Saturday, November 17, 2007

One of those days ...

I’m having one of those days. I don’t think I can rightly explain it, except that my brain is on mental strike. I work best under some pressure, but there’s a point at which I shut down.

DH keeps harping on how much we need the money from my current WIP, which he wouldn’t except we’ve got a bunch of money owed to us and it’s not coming in. I don’t think he understands how deeply this affects me, how I feel like I’m carrying around a little knot of terror in my chest and my mind goes completely blank when I look at that darned WIP, which, to make matters worse, is almost at the end, at that point where I’ve gone over the damn thing so much I’m convinced it’s the worst thing I’ve ever written.

And I feel like I put too much of myself in it. I’m all for baring one’s soul in one’s art, but there’s a point at which you step back and suddenly feel like shit! I didn’t mean to be that honest, really, and now I feel like tearing it in little pieces or stuffing it in a drawer and hiding it or starting over and writing something much safer.

What I really want is a giant bowl (I’m talking serving bowl here, like two-quarts or something) just filled with hot, bubbly molten chocolate. And I want to take that bowl to bed, crawl under the covers and knit and watch TV all day.

But ignore all that. Let me quote a little of Neil Gaiman’s pep talk from NaNoWriMo:

A dry-stone wall is a lovely thing when you see it bordering a field in the middle of nowhere but becomes more impressive when you realise that it was built without mortar, that the builder needed to choose each interlocking stone and fit it in. Writing is like building a wall. It’s a continual search for the word that will fit in the text, in your mind, on the page. Plot and character and metaphor and style, all these become secondary to the words. The wall-builder erects her wall one rock at a time until she reaches the far end of the field. If she doesn’t build it it won’t be there. So she looks down at her pile of rocks, picks the one that looks like it will best suit her purpose, and puts it in.

So maybe I’ll just write a few more words. But today I’m writing in my pajamas and my bed. With cookies.

7 bonus scribbles:

Edie 11/17/2007 06:03:00 PM  

Spy, lots of hugs coming at you. And writing in bed while eating cookies sounds good to me. :)

Kate S 11/17/2007 10:11:00 PM  

Hugs also. :)

Wasn't the Gaiman pep talk the greatest? I thought of you when I read it. I was thinking of posting it in my blog too.

Bernita 11/18/2007 06:15:00 AM  

I've always been able to meet someone else's deadlines, but I have trouble with my own.
Right now I seem to be dropping those rocks on my foot, and the wall is being built about 200 words a day while I fuss and re-arrange the bottom course.

Erica Orloff 11/18/2007 07:58:00 AM  

Hi Spy:
Hang in there . . . remember that DH and nonwriters don't "get" the process. The process right now is what it is . . . try to relax and it will work out.

Hugs,
E

spyscribbler 11/18/2007 08:20:00 AM  

Thanks, Edie! And eating cookies in bed was WONDERFUL! Pfeffernusse!

Hi Kate! I wanted to paste the whole thing or link to it, but it wasn't on their site. I couldn't figure out which part to paste, it was all so good! I think I skipped the best parts.

LOL, Bernita. My deadlines are usually of my own making or DH's or our budget's. Others I can meet easily, my own a little better (or maybe I keep adjusting my own, LOL), then DH's, and our budget seems to freeze me.

Yeah, Erica. I can't wait until he attempts a novel. I'm going to tell him he has to have it done by a certain date and let's just sit back and see how HE feels! Okay, maybe I won't be so mean, but it's a nice fantasy.

J.K. Mahal 11/18/2007 02:16:00 PM  

Spy,

Sending good vibes your way in hopes they help.

When you get stuck, take a deep breath and just write 10 words. Then, if it feels right, write 10 more. Then, if you want, leave your desk for the day. You're done. Give yourself permission to do that a couple of days. It helps.

I got that from Anne Lamott's "bird by bird" which is a good read when you can't write anymore.

Best of thoughts,

Jen

spyscribbler 11/20/2007 01:51:00 AM  

Ten words, I can do that! And if it doesn't work, I'll do ten letter, or one word, or one letter, LOL.

Every step counts. Thanks for the reminder, Jen, and I hope you pop by again!