 2 miles to 20. Sometimes you just have to make things important to you, your routine.

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