Things I do to avoid writing

– make coffee

– paint my nails

– think about everything that’s wrong with my novel

– cook

– worry that I’ll never finish my novel

– eat

– sit in front of my laptop and think about writing

– eat some more

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It’s easier for me to sit around worrying about everything that is wrong with my novel in progress rather than actually getting anything done. 

Oh, hi.

I haven’t been here lately. I’ve been elsewhere, bouncing between countries, doing holiday stuff, and trying to ignore that I’ve been totally neglecting my novel.

Yeah. I haven’t been so productive lately, and the anxiety and guilt is finally starting to dig its claws into me physically because of it. Tiny headaches, tension in my shoulders – it’s as if I’m haunted; like every moment I’m not writing there is a tiny ghost inside of me that pokes and prods and nags and is impossible to ignore. It’s interesting how I literally have a visceral reaction to not writing.

I quit my job to do this and time is running out. I gave myself to the end of February, to the AWP – although now that I’ve really looked at it, the AWP is beginning to look like it won’t be financially feasible for me. But still, the deadline is there. And what have I done in the last month? Shrug. Not very much, writing-wise.

I did hit 100 pages, which was huge – 100 pages feels so real, like I’ve really done something. If I printed it out, that would be an impressive stack of paper. But I’m nowhere near the end, and I have no idea how much longer it will take me, or how to accomplish making it all feel cohesive, or even what’s going to happen, really. And what if it’s awful? I’m 100 pages in, and this could be an awful, ridiculous story.

I try not to focus on those things. Once I start worrying, it worms its way into me for hours and days. I immobilize myself. Sometimes I wonder if I do it on purpose, just to avoid writing.

Writing is so much more work than I realized it would be.

But I hit 100 pages. And now it’s time for me to stop kicking myself for the past few weeks I’ve wasted, and to just start typing instead.

Keep moving. Keep writing. Keep typing. Stop thinking.

4:00 in the afternoon and haven’t written anything yet. Finally, I stomp over to the freezer and pull out the bottle of vodka, throwing back two shots straight from the bottle.

And now I can feel it humming in my limbs, making me warm and loose. And I sit down in front of my laptop and feel more comfortable, feel brave, feel like I can open my manuscript and stare it in the face boldly. You don’t scare me now, you dumb, mean novel that’s taking forever to write.

Didn’t expect to be sitting slightly tipsy today as the sun’s just beginning to set. But whatever.

Things I’ve done in the past week.

  • Gone through 2.5 bottles of red wine
  • Fallen in love with Sherlock a la Benedict Cumberbatch
  • (not written anything towards the novel)
  • Made chocolate chip cookies
  • Ordered indie nail polish
  • Drank more wi-

Oh, what was that? What was the third thing on my list again? Shush. Silence. You didn’t read anything. I’ve been such a disciplined, diligent writer, writing hundreds of words every day. The novel’s almost finished, now. There’s just pages and pages and I’ve made incredible progress.

Sigh.

Sometimes I feel like this will never get finished. And then I don’t write for a week, and I really feel that way.

Okay. No time to dwell on the past. Got to keep moving forward, right? deep breath. All right then.

(picture me marching gallantly back into the field of battle, here. While wearing a kilt. Kilts are awesome.)

Time to get back to work.

It’s been a largely unproductive couple of weeks.

I hit an impasse, thought I needed to go back and revise, lost steam, and floundered, am still floundering.

I’m sick with a cold right now and it’s late at night, and I have to write something towards my novel before I go to bed tonight. I have a hot whiskey with lemon and honey steaming in a mug beside me, and the neighborhood is quiet. I’ll get some work done tonight. Have to start making little steps forward again, gain momentum once again.

The fears and the excuses have grown a little louder in this writing-quiet time, but I have to shove them back down and keep working.

Time to start checking into this blog again to keep myself on track. I spent the past day outlining my story a bit, getting a better idea of its frame and where its headed. We’ll see if that has any impact.

This is a lonely job. I haven’t gone out to lunch or coffee or anything with a friend in a while. I think they probably all forgot I exist, by now.

Feeling very mopey and sniffly and sore-throaty. Time to sip on my hot whiskey and focus on words, instead.

Feeling lacking, disconnected. Yesterday was an unproductive writing day and today is very close to becoming the same. 

It’s harder for me sit down and do it, all of a sudden. Have to get back into forcing myself again.