A few days ago I printed out all fifty pages of my most recent Work in Progress.
It felt like such a momentous thing to do, as this WIP is only as recent as November, because it’s the NaNoWriMo novel I gave up on.
I spent some time reading through it, marveling at how I had forgotten what it was really about. There were some anecdotes, some foreshadowing I threw in that there that now I don’t understand, because I can’t remember what I was thinking months ago when I wrote it, and I never do any outlining or take notes when I’m writing.
I used to not slow down at all, is the point I’m getting at.
I used to just write all the time and not have a problem with stopping. In the past, if I stopped I would always get started again the next day or the day after that, but certainly months didn’t go by in a painful drought.
I told myself:
I’ll get back to this tonight. I’ll write more after work…
A few days later I picked up the WIP again, this time with a pen and highlighters in hand. I read through it again, making notes between the lines and in the margins, highlighting the timeline in yellow, highlighting the plot points and foreshadowing in orange.
I was taking it seriously. I was getting my ducks in a row.
I told myself:
I’ll really get back to this now. I’ll pick up right where I left off after work tonight…
But then I come home and fell right back into my normal routine. The “new” normal routine, the one which no longer includes daily writing. The new normal routine that leaves me feeling lazy, unmotivated, blocked, and a whole list of other unpleasant adjectives that go along with being ashamed of oneself.
A few days later the WIP is still sitting on my side table; it’s starting to gather dust.
I tell myself:
I’m going to write tomorrow.
Because tonight I’m too tired, it’s too late, I have to get up too early, the idea is just too big and I am just too lost to figure it out.
Because it’s a goal, it’s my ambition, it’s what, eventually, I’ll do.
It’s a work in progress.