Me and My Promises

I had all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday to write this week’s post—guess who’s writing it the night before? Don’t take this as a reflection of my time in high-school. I didn’t work full time then, or have a house to keep semi-clean, or a dog that rivals the energy of the Tasmanian Devil.

But I did. I procrastinated.

After pushing it off until Monday, I sat down to work on this post, and realized the couch and all its pillows and blankets—and the available streaming services from the giant LG box across from it—appealed *slightly* more than writing. My brain agreed not to exercise, but to be as lazy as my body. So that’s what I did. And that’s why this is now a “night before” post which is better than no post, in my opinion.

Writing:

I (sort of) finished no-name project. It clocked in at around 52K words, which means if we’re adding meat and muscle on to the skeleton, it’ll probably be more of a 60K-65K story. Maybe. Still not sure what I’m doing with it. It’s remarkably ordinary, with no special hook, which is why I’m thinking it won’t be anything I share because it’ll take a huge revamp to turn it into something special, and I still need to finish (ahem, continue working on…) RTD, since I already promised to publish it next year. Me and my promises.

Other life stuff:

I got my engagement ring re-sized, but it’s still too big. I went from a 7 to a 6 ½ but it’s still easy to slip over my knuckle, which I’m told it shouldn’t be. I could’ve gone to a 6, but I’ve always had size 8 fingers. I know this because I used to try on the fake gaudy ones in the department stores when I was planning which ring to make Batman buy me (design type). So, I’ve been rocking size 8 fingers pretty much my entire life—unless you want to count my fat-fat years and I try not to—so I’m a little nervous going all the way to a 6. I know rings can be made larger, and I know about the ring guard, but it’d be cool if it was made of a material that would just go with my random weight changes. Granted, I’ll probably stay on the thinner side since Batman and I are doing a lifestyle change (hence the weight loss) but what if I balloon up again? I know, don’t worry about it until Oreos and ice-cream are suddenly free, but I’m hesitant.

That’s it for me this week because again, writing this the night before. I hope it’s not too filled with grammatical errors or boringness. But these posts are free so there you go.

How’s your week going?

The Ability to Say Fuck It

The best thing about writing a first draft is the ability to say fuck it.

It took me a while to get here because like so many aspiring writers, we all want to believe our first draft is magic. It’s not. No one’s is. Not mine. Not yours. Not Henry David Thoreau’s. The first draft is usually shitty, because you’re only telling the story to know what it’s about. Whether you’re a plotter or a panster (woop!), you can have the entire thing or nothing in your head when you sit down to write, but it’s going to be the first attempt, which means you’re not going to get it right. Not the entire thing, not the dialogue, not the grammar, not the secondary story lines. It’s the first draft which means stuff is going to change; it’s going to get better.

Now that I’ve crossed the bridge to this understanding, it makes writing a first draft *so* much easier, because now I just say fuck it. I’m not hard on myself; I’m proud of myself for committing to the work, even when I get stumped. Even when I know what I’m writing probably won’t make it to the end, it’s getting me through the story to the end. That’s the importance.

I’m admitting all this because I’m—gasp! —almost done with the first draft of that strange story that fell into my head and that I’ve been writing for over two weeks. I’ve got maybe another few scenes and that’s it. First draft done. And, to be honest, I’m not even sure I’m going to flesh it out. I probably will because the writer in me wants to know more, and a lot of those details are found in the second, third, and fourth drafts. So maybe I’ll write this one for me. Based on the shitty first draft (we all agreed they’re shitty, remember?), this thing isn’t spectacular. There’s nothing super defining about my characters (right now) other than their witty banter and the way they met. And that just won’t do. Because just like every agent and reader wants to know before diving into your book: what makes it special?

At this point… nothing. But that’s what editing is for.

P.S. I do need to get back to RTD, but this may be the break I need to return to that beast with fresh eyes. It took over a year to write that monster (…and I still have the rest of the final scene to write…) but diving right back in wouldn’t do me/my editing eyes any good. I think “new story” is a gift from the writing Gods. And again, even if it never gets published, and is for my eyes alone, it was a lot of fun to write.

Go With It

Recap: I started Project No Name last Sunday when I needed a break from RTD and I’m still writing it. As of today, I’m sixty pages in…about 33K words.

In a week.

That’s good, right? Honestly, I’m not one of those writers who keeps track of word count. I tried to, but ended up getting disappointed with myself if I didn’t meet the same number every night. I didn’t like it, especially if I wrote two pages of crap and one paragraph of genius because I’d still feel bad that I didn’t write more. So, I don’t look at numbers. I look at the effort (something I learned from the great Richard Bausch) and ask myself: did I work? Did I write today? And if so, then I get a gold star.

So, I’m not sure what 33K words means in a little over a week. But I’m still going. Maybe this will be a two-three week side project that will reset my reader/writer vision for RTD, and when I’m done with that, I can come back to this. Maybe. I really have no idea what I’m going to do; I simply go with it and hope something gets published at some point.

*shrugs*

The wedding is in less than six months. SIX MONTHS until Batman becomes the happiest man alive (he already is, but it’ll be officially recognized by the government.) I’m still in my breezy mindset because I have six whole months to do all the little things I was putting off until this year. I’m surprised I’m not panicking more, but I think it’s because we’re in a good place. We planned early and did this thing smart (I think?) other than waiting thirteen years to get married in the year of the pandemic.

That’s it for me this week. What about you? How’re you creative/non-creative goals coming? Any big or small events you’re looking forward to?

IWSG – I Can’t Shut Up The Voices

You know how I’m supposed to be writing the end of the first draft of RTD? Well…I took a break. I am currently writing *something else*, something totally random and I have no idea if I’m ever going to let anyone else read it ever. Why am I mentioning it? Well, it’s IWSG day, and this is pretty major for me in terms of writing. I literally only have maybe a few more pages to write for RTD. That’s it. Just a few more pages and the first draft that’s taken me FOREVER to write will now be finished.

But I can’t bring myself to finish it. Or, to write the last few pages. Maybe it’s because I’m past the ending point in that story, and just haven’t faced it? Or realized it? Or maybe I’m too emotionally tied to RTD that I don’t want to finish it? I don’t know. I really don’t know. And then, suddenly, this other story popped in my head and was like bitch, you need to write me now.

So, I have been. I put RTD to the side and started on this—whatever this side thing is—because it’s pouring out of me and I can’t shut the voices up and I’m soooo into it. Not going to tell you what it’s about because again, not even sure I’ll ever let anyone read it… but it’s got to mean something, right? I think so. (And yes, I promise to get back to RTD. Can’t let all my fan down.)

Onto the May IWSG optional question:

Do you have any rituals that you use when you need help getting into ‘the zone’?

I was going to say that I didn’t. That I just sit down and write, but that’s not entirely true. The one—and only—trick I have to get into ‘the zone’ is rereading the last few paragraphs. I need to get the feel of the story…of the words. It’s kind of like a relay race where I’m picking up where the last Caitlin passed off the baton. 😊

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.