Saturday, November 18, 2006

NaNo Day Eighteen - Where Has the Time Gone?

The most essential factor is persistence - the determination never to allow your energy or enthusiasm to be dampened by the discouragement that must inevitably come. - James Whitcomb Riley

Yesterday I struggled with discouragement, deep discouragement. I alternated writing with reading, and what I was reading had fantastic writing. It was the little things I noticed, private jokes that didn't necessarily forward the plot but they deepened the characters, little mentions here and there of offhand things that helped with the setting, overall a well-rounded story.

And I knew mine --none of mine, not just this NaNo story -- measured up.

"Why bother writing," I muttered to myself. "What's the point when I have no talent?"

I was really low and ready to throw it all out.

I plopped myself in front of the TV and watched "Supersize Me" (ugh) and found myself, aside from being nauseated at the thought of eating that much grease, thinking about my NaNo story and how I might flip it around -- make it about Kate and Pete (the daughter and the roommate) instead of about Julia and Ben (the current H/H) or, at the very least, write a follow up book about them because they have a crazy relationship.

That's when I realized (again, because I must go through this every six months or so) that I can't quit writing, regardless of whether I'm "good enough". Because writing is what I do, it's inside me, and it's not going away.


FYI (re: yesterday's post) I'm not opposed to gaming systems, I don't think they are devil's spawn. I played pong when I was little (for HOURS on end... amazing) and it didn't destroy me. BUT, like Allie mentioned, there is little benefit to them -- why not play catch? Or tag (if it hasn't been outlawed)? Or soccer? Or play cards or a board game? Interact with your kids or let them interact with each other. We're becoming an increasingly isolated society, and it terrifies me.

Okay... all done preaching.


Word count when I've written something -- not an easy task this morning as DH is up and about getting ready to go hunting and will most assuredly wake the DD, if the loud crashing noise I just heard is any evidence.

Update: I've written 660 words!

My overall total is: 32,840 / 50,000


Allie Boniface said...

Oh, believe me, I feel for you 100%. As you well know, I've gone through the same kinds of low periods. And reading something fantastic, while great in itself, isn't necessarily great for one's self-esteem as an unpublished writer.

But you like it. You love it, probably. So you know you won't be able to just stop.

And here's the other thing: so many, many people out there talk to death about writing a novel. How many people actually do it? How many people write a short story that's good enough to be published? Only a fraction of the population.

Here's the other thing I've discovered: if you keep writing, you will inevitably become a better writer. Look at some of the stuff you wrote 2 or 3 or 5 years ago. I'm pretty sure that the stuff you're writing now is much better. So just imagine where you might be in 5 more years.

And as someone said once to me, the only thing you'll know for sure, if you stop writing, is that you never will get published. But if you keep writing...

Tori Lennox said...

*hugs* You are not alone. I frequently think my writing sucks swamp water. But I can't stop writing. It creeps back in whether I want it to or not. :)

Anonymous said...

The quote you cite reminds me of my favorite quote about persistence and something I try to apply in my own life whenever I begin to feel discouraged. I'm sure you've heard it before, but it's just powerful, I'd like to share it again.

Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.

MaryF said...

Hugs on the discouragement, Marianne! And good lluck with that sexual tension thing!