Saturday, November 27, 2010

Writer's Block Returns

I have the ending of the story I have been working on finishing since the beginning of October.  I have the outline, the plot, the smallest details about the characters in the final chapter, and even a happy ending.  It is so done that I can tell the story to my kids out loud and in great detail.  They like it.  But I haven't written it yet on paper.

I had the whole week to work on it, but it was interrupted by an appointment with my foot doctor, who diligently squeezed the sore spot on my foot to make sure it was still hurt (it is) and made it too sore to walk on.

The other unintended complication is that my husband keeps urging me on to write.  Something about my character makes me halt in my tracks when someone else tells me what to do and when to do it - even if it's what I was planning on doing anyway.  I know it's immature, but that's how I'm wired.

Thanksgiving was also mid-week.  My whole family spent a lot of time baking and cooking (which also ended up inflaming my foot even more despite all of my efforts to stay off of it in the kitchen), which took time away from writing. 

I have it stuck in my mind that I can edit this particular manuscript at home but need to write it at the coffee shop.  This sort of feels like a superstition, like having to have a figurine in my pocket or a certain pair of lucky socks on my feet to pass a test.  But it's not exactly superstition.  I like to write there and feel like my mind is clear of my stuff when I go out to write this particular story.  When I'm at the coffee shop, I don't think about the laundry pile behind my desk and can't hear the kids arguing or the baby crying.

At home this week, I have moved forward on the story a little. I have gone as far as to create Word documents for the remaining chapters with headers and titles and a synopsis at the start of the page (so I won't forget what the new chapter is about as if I would).  At least I have the plot and the documents laid out.  I have four more chapters to go and two days (including today, which I am willfully wasting right now). 
I know these are excuses.  I spent plenty of time waiting for the mixer to open up (we had a mixer schedule since each of us were planning on using it).  I had plenty of time in front of the television that I could have spent writing.  Nothing about my hurting foot prevents me from writing words down on paper or electronically.

I have to admit that something about me has been resisting finishing this book.  If I finish it, it will be rejection time.  For today, I am going to tell myself repeatedly, as many times as it takes, that I am just writing the drafts of two chapters today and two more tomorrow.  I will tell myself I have plenty more work to do. I have to reformat the last several chapters, add pagination between documents, edit them repeatedly (one at a time then all of them combined), get feedback from readers, edit them again, work a little more on the timeline and add details regarding the timeline to each of the chapters.  I need to edit and edit and edit and edit again until the last ultimate final version where there's no question in my mind that it's publisher-worthy. 

None of that will happen today, so today I will just write.  Off to the bookstore for a scone and two chapters.

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