For the last several months, I’ve been sitting on a 32k word draft of what I hope will become an actual book someday. The draft has been taunting me from its Word Doc. It mocked me as I drafted a nonfic proposal this summer and as I revised my first novel this fall. It’s there, jeering at me even now as I type this blog post.
It’s there, almost always, hovering over me like some shame-filled balloon. The thing is, I’m the one holding onto it. I could always forget about it, let it float away. It would be nice to have one less thing to have anxiety about. Though even when I consider doing that, it still feels wrong. I mean, 32k words is something.
32k words means that I’ve surpassed the initial wave of excitement that comes along with starting a new project. That means something doesn't it? Yeah, I think it does.
32k words means that I’ve already fought through several bouts of “this-is-complete-crap-and-I-need-to-just-delete-it.” There will surely be more to come though, maybe you should just listen to those instincts.
32k words means I’m invested in these characters. I can't just abandon them as they're coming into focus.
32k words means that I’ve progressed into the story enough to see how it could potentially end. Hey, I have an outline!
32k words means that I’ve burrowed deep enough into this thing to realize that I have countless plot holes. This outline is completely worthless.
32k words means that I’ve written some parts that I’m really proud of. This might actually be good!
32k words means that I’ve written some embarrassingly bad sentences/scenes that make me want to bury my laptop in the woods. This is awful. Let's forget this ever happened.
32k words means I’m half way (give or take) to having a completed draft of an actual book. Oh, I like the idea of that.
So since this is National Novel Writing Month, instead of drafting a new 50k word draft, I’m going to dedicate myself to just finishing this one. I really think it could be something. Or there’s always the possibility that it could be crap. Either way, I’m going to power through. Future Dane will sort out the rest.
“I've got a positive message/Sometimes I can’t get it out.”