Now and Then and Now

Progress Update: I currently have out no submissions to journals. In the past year I’ve written several poems, but no prose of note.

It’s been almost a year since my last post, and I’m ashamed to say I haven’t written much of anything in the past 12 months.At this point, I’m essentially a writer who doesn’t write. I could do the easy thing and just claim life has gotten in the way. While that’s partially true due to the sometimes mentally exhausting nature of my job, for the most part I have to admit I’ve just gotten in my own way. A three-punch combination of lack of faith in myself, fear of rejection, and laziness landed me in a chronic state of non-writing haze.

Just telling myself I need to write hasn’t been enough to get me back on my feet. Neither has day-dreaming of future possibility. I’ve been so lost in my own self-doubt that even recharging my batteries at River Pretty isn’t a strong enough push anymore. It’s like I’ve lost something in the past couple of years, somehow.…and I want it back.

I will say that reading Stephen King’s “On Writing” again helped. I truly believe that’s the best book on writing ever written.

So, I’m trying something. I’m going back to the drawing board.

I’ve signed up for NaNoWriMo, which starts in just a few days. I’m determined to write that 50,000 words, if it kills me. I had a new novel idea while at River Pretty earlier this month, and I’ve forced myself not to overthink it. I have the basic premise, and I’m just going to write the thing by the seat of my pants. No outline to distract me. No thinking about what an agent might want to daunt me. No worrying about how many pages it needs to be to be “publishable.” The only pressure I’ll have on me through November is to get down the words before midnight on the 30th.

My mantra for the next month is:

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be on paper.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be on paper.

“It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just needs to be on paper.

I’ll probably post some updates here and on Facebook along the way. If you’re doing NaNoWriMo too, please feel free to add me on there. My username is JTRobertson. I don’t plan on being very involved in the forums or anything, but it’s always nice to see other writers making progress at the same time.

Now if you’ll excuse me — I’ve got some writing to do.