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It's a Love/Hate Thing

I should be sleeping. I've got work in the morning and I am NOT a morning person. Odds are, if I don't go to sleep soon, I'll be grumpy all day. But sleep won't come.

I'm writing. Or, at least, I'm trying to. As of right now, the ratio of words written to Youtube videos watched is extremely unbalanced. This is what I mean when I say I can't resist the distractions!

To be fair, I've been trying to write. I'm just getting frustrated. Every scene I write just goes on and on and on and....on. They never. Freaking. End. To be honest, it's driving me batty. I mean, I have an outline for God's sake. Is this some sick game my muse is playing on me? This should be relatively easy, just getting the basic skeleton of each scene written, as they appear on my outline, to be revised at a later date. Turns out, this is easier said than done.

I can't say I've had this problem much in my writing history. Usually, I write an outline and the scenes flow. Not really smoothly. It's a first draft, after all. (Speaking of which, Sarah over at Sarah with a Chance wrote an awesome entry about the pain and frustration and feelings of hatred that come along with the first draft process -- check it out!)I'm feeling more and more like I want to print the two hundred and something pages of this thing out and throw them through a wood (or maybe word?) chipper, just to seek revenge on the hell it's putting me through!

It seems like writing was so much easier when I was younger. That daydreaming sixteen-year-old who'd read hundreds of romance novels, then decided she could write one. That first novel was like an adrenaline rush, all the way through. There were no thoughts of how bad the writing was (which, I'm sure it was) or whether or not the plot made sense (I'm sure it didn't). Or if my characters would actually do or say the things I wanted them to. The second novel flowed just as easily. I spent many days in my college Lit class scribbling away in the notebook I'd designated for novel-writing. I had fallen madly in love. I had found my calling. I was a novelist. Up until this point, I'd harbored dreams of moving to Nashville to become a songwriter -- never mind that I can't a) sing or b) play an instrument. I was a dreamer, and that was enough.

But the moment I picked up that pen and decided to create two characters out of mid-air and let them find their happy-ever-after with each other, my heart was lost to the wonderful world of fiction. And I've been in love ever since. But, like in any relationship, there are bad times. The kicking, screaming, throwing things at the wall kind of fights that leave you pouting for days. Words go on strike. Your muse decides to take a vacation without telling you. You have the perfect idea for the next scene in your novel, but when you sit down to write it...nothing. You convince yourself you were insane to ever believe you could do this, but then the next day, you just know this is what you were meant to be: a writer. A novelist. An author. A published author. You just didn't realize when you fell so hard for this tricky craft of writing just how HARD it was going to be.

And that's where I'm at just now. This business of writing a book is SO. DAMN. HARD. Even as I think about giving up, retiring my pen for good, I know I could never do it. Writing owns my heart. That's all there is to it. So I must suffer. And push myself. And forge through these hard times. Because somewhere down the road, maybe a few feet or so, maybe a couple thousand miles, there's a light. One of those neon marquis signs, flashing bright pinks and oranges and yellows and blues against the black night sky. And it's saying: You Did It.

And damned if I don't want to get there.