I had, almost two months ago now, given myself the goal of completing a first draft of the manuscript banging the most around in my head by the last day of June (starting at the first of April). What did I write between that first day and now? Nothing. Well, that is not entirely accurate: I did jot some scene-related things down on a few index cards, which will serve as my chapter guides. They are easy to rearrange if there’s a need to do it, so it’s functional as well as informative. I wrote five of them. The sixth is staring me in the face, with “chapter 6” at the top. This doesn’t mean the others will go in direct order first through five, but I took this as a positive step toward killing – or at least maiming – my demons and working myself into the fray of word-slinging.
Last year, I had written the opening chapter of this manuscript. It’s been sitting on a thumb drive, and just now, I resurrected it, did a couple of light editing things, and added some more content and context to it.
It is frightening. Not the book – there are many more very real and frightening things in the real world – but the mental part of making one’s way through the tentacles that threaten to grab you by the ankle and pull you down under the water to drown you in a sea of self-doubt and not-good-enough-itis. My hands are, quite literally, shaking right now that the writing is done. But I am thinking this will get better the more I am able to punch away at the walls built over so many years, graffiti covering them with sneering commentary. The demons may still be there forever, but as long as they continue to shrink, much like Alice, each day will not be an epic battle, but more like swatting the occasional annoying fly away.
Here’s to more days of productivity, and creating a viable routine that will get me through from page one to “the end”.