Plans and Plans

Lately I’ve been feeling like a failure at this whole writing business.  I have a story I’m supposed to be working on.  I even have an outline this time (a first for me).  Yet when it comes time to actually work on it, my brain takes a vacation.  It’s out the door doing whatever else it can think of, other than putting out words.  It’s driving me crazy!

Now, I know this feeling-like-a-failure thing is a bit ridiculous.  After all, I just completed the manuscript for my 2012 NaNoWriMo project.  I hit my 50k before the November 30th deadline but this time I was determined to actually complete the manuscript.  I plugged on and I managed to do just that near the end of January.  I’ve set that story aside for the time being, partly because by the time I finished I was thoroughly sick of it and partly because I wanted to work on this new idea that’s not going anywhere.  I know there is a lot of work to be done on that story.  I’ve already got notes on some things I think I should change.  It may be that I’ll go back and determine that it’s not worth working on again.  But regardless, I did complete it and that is an accomplishment.  It’s most certainly not a failure.

In the meantime, the unfinished manuscript from NaNoWriMo 2010 is beckoning to me, telling me maybe it’s time I took another look.  This was a story I’d wanted to write for years, and I used NaNoWriMo to get myself going on it.  Unfortunately, in my quest to get the elusive 50k, I focused too much on the mundane day-to-day stuff in the story and not enough on moving forward in the plot.  That’s the major thing I’d like to correct when I start work on it again.  I’m keeping notes for myself as ideas occur to me as I prepare for a rewrite.  Perhaps this will be my Camp NaNoWriMo project this summer.

So, clearly the whole failure thing is just an over-reaction.  It may be that having the outline is holding me back.  I’ve always been more of a “pantser” than a “planner” when it comes to writing (though not in any other aspect of life).  I start with an idea that we’re going to go from a to e but I don’t really know where b, c, or d will fall on this route.  Having a much more detailed plan for the story is at once reassuring and hampering.  Working with it will be a learning experience, as all of my writing projects have been before.  I am looking forward to learning!

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