A few Wishcasting Wednesdays ago, I wished to draft a novel that was knocking around in the back of my head. That didn’t happen right away, and has been entirely on the back burner, but, yesterday, things took a turn…
Last night, I basically formed an novelist’s alliance/support-group-of-two with my friend Misty. She has a novel she wants to finish, so she wanted me to read it and kind of help keep up her motivation. She works better with deadlines. So, I asked her how quickly she wanted to finish, and we came up with a deadline of a chapter a week.
If Misty can crank out a chapter a week while taking care of two children under the age of 3 years old, I have absolutely no excuse with my, usually, no less than 5 hours free of concrete plans post-work every day, plus weekends.
Funnily enough, I just reconnected with an old university friend and classmate via Facebook who also harbored literary aspirations back in the day. (Only he still has them, apparently, while I’ve, well, to put it lightly, been faltering.) He asked me what I was up to, and several times in our exchanges I’ve almost said, “I’m procrastinating writing a novel.” And I’ve been thinking about the novel in question a lot lately, particularly since I had a chat with my former faculty advisor in which the subject of said novel came up when my friend Angela and I went back to campus for a visit with each other and some other old university friends at the end of June.
I suppose, and I told Misty this, that I am not at all sure that I’m talented enough for this novel and these characters…Like maybe the idea and characters should go bother someone more capable than me, like Alice Hoffman, Jodi Picoult, John Irving, Haven Kimmel, A. Manette Ansay, or any of a number of other writers who are very good at what they do and already established. But, no, it and the characters crop up now and again while I daydream at lunch or while hurrying up and waiting at work, or in my dreams.
I’m a little scared, to tell you the truth. I’m scared of actually writing it, not when it’s going along smoothly, but teasing out the knots that inevitably develop as the story unfolds. I’m scared of the sure-to-ensue battle with the beast that is my bitchy Inner Editor. I’m scared of disappointing myself, of being a quitter, and, now, letting down my friend. Maybe this will help me avoid those snares.
When I’ve been thinking about what to do with my life and time if I can’t find a job right away when this one ends for me, the first thing that comes to mind, after moving away, is, “Write that novel!”
Maybe I’ll actually do it this time, now that I have a partner in crime, now that I have someone to which to be accountable.
The muses work in mysterious ways! (As do Wishcastings!) For me, it’s back to the partially-written prologue this evening, and finishing with the rough draft of it by Saturday!
Oh, and, I dare you people who are procrastinating your own creative projects to join in and form a creative alliance, with deadlines, with a buddy in your chosen area of creativity! I triple dog dare you! What have you got to lose in the attempt?