Monday, April 27, 2015

Confessions of a Procrastinating Writer

If you know me (or at least speak to me on Twitter) you'll notice that for the past...oh, I dunno, three months, I've been saying "I'm writing!" Or "I'm on my last few pages!" Or "I'm going to finish this today!"


Yeah, I'm not. I'm not doing two out of three of those things.

You know why? Because I'm blocked. Not in a "oh gee, I just can't seem to find the right WORDS." sort of a block, but a fear inducing, breath into a paper bag, sort of block. I love my characters. I love my story. But I hate, hate, hate, HAAAATE the ending. I've re-written it four times. And each time I get closer(ish) to making it what I'm pretty sure it should be. But every time I open Word and edit a couple of chapters before it (you know, for warm up) my nerves begin to take hold.

'It won't be as bad as I think it is. I'm just overreacting.'

That's what I tell myself. And then by the time I get to it, it's still terrible. It's still almost as bad as when I first wrote it. I hate it with a passion. Its the sort of ending that you find in the cheesy D rated Sci-fi Channel's movies. I cringe when I see the words I've written. I berate myself of having done such a crap job. And the real problem is, I don't quite know how to fix it. I keep trying (hence the reason its been re-written four times) and failing, and that's equally frustrating.

I don't know if I can write the ending, honestly. Which terrifies me. I love this story so much it. I've never written anything like it and it's good. Except the ending. That important ending. How do you do an ending your terrified of looking at and causes you to run straight to your liqueur cabinet?

I know each writer is different and struggles and succeeds in different ways. That's why you find 8 million different types of advice. Everyone's process is different, but there are nuggets in there that you can relate to and that can help. People whose blogs you read and say "omg, that's my problem! This person is just like me!" and hope they have the answer to the problem you're having. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it didn't.

I listened to a piece of advice I'd read, and coupled with my determination, I set a goal and saw it through. Which would've been great, if I hadn't been in such a determined state that I wrote myself into a proverbial hell. It was sloppy, it was bad, it felt rushed. And it was. It was crap. It took two months for me to even open that particular story again, I loathed it so much.

 I'm not used to writing poorly. I know that sounds snobby, but it's true. I write things that need improvement or tweaking, but I don't write POORLY. Except this time. And I'm paying for it now at a terrible price. I need to finish an ending I don't know how to finish, and I can't move on to another book because this one consumes my thought process. All. DAY. I either think about how I SHOULD be writing the ending or ways I can avoid writing it. It's a terrible cycle.

But I keep trying. Today for instance, I'm going to be trying to fix it. Again. I don't know if it'll work. I don't know. But I've got to finish it. I wish I could end this article with a good piece of advice or a happy, warm fuzzy feeling of "she'll be okay!". But I don't know if it WILL be okay.

 So for now I just keep trying, even if the most I get done is re-read the horrible writing.

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