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This is my month to blog (hastily) (without much deep thought) about writing.

This is my month to do radio interviews, blog tours, magazine and newspaper appearances, and book signings.

This is my month to panic about how little time is left before the next cover story deadline in early January. My month to feel that I have no inspiration for essays…to begrudge the time spent on submissions, queries and even the family Christmas letter.

Because this month, I’m writing a novel. I am spending every available moment brainstorming, outlining, researching, and occasionally even putting words on screens. (My NEO is getting lots of use this month.)

I’ve been planning this novel for months. I know the characters; they are old friends, whose stories needed new skin and some depth, but were essentially going to remain unchanged from the decade-old draft. Or so I thought. Turns out, these characters have developed incredibly complex, intertwining stories in the last ten years. Revealed back stories and touch points I didn’t know about. And now my characters and I are feeling our way into a new understanding.

Which means that it’s going Verrrr-y Slowww-Ly. In ten days, I have written 9498 words, each one dragged painfully from my head. I know the story; why is it so hard to write?

I think the problem is that this story has evolved into such a complex tale, it’s overwhelming. Imagine Eric Carle’s caterpillar staring at the looming, unbroken surface of an apple, thinking, Where do I begin?

I knew all along that it would probably start falling into place after I took the plunge and started writing, but I procrastinated for months. Thirty-seven pages in, the unwieldy number of flashbacks are beginning to fall into categories: necessary and can-show-that-another way. Their placement is beginning to make sense, too. But oh, how slow in the meantime!

So for the next month, I’m liberating myself from deep philosophical, tightly-pulled-together essays (except when I feel inspired). I’ve debated dropping back to three blogs a week, but instead I decided to do what I generally don’t: write about writing. So, if this isn’t your thing, hang in there. Profound posts will appear—I’m just not spending brain power looking for them. I have a marriage to wreck (not mine!) and redemption to find in the next twenty days, and it’s taking all my creative powers.

Oh, did that statement intrigue you? I hope so! Well, stay tuned. Maybe I’ll share more novel details in the next few days. But right now it’s 10:20p.m., my cold medicine is kicking in, and I think I may finally be ready to let go of the most recent rejection letter I received, less than an hour ago. (Curse you, email! Delivering such news at bedtime!)

(How much of this is going to look like medication buzz tomorrow morning, when I get ready to edit and post?)

(Rae, is this stream of consciousness enough for you?)

2 thoughts on “9498

  1. Congrats on the novel! And yes, the marriage-wrecking-and-redemption-finding-comment definitely piqued my curiosity.

    I wrote a blog post recently while under the influence of a fever (and flu). The next morning, it was a wild ride to navigate. LOL

    However, don’t underestimate yourself, or be surprised if profound statements creep into the most spontaneous, un-edited ramblings… as intelligence and wisdom will manifest even as grass grows through cement cracks.

  2. stephalex

    Hi there! I think the best thing to do when you write it just let it flow– stream of consciousness works just as well with fiction as it does with blogging! Maybe try to write a plot outline so you have some idea of where you want to go (I always do this!)– then just let it go. Come back and sweat the little stuff later! That’s how it works best for me! Start at the beginning and go to the end! Good luck!

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