The first rule of talking about the Holidays after the Holidays is: You do not talk about the Holidays after the Holidays.
Of course, it’s an unwritten and unspoken rule amongst most of us, right? Like, the guy in your office who gleefully walks around to each cubicle and reminds you on December 26th that there are only 364 shopping days ’til Christmas.
Then the office beat down happens in the breakroom.
Then they tell you to clean out your desk.
Then comes the restraining order…
January 1st rolls around and the well-wishing is officially over. You do not talk about the Holidays after the Holidays.
Same with NaNoWriMo.
Writers, at least the ones that I follow, have no time to dwell on something that happened months ago because some of them are in the midst of tidying up the manuscript they just cranked out in 30 days.
I am no different. Even though I didn’t win NaNo (next year, I’m DEFINITELY getting the t-shirt), I have no plans on abandoning this project because out of the previous attempts at trying to hammer out a story, this is the one has greased the wheels of my storytelling machine long enough to get the bugs out and make it purr like it just came off the assembly line. I’m not walking away from this one.
Still, the first week in January found me staring at my first draft and all my notes like Jack Torrance closely inspecting his Adler typewriter to make sure it doesn’t change color on him… again. This was the time where I should have wiped the deck clean, rearranged things, beefed it up, trimmed it down, played with it. Instead, and I hate myself for thinking it, I kept looking at it as if it were 5-day old leftovers.
“Oh no…Meatloaf again?”
I wouldn’t call it a block. My intention is in full swing, and when that happens, all it takes is one word, one phrase, a picture, something that happened on the way to the grocery store, and I’m back on the horse. I wouldn’t call it a block, it was more like a pit stop. I needed some perspective.
I read somewhere recently that one of the best ways to overcome getting stuck in your manuscript was to start another project, see it through as far as you can take it, then revisit your original manuscript. A fresh perspective might be just the thing to clear the logjam and get moving.
As fate would have it, around the same time that I should have been adding more chapters, fixing dialog and tinkering with sub-plots, an invitation was extended by a fellow blogger about writer-y stuff, Chris Graham, to participate in a short story contest. The tl;dr version is 1500 words, 30 days to write, based on a picture chosen by the contest provider.
Now, like wishing someone a Happy Holiday in late January, I’m not supposed to talk about it to a certain extent. I can’t write it, post it and link to it here where it can shine in all it’s hastily-put-together glory¹ (e.g. the occasional Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig). Nope, this time it’s fo’ realizies. Grand Prize winner will get published across a number of publications, name and brand recognition will become more concrete, mana will rain from the sky and European lingerie models will throw themselves at my feet.
…well, not really. But I will chalk it up as actual experience; something to add to a resumé. Being published in any capacity at this point would be most welcome. My horoscope has been stuck on repeat for months. It just keeps repeating, “Good things are going to happen, good things are going to happen…”
I sincerely hope so…
- As I started to say before I got sidetracked, I’m not allowed to discuss or share a copy of my entry until later on this year. However, that doesn’t preclude me from two things. 1.) It doesn’t mean that I can’t share a little snippet of it in a future post, and 2.) who’s to say that I should stop there? Who’s to say that I should be solely reliant on random opportunities to come my way so that I could find an excuse to make more content? My noggin is full to capacity with story ideas. I collect writing prompts for fun. I kinda, sorta know how to make a decent book cover. Inspiration is all around me and all I have to do is interpret its language. This is the mission statement of this blog to begin with. Yes, my NaNo Novel will be worked on this year, and perhaps might be entered again as soon as November comes around again. In the meantime, expect smaller projects to bubble to the surface. I’ll still be throwing up Flash Fiction, but if something slightly heavier needs to be fleshed out, like say a novella, you can rest assured that you will know about it. So, lot’s of writing this year… but first…
- My ultimate goal is to make this website self-substantial. Along with a sturdy final draft of my manuscript that is set for publication, a well-deserved t-shirt from NaNoWriMo as my prize for finishing, I would like to see “aapayson.com” become a reality. In order to do that, I need money. And, in order to get that, I would like to direct you to my Pay Pal donation button on the right-hand side of the page. Now, as much as all donations great and small will be most welcome, begging was never my strong suit. So, therefore, a new page on this blog will be in development over the coming weeks. Prepare for the swag.
That’s it, very excited and enthused this year. I got a lot of great ideas and I can’t wait to make them happen. Thanks for reading.
How about you? What’s your big project this year? Are you finishing a book too? Starting one? Let me know in the comments.
¹I forgot to mention that I should have proofread my submission a little better. Looking over it the day after I sent it, small mistakes were glaring at me. Meh.