I’ve been trying to get back into Folly. Problem is, I’m all hung up. I reread chapter one, getting ready to tackle chapter two, only to realize chapter one needs work. So now I have a quandary: do I go back and rework chapter one? Or do I plow ahead with chapter two? How do I ever finish something as big as a novel if I never like what I wrote?
Anyone who knows me can guess what I decided to do. Yep, I wrote a short story. When in doubt, I tend to avoid the problem by tackling small bits I feel are within my grasp.
But that isn’t getting the novel done, is it?
I’ve justified this behavior a million ways. I’m just too busy right now to concentrate on something so long. The kiddo’s too little for me to get anywhere on big projects. I can’t decide which novel is best to pursue. I’ll just finish this/these quick short story/ies, then I’ll get back to work on my novel/s. I’ll clean the house/go camping/polish my toenails/weed the garden first. I need to lose weight. I need more rest. I have a cold.
It’s pissing me off. The problem is me, and I know what at least part of it is. I need the gratification of getting something done. And writing a novel is a damned long haul. I love seeing my growing list of short story credits. I love checking my email, hoping for another acceptance. But I want to hold a book with my name on the cover in my hand. When people ask what I write, I want to offer the title of a novel and tell them to trek over to the bookstore and buy it.
So how do I get there from here?
Yes, I know the answer: one scraped out word at a time. But it’s not as easy as it seems. This writing life has set me out on an odyssey of personal growth equal only to the demands of parenting. Clearly, I have one more monster I need to slay.
What kind of obstacles have you faced in your writing? How did you overcome them? Or are you still slogging around like me?
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