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“It will always seem impossible until it is done.” — Sam Levenson
And we’re back. I hope yesterday was good for you and that you were able to find time to breathe, if not get your words done. Since we had a relatively low-key celebration, I was able to spend a considerable time at my keyboard with the upshot that it’s starting to look as if I will make it to the 50,000 word mark after all. It’s going to be a squeaker, but I’m going to get there.
A few days ago, it seemed impossible. More than that, the very idea seemed overwhelming. I had one of those wonderful complete and utter meltdowns that writers can be subject to. You know the one: “Why am I even trying? What made me think I could write? What stupidity convinced me I could actually get books out?” It wasn’t pretty, it was very stressful, and I was, frankly, ready to hang up the keyboard for the rest of the year and just hide with my knitting.
So I buried myself in the day job (which has work that I’ve brought home this weekend) and did my best not to think about my novel or writing in general. Of course, since I was trying not to think about it, very firmly and resolutely resisting the urge, that was the moment when ideas started to poke at me, say, “Hey. What if…”
I finally made notes in my bullet journal, and that seemed to help enough that I was able to get back to the keyboard. I focused on getting just the words I needed done for that day, plus about 25 more. The next morning, I knew I needed to junk the scene I’d written the day before. File gets moved to the holding pen, and a new scene started to take shape. A better scene, one that twisted one of the tropes I was working with somewhat so it’s not what everyone expects. All of this is still hideously rough, and there will be severe rewrites under a fairly tight deadline since what I’m working with at the moment is scheduled to be published at the beginning of, oh, February, but it’s out of my head and on the page.
That’s the impossible part, really. Not the hitting 50,000 words within a set amount of time or getting your revisions done or submitting a query to an agent or an editor or making your work available on Amazon. No, often times, the impossible act is to get the words out of your head and onto the page because of the roadblocks that we so often place in our own way. We feel out of sorts, so we don’t want to work. We find excuses or obligations, reasons not to write. Sometimes it’s conscious (in which case, consider what’s behind that), but all too often, it’s unconscious self-sabotage.
We are our own worst enemies, beset by doubts and the inner demons that nag at us. But each day we overcome those voices and sit down to do the impossible thing is a victory. Writing is hard; it demands we open up some darker recesses of our imaginations and spill them out of the page, to have characters do things that we would normally shy away from. Writing is very often painful, but having written can be a joy because we know we have striven for something and won.
We have five days left after this. No matter where you are in the process, get some words out of your head and onto the page. Let’s do something impossible today.
Word Count Goal: 41,675