I’m a writer.
In November 2009 I began National Novel Writing Month with an idea, and ended with 50,000 words that looked far too much like a book I’d just finished reading.
In the Summer of 2010, I wrote another, which ended up being a part-sequel of the first. This sequel ended up at 91,000 words, and still unfinished. I have seven main characters and once I know how to deal with something of that size, I’ll revisit it.
In September 2011, I began a third novel. This is still in progress; at around 20,000 words of fully written scenes. I don’t have a clue where it’s going.
November 2011: NanoWriMo the Third… Got to 50,000 words, but it had no cohesion and two days before the end I decided to add in icelandic translations of my spells, poems and prophecies in order to boost the word-count. >_>
January 2012. Began the current novel. Got to 30,000 odd words by August.
September 2012: Realised I need to finish by October 4th. Panicked. Began writing furiously. Let human beings actually proof-read the bits I’d edited. Got two positive feedbacks. One very negative. Freaked out. Felt sick. Hated my writing. Got picked up by two more positive reviews. Breathed.
Here I am. September 19th 2012; working on my (technically fifth) third proper story-line.
I have 36,374 words of well-written, proofed work. I have 9,000 odd words of notes/ scenes to be edited and scrap i’ve kept as a “just-in-case”.
The minimum is 75,000 words for submission… that’s 40,000 more to write and edit.. and those 9,000 to sort out something with.
By October 4th. Then I need to edit and re-write and edit and proof and then submit by the 9th.
The time-scales are already ridiculous – but I’ve written 50,000 words in 30 days. I’ve written 91,000 words in 50 days. I’m unemployed. I have a vague sense of where I’m going. I should be able to do it, if I focus and breathe and plan and work it all out as I go.
Yet, as each new day creeps forward, the panic rises. I had a month to write 50,000 words. I now only have 14 days to write 40,000. This isn’t good.
Each day I feel this anxiety, not even writer’s block; but an inability to write what comes next. I stare at the page, fingers poised over the keyboard, and I feel sick.
I need readers, editors and critiques. I need the energy to see this plan through; to keep writing. I need support, connection and time-outs. I need to plan what will happen next.
I need to edit the things already critiqued. I need to edit it and then re-sent out the edited bits for more critiques; for new critique.
And I need to eat meals, sleep at night, talk to my mum, drink tea and speak to my other half.
I need to give a speech tomorrow, to attend a job interview next week, to keep applying for jobs. I need to keep clearing out the crap in my room, I need to look for a car and a house to actually keep driving because taking 4 days off brings back the fear.
I need to get over the overwhelm.
It’s a gorgeous blue-skied day outside; and I can’t justify going for a walk because I should be here, writing. I know I won’t write, sat here, but nonetheless, I am paralysed, chained to this laptop and the next clear steps for my character to walk.
Unable to write, unable to see the goal being met.
Unable to see the final dream, of being a published author.