I talked to my husband about writing last night. He was sitting at his computer watching Charmed and I had just told him my feelings regarding Bridegroom. I’ve been trying to discuss more of these things with him lately. It’s important to a marriage, don’t you know. Due to how passionate I can get about certain things like civil rights and artistic pursuits, I tend to do most of the talking while he tries his best to listen and not fall asleep. I’m quite thankful for him, for the record.
So I finally get around to telling him that there isn’t just one story that I have floating around in my head. It’s more like four novella to novel length stories and a few shorter pieces. I tell him about one of the shorter pieces, and we both have a laugh over how ridiculous but awesome it would be. I tell him about one of the longer pieces and about my fears about misrepresenting what the characters went through, but how I am absolutely in love with the characters I’ve created. I told him of my fear of not doing those characters justice, and writing things of a sensitive nature, even in a fictional world. I told him of the fact that I might have one more year as a stay at home mom and that if I could use that year to write, maybe I could get one or more of these things done and shop them around a bit.
I really expected to be told I was crazy. He knew I was doing NaNo, but he didn’t really know most it. I really expected him to tell me that I was stressing myself too much and that I should drop NaNo and focus on something else for a while. Get myself together.
He actually told me that I should do the writing, as much as possible, try to win NaNo, and try to get some things published.
So I’ve had a think for the last few hours. I took a quick nap and dreamed about the alley in which the two main characters of the longer piece meet in front of. And then I had to face a few facts.
I’m not really going to be able to write 50,000 words of one thing in a month. 50,000 words is no problem. I can hit upwards of three thousand in a day if I really want to. I jump around, though, working on various projects, posting blog entries, posting comments on other blogs, taking notes on new things I want to write. I cannot be a monogamous writer. And, so, I’m going to have to be a rebel. I’m okay with that.
If I’m going to accomplish anything I want to, I have to consider it a job. I’m going to try for four hours a day in my own head, writing my characters and doing my thing, after the kids go to bed. I’m going to finally make notes, outline the worlds, and pull 50,000 combined words out of my proverbial ass.
I also think that I’m going to have to admit that I’m scared that I don’t have what it takes to win. I have two small kids. I’m tired almost all the time. My depression and my anxiety aren’t under control. All of this is likely to creep into my writing. I guess that’s what editing is for, though.
While I’m talking about all of this, I may as well confess something: this will be the first time I’ve tried to finish any piece of writing in over a decade. My mother cleaned my desk one day when I was 12 or 13 and threw out papers she thought were nothing because they were out of order and dog-eared from being shoved in the drawer, but in reality it was a majority of the writing I had done as a young girl. I think, to this day, that she only wanted to help me get rid of junk, but it broke our relationship a little and it broke my will to write. I never really wrote anything after that until a creative writing class in high school, where I finished a very short piece just before I dropped out. Of course, after that I had a mild mental break and things just kind of went downhill from there, as they are wont to do.
Anyway, I think I need to somehow stop looking at all these things as obstacles and try to make use of some of the shit I feel. One of the stories I want to write deals with rape and the (violent) death of the attacker. Another has a scene in which a woman goes to visit her partner in a mental hospital. I need to do these things for myself. I care about the characters I have in my head and what they’re going through. They need to be heard. Maybe if I think of myself as a surrogate for fictional people I can get past my own body and brain and wade more fully into theirs.
I don’t really know what’s going to happen tonight. I’m going to sit down with my composition book and write in it for a while, just letting things come to me as I go. I have 13 Ticonderoga pencils sharpened to perfect points, a wacky-shaped eraser for when I screw up, Post-Its to use to storyboard, and several planned hours of non-stop sleep-deprived writing. Something has to come out of that, right? I’d think so.