Only One Direction to Go

Sometimes writing is hard. There have been many occasions where I have sat at my desk, or on my bed, and stared at a blank screen for longer than I probably should have. I’ve typed a sentence then deleted it. I’ve written many lengthy paragraphs and dialogues before deciding that it was crap and moved it to the trash bin folder on my Scrivener app. But then there are moments of brilliance and I impress myself with my ability to form a sentence and make that sentence create a moment that I can see and feel so vividly it is like I am actually there, in that room, with those people that I have brought life to.

When writing is difficult, it is easy to compare yourself with others who find that writing is simple task for them. Words flow out of their fingers like a river and for some reason yours are stuck behind a dam that has only a slight crack in its frame. Only a few drops every hour or so. It’s infuriating, really. Makes you want to bash your head up against a wall and given everyone who is actually making progress the middle finger. I’m not always an angst-driven person but when you can’t get the words out of your head and onto the computer screen, it can drive even the most positive person into the dark abyss.

But in the midst of wanting to throw my computer against the wall, I have to make myself take a step back, breath in deeply, and remember that I am the only person who can tell my story. Yes, there are other people who are better writers than I am and there are those who have no issues relaying the story in their head. But, only I can tell the story that is in my head. No one else can do that for me so as crappy as the process may be – that is the driven force that makes me put my computer back down, take another gulp of wine, and rest my fingers back on home base.

This year I competed in my third National Novel Writing Month and attempted to write 50,000 words in thirty days. Well, after about the first 10,000 words the story I was writing dried up and I found myself staring at a blank page for almost five whole days. My friends flew past me in their NaNoWriMo endeavors and I felt like I was the lame member of the cast who could never remember their lines or their cues and eventually gets cut from the program. Now, I know my friends would never ‘cut me’ from the program but sometimes when you lag behind for so long, you sort of cut yourself out of the program.

BUT THEN we took a day trip to Hermann and I was surrounded by people who shared the same passion (and struggle) that I did. We laughed, argued,  talked about our stories as if they were a part of our reality and immediately I felt like I still stood a chance. I was reminded that NaNo isn’t always about writing fresh words for a fresh story and that I could switch my focus to editing the novel that I hoped to publish in the new year. And when I did that, it was like the fire had sparked again and I was finally creeping close to a word count that didn’t make me feel like I was drowning. For every hour I edited I got to add 1,000 words to my word count.  So that is what I did, over the course of the next few weeks and with 48 hours left in the month of November I am just 10,000 shy of blasting through 50,000 words.

Writing is hard. Writing isn’t always fun. But when you have people in your life who support you, who are invested your story and jump at the chance to help keep you motivated, sometimes writing doesn’t suck all that much. That’s when the magic happens. That’s when those sentences are created that bring you into the world that only you could have created. Sometimes you have to stare at the blank page for a while before the right words come out in just the right order. Eventually the tiny crack in the dam breaks and you get to be the raging river.

So, pour yourself another glass of wine, let your fingers find home base again, and whatever you do – don’t give up.

❤ Caycee and the Wordwraiths

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