NaNoMongering 4 - Of Shoes and Shit and Sabotage, and Carpal Tunnel Things

These slippers are so comfortable, like bunnies made of bubbles on my feet.

And that's it for shoes.

They say, No Pain, No Gain. In fact, it was no gain, all pain. I had meant to hit 6000 words today, but my hands are acting up again, and I cannot type. They do not hurt exactly, but I just know that I cannot push it. I have mostly been staying off the forums because of this. For the rest, I have just been dictating on my phone. I managed to do about 500 words today that way. This brings my word count for November up to 5000. I suppose I can't really complain, since that is where I am supposed to be at the end of Day 3 anyway.

However, my hands are not the root of the issue, nor even the fact that I feel intensely self-conscious speaking the words out loud. Those are all things I can defeat. The real issue is dithering. That is what I spent all day doing. I dithered in the afternoon by reading a book. Then I sat at the computer and stared at the screen. Then I got up, and made myself a sandwich. And then I ate the sandwich, and had to put off writing, because I could not speak and eat at the same time. Then I paused, stared at the screen again, and made myself some tea. Finally, I managed to eke out a few words, although even then, I kept switching to my Internet browser every few seconds, to refresh every single forum I am on. A few minutes later, I had to leave. In this way, I managed to somehow go the whole day by neither doing other things to entertain myself, nor getting any writing done. At best, it is inefficient. At worst, it is self-sabotage.

This happens, in some form or the other, every day.

Time and time again, I have reasoned it out. Either I must write, or I must do something else instead to keep busy, and not worry about it. It sounds simple, in theory. But it is not.

Why do I do this to myself? What is holding me back?

It is not the blank page. I do not actually fear the blank page. I used to, at one time, but I conquered that by simply flying by the seat of my pants. Now I can fill a blank page with anything. This might be my answer.
The blank page could be ANYTHING.

More often than not, it is utter crap, and it scares me. And how is that? Because one crappy page is not so bad. However, an entire draft's worth of crap is daunting. The story is still in there, waiting to meet excavated like fossil. However, the worse the draft, the more complicated the fix. Plot holes are not always easy to resolve, not to mention the innumerable stylistic changes that will need to be made, the scenes that have to be moved around, the things that must be cut, the things that must be added, the things that must be rewritten.

So, do I fear hard work? In a way, yes. Excavating the fossil is a long, hard road. Progress will be slow, and halting. There will be times when I wonder I am moving forward all, or if I am even moving backwards. How do I know that at the end of the road, I will find what I'm looking for?

And that's it. I fear failure. I am so afraid that I will never finish, that I feel like giving up at every step. I am afraid that I am doing all of this for nothing. In short, I am doing my very best to ensure that what I fear will come true.

I sabotage myself.

Well, shit.

Yet, much as I would love to know for sure that the story will be what I want it to be in the end, the truth is, the only way I will ever know is to see it through. Sounds like it's time to head back to the Chasm of Despair.

And here is where it gets nuts. Even in the deepest, darkest chamber of the chasm, I haven't lost all hope. There is still the insane part of me that tells me that I can do it. It is the part that made me start doing these writing competitions in the first place, and the part that makes me want to write at all. It is the part that will not let the story inside of me die unborn, but instead keeps prompting me to go sit at that computer.

It's my Muse, and she has spoken. It is up to me to do the rest. Where there is a will there is a way. I know that once I open up Scrivener, I can stare at the screen, and then fly off to Google, to look for motivational websites and pictures. However, that kind of motivation is a crock: at best the truth, at worst, entertainment, and in all cases procrastination. It can make me think. It can even inspire me. It can't give me will, though. The truth is, nothing can make it easier. Nothing on the Internet can finish my stories for me.

Only I can do that.

One word of time.

And I will.


  1. Yes you can! Don't give up. It isn't about one draft of crap. It's about having evidence that you wrote something.

    “Whatever you think you can do or believe you can do, begin it - for action has magic and grace in it.” - Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

    All the best Bobo!

  2. Even a couple of hundred words a day will get you to the end of the story. Maybe not at NaNo speeds, but that doesn't matter so much. Just keep going one word at a time and find the pace you can handle.