Monday, February 8, 2010

This novel-writing thing, it takes a little while

Here is something I'd think a normal person might say when they have a day to themselves, as a powdery snow is falling in the mountains: "I really should work on my novel, but I just want to go snowboarding."

On Sunday, though, I honestly had this thought: "I really should go snowboarding, but I just want to work on my novel."

I went snowboarding, because the novel is not going anywhere, whereas the snow will melt, and it seemed like the healthy choice, and it was awesome, and I had tons of fun, and I'm glad I went.

But I'm just wondering, when did recreational activities (along with housework, self-care, and interacting with other human beings) become what I ought to be doing, while writing--working, essentially--is all I really feel like doing?

(Granted, the housework has always been in the category of what I ought to be doing.)

My point is this: it seems my previously dormant workaholic gene has reared its ugly head. It could be that the reason I've never been a workaholic is that I've never had any work I really enjoyed.

Anyway, here is where I am right now in this novel-writing process:

Printing it all off turned out to be a great idea. Mostly I just wanted to feel like I was actually creating something, but I ended up staying off the computer for several days just working with the paper manuscript and a pen. I read through the story a few times, wrote tons of notes, crossed out stupid-sounding dialogue, moved things around, made some connections I had missed earlier, realized I had accidentally given two characters the same name, and eliminated a couple of chapters.

Now I'm back on the computer, stack of paper in hand, going through the thing one slow page at a time. The small upside-down stack is what I have completed so far, and the larger stack is what I have left to do. But I try not to think about that, just taking one page at a time, because if I do that, eventually I will get to the end. I am giving myself a deadline of March 31 to finish this first draft.

Hopefully that will be enough time so that I can keep my newfound workaholic tendencies at bay and work in a little time with family and friends, go play in the snow once in a while, and maybe even do some laundry.

1 comment:

Torrie said...

it's amazing how different the whole thing reads when it's on paper. Isn't that weird? I had a similar experience. Plus don't you feel kinda cool when you see how BIG it looks on paper?!