Tuesday, March 18, 2008

NaNoEdMo: Mmmmm, Crow


After last week’s indolent foray into shopping and theatre outings, this week I fell victim to a new writing enemy: THE FLU.

Out of nowhere, it hit me, like Michael Strahan mowing over slow-moving seniors at the Old Country Buffet. As I lay in bed, too sick to read, my household fell into shambles. Like a trooper, my husband confronted his fear of the kitchen and prepared three meals a day. My daughter appeared several times an hour, eyes wide and lower lip trembling as she told me, “But I don’t want to play with Daddy, Mommy. I need you.”

On Sunday, I finally emerged wobbly-legged from bed. As I surveyed the wreckage that can only happen when Mommy’s out of commission, I realized two discouraging things. One, I hadn’t done a lick of editing in days, sending my EdMo goals spiraling into the abyss. And two, with 20 people coming for Easter dinner and the house in a shambles, I wouldn’t have time until after the Lord had risen.

I don’t want to lapse into whininess, but I feel as though my EdMo was doomed from the start. I wanted to quit before I began, then, miraculously, things seemed too easy that first glowing week. Did I make the fatal mistake of wallowing in cockiness? Even after the indolent slacker week, I honestly thought I could recover. EdMo was a piece of cake, compared to the intensity or NaNoWriMo. All I had to do was fix the mess I’d already written.

And therein lies the rub.

The editing is the tough stuff. I knew that going in. Still, somehow, this thing slipped away from me, in spite of my good intentions.

So what now?

The way I see it, I have three choices:

1) give up and spend the rest of March feeling guilty and sorry for myself.

2) push forward, torpedoes be damned and let my in-laws eat egg salad sandwiches in our dustbunny-laden germ-hovel. Or,

3) do the thing I find hardest when it comes to my writing--compromise. Not on quality. Never on quality. But perhaps ease up a bit on quantity. Learn to live with it if I only edit 6 scenes instead of 8, fix 40 pages, instead of 50.

The thought of it galls me. I hate giving up and compromising feels like just that. But this is the part where I remind myself this isn’t about me. It’s about the writing, so I guess I have no choice. It’s time to step outside of myself, shut up and accept the fact I may have to eat a little crow. Anything's better than egg salad.

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