Last night I had a dream in which I gave up writing my jinni book and began writing about a depressed teenager. I can't remember now what it was that made me fall in love with the new story, but I wrote about fifteen pages of it in my sleep. (Too bad I can't count it for my NaNo stats.)
I do know, however, what made me fall out of love with my jinni book. It's hard. It's starting to feel like meaningless "fluff." I am grasping at straws, trying to figure out what should happen next. I have no idea how I'm going to fill out the next 40k words---in 2.5 weeks!
I spent most of Tuesday writing, which made me
feel accomplished and, well, optimistic. I must have out-written myself, because yesterday I think I might have written 200 words. It was as if my writing brain ran a half-marathon on Tuesday and couldn't get out of bed yesterday. And not only could it not get out of bed, but it bemoaned the future and everything it had written the day before. "It's silly," my writing brain said. "No one will take you seriously if they read this." The day drudged on with me unable to get through an "exciting, adventurous" scene. I wanted depth, and meaning, and where are depth and meaning in a fight with a sea monster?*
Images of well-known editors flashed across my mind, all of them smoking long cigarettes and shaking their heads at my frivolous jinni book.
By then, I despised my little book. And I yearned, desperately, for a reincarnation of my first novel, ROHANA. I wanted to fix that one. I had figured out the plot problems. ROHANA is a deep, meaningful book** and has "literary merit." As I finally slipped off to sleep, I realized that fixing ROHANA is a daydream because it's just easier to revise than to actually write a first draft.
So what would that make me? A Reviser? Surely not a writer.
Writers finish their work. They tackle the gooey hodgepodge of words they have strung together and pad it out with more gooey words. They brave the possibility that someone might see the mess and exclaim that their true destiny is... joining a circus. They finish their manuscripts because if they don't, it will keep poking them in the head, begging to be fleshed out. Nashwa, my main character, would be both insulted and aggravated if I gave up on her. She would slip into my dreams and force me to face her. (And she's a soul stealer and wise in the art of jinn magic, so I would have a hard time putting her back in a corner.)
From now on (or at least for the next two hours), I will put my pride aside and write crap. When the crap dries, I will pull out my Revision Dremel and grind it down into something more presentable. Then I will add more crap, grind it back down...ad infinitum. (Well, not forever, hopefully.)
Nashwa, as I see her
One other thing: I will not look at published authors' websites today and worry that I am not successful because a) I was not 17 when I wrote my first novel, b) I don't have a beautiful writing cottage with a magic window, and c) I don't have thousands/hundreds/a couple of snarky followers.
* A wise woman told me today that even "fluff" books have meaning---if it makes a child fall in love with reading, then it has meaning.
**Or so I like to think. I mean, it's my first book-baby, after all.