Remember that time I said I was writing a story? In a moment of crazy confidence, I thought that I could just word vomit my way to 15,000 words even though the only fiction I’d ever written in my four decades on the planet were essays in primary and secondary school with scintillating titles like, A Day at the Seaside (yet to meet another Trini who says “seaside” instead of “beach”). It’s no surprise then that by the 5,000-word mark, I’d hit the proverbial brick wall known as cursed writer’s block.
I read and re-read and re-read what I’d written. Although I really liked my main character (and also the minor ones that I wasn’t sure would be returning at any point), I wasn’t completely happy with the crisis that I’d created around my leading lady. I edited and tweaked the direction of the story, but my fountain of ideas had dried up with no rainfall in sight.
I tried to dissect the situation. Okay, maybe in my excitement I’d failed to come to terms with the task at hand. I can word vomit a blog post, but clearly, this was not my winning strategy for writing fiction. I needed an outline. I scribbled a few notes complete with circles and arrows and triple-underlined words for emphasis. I felt better about my ability to meet my target. And then Satan’s minions ensured that I wouldn’t be able to type another word! One after the other, an avalanche of stuff came at me. Some days, I didn’t have time to open up my laptop.
By July 31st, it was as if my brain had been reset to the time before I signed up for Camp NaNo. I couldn’t reconnect with my story. I didn’t even remember what it was about. My notes were hieroglyphics. Not even Uncle Stevies’s sage advice from On Writing could help me.
Having failed Camp NaNo, I let my story percolate for a while. I’ve revisited it a few times and made changes, but completion still seems so far off. I desperately want to get back to my little tale of triumph. However, my brain cells are pre-occupied with longstanding plans that are finally (knock on wood, salt over shoulder, prayers to the heavens) coming together, and I don’t have it in me right now.
Ultimately, I was aiming for NaNoWriMo in November. As things stand, I’ll be happy to just finish my short story by then. I do not see myself writing a novel in 2018. *cries in keyboard*
Maybe I should introduce an evil ghost or a demon-possessed doll to spice up my heroine’s life? I’m smiling at the possibilities…